This practice, also called colon hydrotherapy or colon irrigation, is often touted as beneficial to health, but lacks scientific support. However, these methods are used to prepare for some diagnostic tests and other procedures.
Uses and benefits
The reasons people use colon cleansers can be divided into two categories:
- Medically beneficial and scientifically sound use
- Popular uses, but not scientifically proven
Medical benefits and uses
Medical uses for colon cleansing, especially enemas, include:
- For the treatment of constipation or intestinal obstruction : This is usually an effective treatment for constipation / intestinal obstruction that does not respond to other treatments.
- To deliver certain medications to the small intestine : This gets the drug where it is needed and is used for conditions like inflammatory bowel disease , ulcerative colitis , and proctitis.
- Empty the contents of the colon – This is helpful before surgery or diagnostic and screening tests, including x- rays , colonoscopy , or sigmoidoscopy .
When using a cleaner for these purposes, be sure to follow the instructions carefully. Overuse of enemas can disrupt the normal functioning of the colon and even make constipation worse.
In popular usage, colon cleansing is believed to have all sorts of benefits, including some related to gut health, while others have nothing to do with it. So far, none of these claims have been supported by scientific evidence and refuted by some studies. Colon cleansers say they are helpful for:
- Elimination of toxins and toxins from the body.
- Improving digestion
- Boost your immune function
- Help to lose weight
- Improved mood
- Reduce the risk of colon cancer
Not tested, unnecessary
Not only are claims about cleansers unfounded, health professionals say your body is already doing a good job of removing toxins and waste on its own. After all, complete systems are designed to do just that, and as long as they work as they should, it's best to leave the job to them.
Aside from the colon and enemas, colon cleansing comes in many forms, including:
- Tablets – Often containing fiber and other natural laxatives, many tablets on the market claim to help cleanse the colon.
- Vitamin C hot flashes : This involves taking in enough vitamin C that your body can no longer absorb it, and this causes severe diarrhea.
- Salt Water Rinse : Sometimes referred to as "Basic Cleaning", it involves drinking salt water, which has a laxative effect.
However, keep in mind that health authorities do not recommend any of these methods and you should always check with your doctor before using them.
Colonics vs. enemas
Enemas involve a single infusion of water into the colon. Rather, the colon involves multiple infusions. Also, the main purpose of an enema is to empty the lower part of the colon, while the colon is meant to clean most of the intestine.
Perhaps the most important difference is that the colon involves the use of specialized equipment operated by a trained hydrotherapist, whereas an enema can be performed by medical personnel or at home using a self-service kit purchased without a prescription.
Colon irrigation is intended to clean the colon for medical reasons (for example, before a radiological exam). This usually lasts 45 minutes to an hour. During the procedure, you lie on your back and the hydrotherapist inserts a disposable speculum into your anus.
This mirror is connected to a long disposable plastic hose, which in turn is connected to a colon hydrotherapy unit. The device sends warm water to the colon and the pressure stimulates the reflex contraction of the colon muscles called peristalsis . This pushes waste from the colon through a hose into a closed disposal system.
Enemas, which are often done in the bathroom, generally involve lying on your back and inserting the tip of the enema into the anus. This nozzle is connected to a tube that leads to a container containing the infusion liquid.
Releasing the tube clamp initiates fluid flow into the rectum and stimulates peristalsis. The next step in the enema is to hold the liquid for a few minutes and then sit on the toilet to flush it out.
Keeping it inside
Some treatments, called "retention enemas," involve holding fluid in the colon for long periods of time. There are several different types of retention enemas, including coffee enemas and enemas infused with red raspberry leaves, probiotics, minerals, and other natural substances.
However, health professionals do not recommend these methods, so always check with your doctor before trying one.
Colonization and enemas carry some potential side effects, risks, and complications.
After a colon session, you can experience:
- Abdominal pain and cramps
- Feeling of fullness or bloating.
- Nausea and vomiting
- Ulcers around the anus
Doing an enema at home can cause:
- Colon tissue damage
- Irritation and inflammation of the anus.
- Worsening of constipation
The risks of cleaning the colon by any method include:
Colognes and enemas are not safe for everyone. You should avoid them if you have conditions such as:
You should also avoid these procedures if you are pregnant. or have recently had colon surgery .
Frequently asked questions
How is a colon cleanse?
Most people report little or no discomfort with the colon, but you will likely experience varying sensations of movement and fullness during the session. You may notice that your stomach swells when you pump fluid and you may feel like you need to go to the bathroom.
You may also feel full during the enema, but probably less than when using the colon because less fluid is used. You may feel the need for a bath while holding on to it.
What do you eat to clean the intestines?
If you are cleaning your colon before a medical procedure, follow the instructions of your doctor or healthcare provider. Before the procedure, you may need to fast or follow a restricted diet, such as only clear liquids.
If you are trying to improve colon health by eating certain foods, you can do so in the following ways:
- Increase the amount of fruits and vegetables.
- Eat whole grains, not refined grains, and focus on non-grain sources.
- Decreased protein
- Adding flax
- Drink a lot of water
Why Does Colon Cleanse Cause Cramps?
Spasms are a common side effect of colon cleansing because they can cause peristalsis, which is the involuntary contraction of the intestinal muscles. The contractions cause an undulating motion that pushes stool through the digestive tract and out of the anus.
Get the word of drug information
Despite the lack of medical evidence, you may hear about the supposed benefits of a colon cleanse and think, "What could be painful to try?" Remember that side effects, risks, and complications are very possible, and certain health conditions can make this especially dangerous for you.
If you have health concerns and are wondering if cleaning your colon will help, talk to your doctor about treatment options that medical science has shown to be safe and effective.