Sunday, April 17, 2011

Danger! Avoid Colon Cleansing

Colon cleansing or colon therapy includes alternative medical therapies intended to remove feces and supposed nonspecific toxins from the colon and intestinal tract. These therapies are designed to counteract auto-intoxication which is the idea theory that food enters the intestine and rots. The origin of these ideas stems from the ancient Egyptians and ancient Greeks. Throughout the 19th century biochemistry and microbiology studies supported the auto-intoxication hypothesis causing physicians to promote therapies. Advances in science in the 20th century no longer support the hypothesis.

The alternative medicine community still promotes colon cleansing. Testimonials and anecdotal evidence are the main forces used to keep the idea of colon cleansing at a high level of importance in the eyes of the public. People resort to colon cleansing in an effort to lose weight or to relieve constipation. Studies show no proof of weight loss. As for constipation, doctors recommend drinking plenty of fluids, eat a diet rich in fiber, get regular exercise, and increase fruit, vegetable, and fiber intake.

Some auto-intoxication symptoms include headache fatigue, loss of appetite, and irritability. However, these symptoms are often associated with mechanical distention within the bowel, such as irritable bowel syndrome, and not from toxins from putrefying food. The supposed benefits of colon cleansing are vague, and the claims made by manufacturers and practitioners are based on a flawed understanding of the body. There is little evidence to support any actual benefits to colon cleansing, and no evidence exists to support that colon cleansing can cure the symptoms that are attributed to it. Not one surgery or autopsy in all of human history ever provided evidence of compacted feces or auto-intoxication.

The two main colon cleansing methods are buying products and visiting a practitioner to have colon irrigation. Colon cleansing with powdered or liquid supplements involves some supplements taken by mouth or others through the rectum. The colon is forced to expel its contents. These products can be found on the internet, in health food stores, supermarkets, or pharmacies. Colon irrigation is a procedure involving a machine or gravity-driven pump that flushes up to 20 gallons of water through a tube inserted into your rectum. Once the water is in the colon, the therapist will massage your abdomen, then flushes out the fluids and waste through another tube, and then repeat the process numerous times using different water pressures and temperatures. One session may last up to an hour.

Colon cleansing can potentially cause more harm than good. Colon cleansing can disrupt the bacteria to natural chemical balance in the bowel and can prevent the colon from removing dead cells. Serious complications can arise including gastrointestinal perforation from improper insertion, amoebic infection from poorly sterilized equipment, and disrupt fluid and electrolyte balance which may lead to dehydration and salt depletion. Excessive cleansing programs can lead to anemia, malnutrition, cardiac problems such as heart failure, heart attacks related to the electrolyte imbalances, withdrawal symptoms, dependence, and an inability to defecate without assistance. Herbs that are consumed for colon cleansing and taken as oral preparations can interfere with drug absorption and effectiveness of prescription drugs.

The contents of over the counter colon cleansing products are not verified or tested by the FDA since colon cleansing is no longer supported by the scientific community. The human body naturally removes waste material on its own, so there is no medical need for colon cleansing. The only time that colon cleansing is necessary is in preparation before a colonoscopy.



Mayo Clinic

Colon Cleansing Scam Exposed (bullshit colon cleansing products)


  1. Well, I think I won't be pumping 20 gallons of fluid into my body any time soon. Interesting post