home
RSS
Colon cleansing: Not so healthy, analysis says
August 1st, 2011
12:15 AM ET

Colon cleansing: Not so healthy, analysis says

It has been touted as a natural way to improve your heath and cleanse the soul. But doctors are now finding the procedure known as colon cleansing can cause dangerous side effects.

Colon cleansing, technically known as colonic hydrotherapy or colonic irrigation, is a popular treatment, usually performed at spas. It often involves the use of chemicals in the body and in hydrotherapy, the colon is flushed with water through a tube inserted in the rectum.

But oral home remedies are also available and have become popular, especially over the Internet. Now researchers from Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. say there's no evidence any of these colon cleansing treatments work and, in fact, when used improperly can cause cramping, kidney failure and in some extreme cases, death.

"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," says the lead author, Dr. Ranit Mishori, a family medicine physician at Georgetown University School of Medicine. "Colon cleansing products in the form of laxatives, teas, powders and capsules... tout benefits that don't exist."

Mayo doctor is no fan of cleanses

Although colon cleansing has been around for centuries as a way to rid the body of unwanted toxins, the American Medical Association determined in the early 1900s that the procedure was invalid; there was no evidence to show the methods worked. And even though there still remains no solid evidence these products do what they claim, colon cleansing has been making a comeback, mainly because manufacturers claim it also helps people lose weight.

"If this method were the key to weight loss, it would be amazing. But there is no evidence that this helps people lose weight,” says Mishori. "Manufacturers don't describe how it works. The statements are a little empty. They say it will enhance your immune system, up your metabolism, give you energy. It’s all pretty vague. Some people swear by it, but it could be a placebo effect. And companies can make these claims, because the federal government doesn't regulate their products."

Not expecting miracles, but I love my cleanses

According to the report released this week in the Journal of Family Practice, Mishori and her colleagues examined 20 studies published in medical literature over the last 10 years.

Investigators noted while these reports showed little evidence of colon cleansing benefits, there were a number of side effects reported following the use of these cleansing methods. Those effects included cramping, bloating, nausea, vomiting, electrolyte imbalance and renal failure. And in some cases, ingredients in these remedies were toxic.

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

Researchers also noted that many of the "spas" that offer colon cleansing have no trained clinicians and even organizations such as the National Board for Colon Hydrotherapy and others who promote colon cleansing require technicians who perform professional colon cleansing to have little more than a high school diploma.

"When you flush your colon out with a hose, it's like giving yourself an enema on steroids. You shouldn't put things up there that really don't belong there," stressed Mishori. "Imagine 60 liters of water going through your colon. The stress it puts on the system, and the hose, if not used correctly, could puncture the organ."

As for the home remedies, Mishori says there's no need for them. "We poop and pee for a reason. If you are a healthy person, the body does it for you."

When asked what was the best way to cleanse the body, Mishori was quick to respond.

"Eat a balanced diet, exercise regularly," she stressed, "Get six to eight hours of sleep and see a doctor regularly. But no one wants to do that," she said with exasperation. "But they'll use a hose to flush themselves out! The use of these methods are unhealthy. And what's scary is we only examined the cases that were reported to hospitals and doctors. Imagine all the people who are using these products and methods and have side effects and never go to the hospital. We don't know about them. The numbers could be staggering."

Follow CNNHealth on Twitter


soundoff (1,125 Responses)
  1. Reptilian

    YOUTUBE Reptilian Demon Eyes

    Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid eyes are doing some very weird morphing and changing colors. Reports say reason for black eye he fell and dislocated his
    shoulder.

    August 1, 2011 at 10:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. AJ

    WOW!!! HOW AN INTERESTING MARKETING TIP RIGHT RIGHT NOW!!! FOR AGES EVERYONE HAS FASTING TO CLEANSE!!! Today because they want HUMANS TO TOTALLY DEPENDENT ON MEDICINES (DRUGS, PILLS) they have released this article based on what??? PURE BS!!!

