August 1, 2011

Colon Cleansing-Helpful or Harmful?

(Ivanhoe Newswire) -- Colon cleansing has been known to be a natural way to enhance well-being. However, research demonstrates that colon cleaning can cause side effects ranging from cramping to renal failure and death.
Researchers say there's no evidence to back the claim that cleansing the colon of toxins leads to better overall health. The procedure, sometimes called colonic irrigation or colonic hydrotherapy, often involves the use of chemicals, followed by flushing the colon with water through a tube inserted in the rectum.

"There can be serious consequences for those who engage in colon cleansing whether they have the procedure done at a spa or perform it at home. Colon cleansing products in the form of laxatives, teas, powders and capsules with names such as Nature's Bounty Colon Cleaner tout benefits that don't exist," Ranit Mishori, M.D., lead author, and a family medicine physician at Georgetown University School of Medicine, was quoted saying.

Moreover, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration have no authority to monitor these products. Also, colon cleansing was discredited by the American Medical Association in the early 1900's, even though it's made a comeback.

The researchers examined 20 studies in the medical literature published in the last ten years. Dr. Mishori notes that while these reports show little evidence of benefit, there are many studies noting side effects following the use of cleansing products including cramping, bloating, nausea, vomiting, electrolyte imbalance, and renal failure.

"Some herbal preparations have also been associated with aplastic anemia and liver toxicity," Dr. Mishori said.

Colon cleansing services are being offered more and more at spas and clinics by practitioners who call themselves 'colon hygienists,' yet Mishori claims they have no significant medical training. The National Board for Colon

Hydrotherapy and other organizations that encourage colon cleansing require hygienists to have little more than a high school diploma.

Dr. Mishori believes there are much better ways to enhance well-being, "Eat a balanced diet, exercise regularly, get six to eight hours of sleep, and see a doctor regularly."

SOURCE: The Journal of Family Practice, August 1, 2011