Colon Cleansing: Benefits and Risks

Aon Health & Wellbeing Conversation #2

Our bodies produce stool, mucus and other unhealthy substances every day. The large intestines, or colon, work to rid such waste on a regular basis. However, when this does not happen effectively, irregular bowel movement sets in.
One way to overcome it is by undergoing colon cleansing. Also known as colonic hydrotherapy, colonic irrigation or enema, the procedure involves the flushing of the colon with about sixty liters of fluid to detoxify the body.
Colon cleansing has recently gained popularity, and cleansing products, supplements, and in-home kits are now available alongside medical facilities where professional practitioners administer the procedure. However, there is not much scientific research done or evidence available to support the claims of such self-administered colon cleansing.
What are the benefits and risks of colon cleansing and how can you maintain a healthy colon?
Colon cleansing is normally carried out on patients who are to undergo a colonoscopy and other diagnostic procedures, or those with known medical issues such as constipation, excessive gas, fecal impaction, Crohn’s disease, or ulcerative colitis.
Other reasons for the procedure to be performed include to:
  • Cleanse the body and rid the colon of toxins
  • Detoxify the liver
  • Improve the immune system
  • Balance microbiomes
The benefits of colon cleansing include:
  • Relief from intestinal issues such as bloating and distention
  • Increased energy level
  • Prostrate and/or overall health
  • Clear skin
  • Prevention of headache and nausea attacks
  • Weight loss
  • Reduced risk of colon cancer
While colon cleansing has its benefits, there are some risks to watch out for. When improperly done or abused, the procedure may lead to serious health conditions. While the intent of colon cleansing is to remove waste through fluid release, important substances that are needed by the body may also be expelled.
Colon cleansing could result in:
  • Diarrhea and dehydration due to excessive fluid loss
  • Weakness and malnutrition due to loss of nutrients
  • Electrolyte imbalance that may lead to unconsciousness and even kidney damage
  • Loss of healthy gut microflora and infections due to unhygienic administration and flushing out of healthy bacteria
  • Bowel perforation or the tearing of the walls of the lower intestines
  • Aggravation of underlying health conditions related to the heart, kidneys, liver, and pancreas
Tips to maintain a healthy colon
  • Keep yourself hydrated with water
  • Consume limited quantities of red meat and processed meat, as these are linked to colon cancer
  • Get the right amount of vitamin D and calcium, as these are helpful in preventing colon cancer
  • Take probiotics daily to promote the production of a diverse bacterial environment in the colon
  • Eat a high-fiber diet with a variety of raw vegetables
Weighing both the benefits and risks of colon cleansing is key if you are considering having the procedure done. It is always best to consult your doctor prior to undergoing colon cleansing. If taking oral supplements, read the ingredients and proper dosage directions and discuss them with your doctor. Also, make sure your therapists are licensed to prescribe and administer this procedure, and that only new and disposable equipment and protective gear are used.

Contact us