    Please DO NOT BUY IN TO THESE MARKETING STUNTS!!!! Understand HOW YOUR BODY WORKS and Use Your Own Brain and Your Own Hear to Listen to it and then do what you know and think is the best for yourself!!!

    My 2 cents hope adds some worth. AJ

    August 1, 2011 at 10:30 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Torque

      Oh, Applejack, you're a silly pony.

      August 1, 2011 at 10:34 | Report abuse |
    • Yazhol

      Don't yell, jerk.

      August 1, 2011 at 10:38 | Report abuse |
    • Steve

      Indeed, fasting is the way to cleanse. It's safe and proven by millions of years of evolution, and scoffed at by sick people who want to make you a permanent client...

      Fasting is natural and a normal part of the human existence until relatively recently. Fasts of up to 72 hours are perfectly safe for people who are not already very ill.

      PLUS IT'S FREE!

      August 1, 2011 at 10:44 | Report abuse |
    • Colby

      OKAY AJ. WE GET IT. NO NEED FOR ALL THE CAPS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Thanks, and have a GREAT DAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

      August 1, 2011 at 11:15 | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      Wow that was . . . incoherenet?

      But, seriously. Use your brain is right. Listen to people who've actually, you know, studied a subject. If you're not an expert on medicine or biology, find someone who is. The University of Google is flooded with people who say things, like, say, getting coffee enemas are good for you. Hint: They're not.

      The people touting these new age BS "remedies" are in it for the money, just like they always complain the pharmaceutical companies are. The difference? The pharmaceutical companies actually have some Science backing up their claims. Of course, this article isn't about that. It's about the fact that "Colon cleanse" -doesn't do anything- for your health.

      August 1, 2011 at 11:24 | Report abuse |
    • denver2

      AJ is a fine representative of the faux-skepticism and anti-intellectualism that pervades the nutty subculture that engages in colon cleansing, homeopathy, and the like. It's all BS. All the people who moan about how awful modern medicine go to the doctor's office or the hospital in the end for a reason. Because medical science works.

      August 1, 2011 at 11:28 | Report abuse |
    • RIckRoll

      Why is everyone here screaming its making me sad stop yelling :-(

      August 1, 2011 at 11:31 | Report abuse |
    • sbp

      English, please.

      August 1, 2011 at 11:46 | Report abuse |
    • Colon Cleansing WORKS; CNN BIAS IS OBVIOUS

      Yes, there are a few stupid people out there who do not realize that CNN and all major news outlets have an agenda with the medical industry to tout their drugs and surgeries and to dismiss proven TIME TESTED natural treatments that have WORKED for millenia.

      Do ALL colon cleansings work? Of course not. Just like there are items labeled 'food' at the grocery store that is edible but it is nothing more than JUNK FOOD. Duh. Colon cleansing works. Do not believe this nonsense. They have an agenda. It does not take that much effort to recognize this fact.

      August 1, 2011 at 11:48 | Report abuse |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      I never cease to be amazed at the idiocy of the general populace. Pasteurization is necessary not because "modern milk is horrible". Read something besides manga and the net, you moron.

      August 1, 2011 at 12:53 | Report abuse |
  3. TheBossSaid

    If you want to clean your colon the safe way, drink lots of milk and joghurt products that contain probiotics.

    August 1, 2011 at 10:32 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Kjcube

      Way to use the Roman J lol. I'm assuming that was a typo though :)

      August 1, 2011 at 10:41 | Report abuse |
    • Sqeezer

      Milk is terrible for you. Humans are the only species that consume another animals lactation. Infected Utter Juice......

      August 1, 2011 at 10:45 | Report abuse |
    • T3chsupport

      All mammals, given the opportunity, will gladly drink the milk of any other animal, Sqeezer. You're parroting talking points that you know nothing about other than the fact that you read that somewhere once.

