Reasons To Think Twice About Colon Cleansing
Cleaning out the colon is sometimes necessary for example, before a medical procedure, such as a colonoscopy. But some people do it in the belief that the process will rid their colons of excess toxins that have accumulated over time from the foods they eat, the air they breathe, the water they drink and the lifestyles they lead.
Colon-cleansing enthusiasts believe that periodically cleaning from the inside out removes waste stuck to the colon walls. This waste buildup also supposedly produces toxins that enter the blood and may be slowly poisoning people, contributing to a variety of symptoms fatigue, bloating, irritated skin and weight gain and health problems, from depression and allergies to arthritis and cancer.
Cleansing proponents promote two ways to clean the colon. One method involves taking bowel-clearing laxatives, powders or supplements using enemas or drinking herbal teas topurportedly release colon waste and discharge toxins. But using this method might feel more like frequently running to the bathroom with diarrhea.
A second method is called colonic irrigation or colon hydrotherapy, in which a practitioner flushes out the colon by sending gallons of water into the body through a tube inserted into a person’s rectum. This procedure can cost about $80 to $100 per session.
But does colon cleansing flush out toxins, as its supporters suggest, or does it flush money down the drain?
1. Colon cleansing can cause side effects.
What Does Colon Cleansing Feel Like
Most people report little or no discomfort with a colonic, but you’ll likely experience varying feelings of movement and fullness during the session. You may notice your abdomen becoming distended as the fluid is pumped in, and you might feel like you need to use the bathroom.
During an enema, you may also feel fullness, but probably less so than with a colonic because less liquid is used. You may feel a need to use the bathroom while you hold it in.
What Are The Risks Of A Colon Cleanse
Regardless of the lack of proven benefits, interest in this type of procedure has stayed steady over the years. And even though it is possible for it to be performed without deleterious effects, there are a number of potential risks that should be taken seriously before considering a colonic:
In addition to these risks, many people who have opted to get a colon cleanse have reported side effects from the actual procedure such as abdominal pain or cramping, bloating, nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting there have even been cases where people have died as a result of the cumulative side effects. These risks are even more pronounced for people who have heart problems or kidney disease because of the challenges associated with maintaining a proper fluid balance. Additionally, people with a weakened immune system can also be more susceptible to the dangers of colon cleansing.
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Types Of Natural Colon Cleanses
You can take some colon-cleansing products by mouth as a powder, tea, or pill. Others you can put in your rectum. But colon hydrotherapy is never an at-home do-it-yourself procedure. The goal of all these methods is to get poop out of your intestines. Before you try any type of colon cleanse, talk to your doctor.
Oral supplements or teas may contain:
- Laxative herbs
- Non-stimulant herbs
Other kinds of natural colon cleansing methods may include:
- Enemas. These treat constipation. You can get them online or at a pharmacy without a prescription. You push fluid from a bag into your lower intestine. The liquid goes through a tube into your rectum. This expands your bowels and causes you to poop. The solution may contain saline or natural products like garlic, aloe, coffee, or milk thistle.
- Saltwater flush. Sodium pulls water from the body into the colon. Thats why if you mix salt with water it can make you poop.
- Colonic hydrotherapy or irrigation. These are similar to an enema. But they use a lot more water. A colonic hygienist may flush 16 gallons of liquid into your bowel with a tube. It will take about 30-45 minutes. The hygienist will massage your belly, and your waste will come out through another tube. The solution sometimes includes herbs or coffee.
What Causes Ulcerative Colitis
We arent quite sure what causes UC. We used to think that diet and stress were possible causes, but now we think of these as triggers that can aggravate symptoms rather than acting as causes.
Immune system dysfunction may be a potential cause of UC. An abnormal immune response against invading pathogens may cause damage to the gut.
Genes may also contribute to the development of UC, as the disease is more common in people with a family history of it.
