Colon Cleansing: Is It Worth It?

If you’re not familiar with colon cleansing, it’s a practice that involves cleansing the colon with a laxative or enema. The primary purpose of colon cleansing is to stimulate the colonic muscles and excrete solid waste, toxins, and possibly parasites. Despite its many benefits, there’s no evidence that colon cleansing can prevent or cure colon cancer. In fact, some experts have even suggested that it can be harmful. That being said, it’s still commonly performed around the world as a means to detox and refresh the colon. Let’s examine the evidence and fall back on our common sense to see if colon cleansing really is worth it.

Dangers Of Colon Cleansing

While there are many perceived benefits to colon cleansing, there are some risks associated with the practice. As mentioned, colon cleansing won’t prevent or cure colon cancer. In fact, some experts have even suggested that it might cause cancer. As with any other medical procedure, there’s also the risk of complications from colon cleansing. These include mild dehydration, electrolyte imbalance, and bowel perforation. (Bowel perforation is when one of the intestines becomes perforated from the inside out. This usually happens when excessive pressure is applied to the abdomen during a colon cleansing procedure. It’s a fairly common and potentially serious complication of colon cleansing. Fortunately, it’s also a fairly easy fix. In most cases, the patient will require a laparotomy and ileostomy to repair the perforation.)

The vast majority of colon cleansings are performed on an outpatient basis. This means patients can go home the same day as the procedure. However, some colonics are performed in a hospital. Even in these cases, most patients go home the same day as the procedure. It’s vital that patients follow-up with their surgeon so that they can be monitored for any complications. If you’re planning on having colon cleansing, be sure to discuss both the benefits and the risks with your surgeon. He or she will be able to speak with you about what to expect and how to prepare for the procedure.

Perceived Benefits Of Colon Cleansing

As mentioned, colon cleansing isn’t meant to cure or prevent cancer. It’s a practice that’s performed to help with a variety of problems. These include reducing constipation, stimulating the digestive tract, and facilitating the excretion of toxins. As we age, the production of waste slows in our bodies. This accumulation of waste in the colon is referred to as colonic stasis. It can cause a number of uncomfortable symptoms. (This is why it’s so important to keep up with regular bowel movements and not to hold back any waste. Constipation can cause or at least contribute to numerous health problems. It’s associated with heart disease, arthritis, asthma, and even erectile dysfunction. Colon cleansing can help remove the constipation and improve health in countless ways.)

Some people experience incredible benefits from colon cleansing. They report that it enhances their daily lives in a variety of ways. One woman, for example, said that her colonics “enabled her to become more active and enjoy her life.” Another woman reported that her colonics “helped me to realize how much my life had changed for the better.”

Unanswered Questions

While colon cleansing can be a safe and effective means to remove waste from the digestive system, there are still some questions unanswered. Researchers haven’t yet determined the optimal dose of cathartics required to effectively cleanse the colon. Many doctors still choose to monitor their patients closely following a colonic. This is to ensure that they don’t develop any complications. In some cases, patients require multiple cleansings over the course of their lifetimes. Is this because the body just doesn’t get rid of toxins as effectively as initially thought or is it because there are still questions about the long-term effects of colonic cleansing? It’s a bit of both, but we know that it’s an effective tool when used correctly.

The Evidence

To evaluate the risks and benefits of colon cleansing, we need to look at the evidence. There’ve been quite a few studies done on the subject, but most of them were observational in nature. This means that the doctors following the patients were not blinded to the procedure. This could have skewed the results of the study. To get around this issue, the researchers behind one recent study conducted a randomized, controlled trial. This means that there was an even number of patients in each group and the doctors were blinded to which therapy the patients were assigned to. So, in other words, the patients were randomly assigned to either the colonic cleansing group or the control group. This should make us feel pretty good about the study because it took this into account and reduced the chances of any bias.

The results of this study were fairly conclusive. Patients who underwent colonic cleansing experienced a statistically significant improvement in their quality of life. This was determined by using questionnaires to assess both the patient’s and their caregivers’ experiences. Quality of life is a broad term that encompasses many different aspects of a patient’s life. It can be used to evaluate not only their physical health but also how they feel about themselves and their relationships with other people. The people who participated in the study rated their quality of life as being significantly better than before the procedure. The control patients, who didn’t undergo colonic cleansing, didn’t show any significant improvement in their quality of life. This means that colonic cleansing helped to significantly improve the patients’ quality of life. It’s important to keep in mind that not everyone experienced improvements in their quality of life following colonic cleansing. Some reported that it didn’t do anything for them while others reported that it actually made their condition worse. (This is why it’s still considered experimental.)

It should be noted that there are different variations of colon cleansing. Some are more invasive than others, but in general, they all accomplish the same goal. The American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons (ASCRS) offers this guidance on the different types of colonic cleansings:

  • Intestinal Stimulation
  • Barium Sulfate Colonography
  • Balloon Colonoscopy
  • Colonic Irrigation

Key Takeaways

Even if you don’t fit the typical profile for someone who would benefit from colon cleansing, there are still a few things you should know. First of all, it’s not meant to be a substitute for a healthy diet and exercise. Second, it’s not meant to treat or cure any diseases. Third, it’s still experimental and there are unanswered questions about its long-term effects. Finally, please don’t try this at home. It’s a medical procedure that shouldn’t be tried out of convenience. If you’re not sure whether or not colon cleansing is right for you, discuss it with your doctor. He or she will be able to best advise you on what to expect and how to prepare for the procedure.