      ANY mammal. Test it. From deer and squirrels and camels and horses to cats and dogs and primates and rabbits. I have not yet come across any mammal that won't drink milk. You put it in front of them, they will lap it up with gusto. Infants animals are able to be raised by completely different species on their milk (like cats raising squirrel babies, or goats raising foals) and be totally healthy.

      I

      August 1, 2011 at 10:58 | Report abuse |
    • jayh

      I agree – milk is not the way to go for this at all... Fresh fruits and vegetables will do the trick perfectly.

      August 1, 2011 at 10:59 | Report abuse |
    • jayh

      And for the record – I do agree that milk won't kill you, but it's highly overrated.

      August 1, 2011 at 11:01 | Report abuse |
    • Mon_Daze

      We're also the only species that replies to blogs...what's your point?

      August 1, 2011 at 11:10 | Report abuse |
    • icy

      My dog will eat chocolate – that doesn't mean it is good for them. Anyone knows that a baby squirrel should have mommy squirrel milk, if there is no mommy squirrel than rabbit milk is better than water – once you are no longer an infant you shouldn't be drinking milk. When you are a baby, milk is designed to grow you from 8 lbs to 50lbs – once you grow up it does you no favors. You can argue all you want but when you F with nature it Fs with you right back – thats why people who have a plant based diet are healthier. Most adults are, to a degree, lactose intolerant – plus the high protein content leaches calcium from your bones. Eat your cheerios with almond or soy milk.

      August 1, 2011 at 11:12 | Report abuse |
    • ShaneKeebler

      I say have a dozen White Castles for dinner, and then a 12-pack of Stag beer as a nightcap. I guarantee you'll be all cleaned out by lunchtime the next day.

      August 1, 2011 at 11:32 | Report abuse |
    • Tech Support is an IDIOT

      Lots of animals eat their young too, should we start doing that?
      Seriously, you are not too bright. Did you know that milk in the U.S. is banned in MANY countries? That's because it is tainted with cow puss, antibiotics, and other chemicals. Please do your research before you spout off nonsense like a complete imbecile.

      August 1, 2011 at 11:50 | Report abuse |
    • schwarzey

      Hmm... I thought colon cleansing was done with a fifth of bourbon.

      August 1, 2011 at 11:54 | Report abuse |
    • Do some research please.

      Dudes, our modern milk is just horrible. It actually HAS to be pasteurized because of infections and poor sanitation.

      Meanwhile, the FDA conducts guns-drawn raids on raw milk producers.

      By the way, pasteurizing the milk denatures the enzymes.

      And as for your argument that "an animal will drink another's milk"
      Birds will eat fermented fruit till they're too drunk to fly. Monkeys will smoke cigarettes. Humans will eat trans fat and huff paint till it kills them. Just because an animal does something because it feels good does not mean it is good for their body.

      August 1, 2011 at 11:57 | Report abuse |
    • Billy

      "Humans are the only species..."
      We're also the only species that drives motor vehicles.