UC can range from being a debilitating illness to causing fatal complications. The symptoms can vary, depending upon the level of inflammation and site of the lesion.
The majority of people with UC tend to develop mild to moderate symptoms, such as:
- urgency to defecate
In a small number of cases, people with UC may develop severe complications, such as major bleeding, colonic perforation, skin and eye issues, colonic malignancy, and thrombosis.
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Symptoms Of Ulcerative Colitis
Ulcerative colitis symptoms can vary, depending on the severity of inflammation and where it occurs they typically develop over time. Most people experience mild to moderate symptoms, but the course of ulcerative colitis may vary and some people have long periods of remission. The symptoms depend on the location of the disease-causing inflammation. If you have ulcerative colitis, you may have the following signs and symptoms:
- Diarrhea, often with blood or pus
- Abdominal pain and cramping
- An increased risk of blood clots in veins and arteries
Safe Ways To Keep Your Colon Healthy
There are several ways you can keep your colon in good shape. You should eat a lot of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and beans. These have fiber that can bulk up your stool and keep things moving. And drink plenty of water. This can soften your stool and help with constipation.
You should also:
- Exercise at least a few times a week
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Cut down on red and processed meat
- Ask your doctor about probiotics
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What Is A Colon Cleanse
A colon cleanse is the act of flushing out your large intestine.
The practice of natural colon cleansing, or colonic irrigation, dates back to ancient Greece. It became popular in the U.S. in the early 1900s. But theories behind it lost support, and it fell out of favor. Recently, though, colon cleansing — using teas, enzymes, or colon irrigation — has become more popular.
Is colon cleansing good for you? Scientific research on colon cleansing is extremely limited. Thereâs no good evidence for most of the claims that its practitioners make. And the side effects can range from mild to serious.
The Best Natural Cleanse
Using plain old water is probably the best and safest way to cleanse your colon of waste, harmful substances, and relieve constipation. Drinking water every single day, and often, is the healthiest natural way to keep your system functioning as it should.
Although other liquids are helpful, water is best to move stool more easily through the colon, and without any added calories. Since constipation is a risk factor for colon cancer, drinking lots of water is a win-win.
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What Are The Alternatives
For those worried about detoxification of the body, its important to remember that the digestive system, as well as the kidneys and liver, are already highly effective at removing toxins and waste products from the body. So there really is no need to pump water into the colon in order to cleanse it. From this perspective, an alternative should never be necessary. However, there are times, as noted above, when a doctor may recommend an enema in order to treat a specific medical problem. The idea of using colonic hydrotherapy in a routine, therapeutic way just isnt backed by science.
The key conclusion to be drawn from these questions is that being under the care of a qualified gastroenterologist is one of the best things that can be done for your digestive health. At Cary Gastroenterology Associates, our board-certified physicians and highly professional staff are dedicated to providing the very best healthcare for any digestion-related concern. So if you have been considering a colon cleanse to address some gastrointestinal problem, consider contacting us to get a full medical diagnosis.
Coffee Enemas To Clear The Colon
Compared to colonics, enemas are done at your home in private. They are inexpensive compared to a more costly visit to your colon hydrotherapist. You can buy kits at any drugs store or online. Here is a great stainless steel kit that I recommend.
Enemas also work by cleansing your colons with water. In some cases, coffee, wheatgrass, herbs, or apple cider vinegar is added for extra cleansing. While colonics target your entire intestine, enemas are targeting your descending colon only. Here is a helpful article on how to do a coffee enema.
If you choose to get a colonic or try an enema yourself, it is important that you take probiotics to support your healthy gut flora. Colonics clean your colon from waste, toxins, bacteria, fungi, and parasites. However, they also clean out good bacteria in the process.
Taking high-quality probiotics and eating a nutrient-dense, gut-supporting diet is important to achieve long-term results. Continue reading for further tips on how to reset your microbiome after a colon cleanse.
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Is Natural Colon Cleansing Needed
Are bowel movements enough to clear the colon? We do know that the body alone can do the following:
Natural bacteria in the colon can detoxify food waste.
The liver also neutralizes toxins.
Mucus membranes in the colon may keep unwanted substances from reentering the blood and tissues.
The lining of the intestines regenerates itself faster than any other tissue in the body, preventing a buildup of harmful material.
The normal number of bowel movements varies from person to person.
Increasing the number of bowel movements doesn’t improve weight loss. That’s because the body absorbs most calories before they reach the large intestine.
Macroscopic Characteristics Of Ulcerative Colitis
The macroscopic characteristic of UC is symmetrical and continuous inflammation, which begins in the rectum and extends proximally without interruption during the whole extension of the disease. When present, this aspect is easily made visible by colonoscopy.
The figure 1 shows the initial endoscopic signs of UC:
Reduction or loss of normal vascular patterns.
Loss or distortion of vascular markings and relief, and, many times, this aspect may be the only endoscopic alteration in patients with UC in its quiescent phase
Mucosal erythema and edema
Mucosal friability, loss of vascular pattern, eythema and edema
As the disease progresses, the mucosal pattern changes, becomes extremely friable, and shows a granular aspect. The disease, then, enters the most severe phase, when the mucosa is covered with yellowish and sometimes mucopurulent exudate, with intense ulceration of the adjacent mucosa. Such exulceration and ulceration pattern is mainly characterized by a serpiginous, linear, dotted or annular aspect, or even an association of such aspects. As to size, they may vary from millimeters to centimeters, and may, at times, be deep, depending on the phase and inflammation intensity.
Colonic mucosa with intense ulceration covered with yellowish and mucopurulent exudates
Other endoscopic aspects that can be made visible in patients with a chronic form of the disease are:
Loss of normal haustration patterns
Luminal diameter reduction
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Why Is It Performed
This technique is primarily used as an intestinal cleansing system for people suffering from chronic constipation. In fact, waste can accumulate in the folds of the colon even in those who do not have constipation and whose intestinal transit is regular.
To maximise the results of colon hydrotherapy, you are advised to follow a high-fibre diet and to maintain healthy lifestyle habits, including regular physical exercise.
Benefits of colon hydrotherapy may include:
- detox the body
- prevent diseases related to digestive system
- re-balance other organs
- weight loss
Secondary Outcomes: Side Effects And Polyp And Adenoma Detection Rates
Side effects were reported in all studies but with different patterns and classifications, precluding meta-analysis. Globally, severe side effects such as flare of disease in IBD patients undergoing colonoscopy were very uncommon without significant differences between different preparations as reported in the 4 studies. Gould et al 1982 failed to incriminate castor oil as a more likely cause of exacerbation of colitis than an equally effective dose of senna. On the contrary, bowel disturbances were more common following senna than castor oil . Of note, authors used high doses of senna . Lazzaroni et al 1993 reported significantly better results for patients treated with the drug combination of PEG plus simethicone regarding reduction of general malaise and sleep disturbances . Manes et al 2015 noted that PEG low-volume with bisacodyl was better tolerated than PEG high-volume as evidenced by a significantly higher number of patients who described no or mild discomfort . No severe adverse events were reported in the 2 groups. In the study by Kim et al. 2017, overall adverse events during preparation were observed more frequently in the PEG high-volume group than in the PEG low-dose plus ascorbate, although the difference was not statistically significant . However, patients in the PEG high-volume group reported significantly more nausea than those in the PEG low-volume plus ascorbate . Finally, no study reported the polyp or adenoma detection rates or dysplasia findings.
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Colonics: To Cleanse Or Not To Cleanse That Is The Question
Tuesday, August 9th, 2011
Throughout my years of speaking with people during and after cancer treatment, questions about colon cleansers have come up more than I ever expected. But what exactly is a colon cleanser
? And is it helpful?