      August 1, 2011 at 12:03 | Report abuse |
    • kari

      Think about nature. What mamals nurse from anoher secies? Only Humans.
      Milk is meant for calves and only up until 2 years, at most. All mamals wean their young at early ages.
      Mothers milk is perfect and full of nutrients to help babies develop into healthy toddlers. Cow's, who have 4 stomach's where humans have one, have milk that is overwhelmingly nutrient dense for humans and hard to digest. It is designed (by nature) to grow a baby calf to 2 tons within 2 years. I could go on about milk that is not organic can contain bovine growth hormones and that is contributing to obesity and has quadrupled the "average" breat size in a couple decades.
      Back to the subject of colonics... If someone has not had one and experienced first hand the benefits, they should not write articles about it. In a perfect world, (if we all ate healthy balanced diets and got plenty of excersize) we would not need colonics. Who eats perfect? Sadly, very few. With processed foods, poorly combined meals, eating on the run and not chewing food enough puts a tremendous strain on our digestive system. Add to that the effect that stress has on our whole system and the result is sluggish digestion, erratic elimination and chronic constipation. If you eat three meals a day and do not eliminate (with a bowel movement) three times a day ...where do you think what you consume goes???
      It sits in your colon and starts to rot....becomes toxic waste and will lead to constipation, migraine headaches, cramping, flatulence (the more the rot, the more the stink) pimples, skin rashes and long list of other symptoms.
      OF COURSE this all effects your immune system and energy levels.
      I imagine there are unqualified hacks in every field, but an occasionl colonic by a trained and certified holistic colon therapist to cleanse out all of the toxins and give you a fresh start works wonders on your overall health.
      To be fair, I had uncomfortable cramping the first time I had a colonic at 24. After 24 years of eating healthy sometimes, that was a small price to pay for the way I felt afterwards, magnificent and with bursting energy, glowing skin and remarkably improved digestion. I was not over weight, but my stomach was completely flat for the first time in a while. Now in my forties, I generally get a colonic 4 times a year and have twice the energy of people half my age and get a cold every 3 to 4 years at most! If anyone thinks about this logically, it makes sense.
      As for cheese...I love the taste and have it as a cherished treat occasionally but when I do I try to have it from a sheep or a goat as they are easier to digest...and delicious.

      August 1, 2011 at 12:08 | Report abuse |
    • Veggie--what?

      @ Icy–you said: "You can argue all you want but when you F with nature it Fs with you right back – thats why people who have a plant based diet are healthier."

      Okay, you say that. However, why do vegetarians have to take amino acid supplements in order to live the way they do–and if they don't, they'll die or shrivel away? This is a fact. You can't argue with it.

      Look at the human jawbone–we have sharper front teeth and flatter back teeth. This is because we are OMNIVORES. We were designed to eat both MEAT and VEGETABLES. Do not argue with this.

      Accept it. You're messing with mother nature by arguing otherwise. You have violated your own rules.

      August 1, 2011 at 12:34 | Report abuse |
  4. Mark

    I have a spinal cord injury and we have to have special bowel programs for our regularity. I take a substance called Lactulose which is a non digestable sugar. It keeps my body regular by flushing things through with no side effects. With that and regular stool softeners I have no problems.

    August 1, 2011 at 10:33 | Report abuse | Reply
    • RichG

      You must feel like crap sometimes.

      August 1, 2011 at 10:45 | Report abuse |
  5. KD

    Does it surprise anyone that people who have had this done are defensive and mad about this article?
    If I found out I was ripped off after someone charged me to stick something up my butt, I'd be mad, too!

    August 1, 2011 at 10:34 | Report abuse | Reply
    • MadCowDis

      Lol! I'm mad as hell and Im not going to put this tube up my butt anymore!

      August 1, 2011 at 11:21 | Report abuse |
  6. Brickell Princess

    You should always questions everything, including what doctors tell you. Just look at how many people doctors "accidentally" kill each and every year.

    If colon cleansing works for you, if it makes you feel better, then you know what you should be doing. But if you are dumb enough to follow a trend, then you are dumb enough to pay the price.

    August 1, 2011 at 10:34 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Er

      But that's the point of the article: it doesn't work. It doesn't matter if someone *thinks* it works for them. It doesn't work. It's quack "medicine", like ear candling, that does more harm than good.

      August 1, 2011 at 11:19 | Report abuse |
    • EdNV

      ?ear candling? - don't wanna know.