Colonics, or colon cleansers, are often marketed as a way to detox the body to improve well-being and overall health. Colon cleansing, also called colon irrigation or colon hydrotherapy, may be performed at home or in spas or clinics using water-based irrigation methods into the rectum, dietary and herbal supplements, teas, capsules, and/or laxatives.
Quite honestly, this is not my idea of fun.
In health news just last week, a study in the of The Journal of Family Practice reported that there is no scientific evidence that colon cleansing offers any health benefits. The authors reviewed 20 studies about colon cleansing from the past ten years.
In fact, colon cleansing may even be harmful. A number of the studies reviewed reported side effects including cramping, bloating, vomiting, electrolyte imbalance and kidney failure. Cleansing may also remove good bacteria that contribute to overall health. One exception: cleansing for a colonoscopy through methods recommended by your physician is appropriate for the procedure.
But what if you have colon cancer or are taking cancer therapies that are causing constipation, diarrhea or other digestive issues? The authors list four key points for anyone considering colon cleansing:
Is A Colon Cleanse Actually Beneficial What You Must Know
The colon cleanse has been used throughout history to improve the bodys natural detoxification processes, restore digestive health and improve someones overall quality of life. In fact, the use of water to cleanse tissue throughout the colon, called colon lavage, has been practiced since as early as 1500 B.C. in ancient Egypt.
Whats the purpose of cleansing your colon? To flush out built-up waste stored by rehydrating old stool thats become impacted. Most colon cleanses use water to infiltrate hardened stool and loosen it up so it can be passed more easily.
The ultimate goal of a colon cleanse whether its a type of enema or a colonic is really to help the digestive organs do their job in the best way possible, managing things that get in the way and interfere with normal bowel functions. Colon cleanses arent necessarily needed by every person, but some people can really benefit from eliminating waste, bacterial matter and toxic material thats stored in their bodies.
How do you know if you could benefit from a colon cleanse? Keep reading.
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Colon Cleansing For Colonoscopy In Patients With Ulcerative Colitis: Efficacy And Acceptability Of A 2
Reprints: Gianpiero Manes, MD, Dipartimento di Gastroenterologia, Azienda Ospedaliera G. Salvini, Viale Forlanini 121, I, 0024 Garbagnate Milanese, Milano, Italy .
Supplemental digital content is available for this article. Direct URL citations appear in the printed text and are provided in the HTML and PDF versions of this article on the journal’s Web site .
The authors have no conflicts of interest to disclose.
All authors approved the final version of the article. ClinicalTrials.gov number: NCT02248337.
Inflammatory Bowel Diseases
Keep Your Colon Clean
4 min read.Kavita Devgan
Stay away from processed red meat, include raw garlic, fibre-rich food and water in diet
Ahmedabad-based Sunita Sharma, 32, visited Sushil Narang, a gastroenterologist at the Columbia Asia Hospital in Ahmedabad. She had been bleeding while passing stool. Her tests showed that her haemoglobin was low and a colonoscopy showed multiple ulcerations in the colon. Sharma was suffering from ulcerative colitis, an inflammatory bowel disease which gets aggravated by an unhealthy diet and chronic stress.
She was put on steroids and in about a week her symptoms subsided and the bleeding stopped,” says Dr Narang.
One organ of the body most of us dont give much thought to is the colon. Yet many diseases can originate from an unclean colon. Roy Patankar, a gastrointestinal and laparoscopic surgeon at the Zen Multispecialty Hospital in Mumbai, says, The colon maintains the water balance, controls the immune system and aids in digestion.” An inefficient colon, he says, can lead to the piling up of dangerous waste , which, in turn, may lead to serious health issues. Rajnish Monga, consultant at Paras Hospitals in Gurugram, adjacent to Delhi, points out that as the colon is responsible for absorbing water, vitamins and minerals into the blood, a clogged and toxic bowel hampers the absorption of essential nutrients and can lead to deficiencies.
Keep it clean
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