      August 1, 2011 at 12:00 | Report abuse |
  7. Ray in Vegas

    Had to add another two cents. If we lived a completely natural existence, then I would agree with the posters here that say our body naturally and regularly (no pun intended) elliminates harmful waste and toxins all by itself. HOWEVER, considering that much of our diet is completely artificial, including dangerous amounts of plastic, PCBs, heavy metals, etc, I seriously doubt our bodies can function at optimal performance without occasional assistance. I have never actually had an enema or anything inserted up my rear, but I have used natural, tea based cleansers. How can anybody see all the foul smelling gunk that ends up in the toilet after you THOUGHT you were mostly empty and not be glad it's out? And if the good, clean, energetic feeling you get after doing this is a placebo, then it's an amazing one. Every hold in the body requires occasional irrigation from the outside, if you think about it. Nobody as problems with eye washes, ear washes, nasal irrigation, mouth washing etc ... why would squirting some mild cleansing tea or plain water up there OCCASIONALLY be a bad thing? You can't convince me that it is. Call me a conspiracy nut if you like, but I've been paying close attention and the AMA is pretty much going to come down against anything that takes them out of the pay loop.

    August 1, 2011 at 10:36 | Report abuse | Reply
    • DB

      Well said Ray.... well said, indeed.

      August 1, 2011 at 10:50 | Report abuse |
    • Ray in Vegas

      Thanks, DB!

      August 1, 2011 at 10:52 | Report abuse |
    • OldGoat

      The problem with these so-called cleansing procedures is they kill off gut flora, which are essential to good digestion and regular elimination. Unless one is constipated, there's no good reason for inserting a hose up one's wazoo and pumping in water mixed with noxious chemicals. Only a complete moron would pump something like that into his or her body.

      August 1, 2011 at 11:01 | Report abuse |
    • Radtech01

      There's a sucker born every minute. ~ PT Barnum

      August 1, 2011 at 11:02 | Report abuse |
    • Lucky

      Eating artificial garbage is a choice. If people would quit doing that, they wouldn't feel like they needed to flush themselves out (which is, I'd like to point out, at least as unnatural a thing to do as is eating junk food). Getting enough water and fiber wouldn't be a problem if people weren't brainwashed to think that vegetables, fruit, and beans don't taste good. The people I know who complain the loudest about vegetables and fruit almost never eat it–how would they even know if they taste good or not?

      August 1, 2011 at 11:12 | Report abuse |
    • Susan

      We are living a perfectly natural existence. You just have ick factor on things that strike you as less than palatable. I assure you, your body is perfectly happy and fine. I assume you don't eat hot dogs every day or something? Just have some common sense and take nice care of your body from the front end, huh?

      August 1, 2011 at 11:14 | Report abuse |
    • icy

      I agree – our systems are obviously not working they way they should thanks to our diet – just pay attention to our commercials. It's kinda disturbing if you think about it that we will advertise stool softeners, lactaid, Immodium AD. etc b/c enough people have these problems that showing them between TV shows makes financial sense for the companies. If you aren't going to eat the right stuff to begin with you can at least help your system out a little in a more natural way than popping some chemicals... just sayin....

      August 1, 2011 at 11:15 | Report abuse |
    • Er

      Yeah. You're totally right. I always take the advice of strangers on the internet over doctors from the Mayo Clinic.

      August 1, 2011 at 11:21 | Report abuse |
    • Arugula

      "How can anybody see all the foul smelling gunk that ends up in the toilet after you THOUGHT you were mostly empty and not be glad it's out?"

      Did it not occur that the substance you're ingesting to cause the evacuation is what causes the pile of foul-smelling gunk? I think the folks worried about being "cut out of the pay loop" on this are the quacks selling this crap. Puns intended.

      August 1, 2011 at 11:26 | Report abuse |
    • Curmudgeon

      Exactly, Ray! That's why I make it a habit to take at least one spectacular digger each year while water skiing!

      August 1, 2011 at 12:02 | Report abuse |
    • EdNV

      WoW you really are a darwin award waiting to happen.
      Have you ever smelled animal poop that is pleasant?
      More marketing BS, ignorance such as yours makes me think that consumers don't deserve any protection from the government, you should be screwed over and put out of our misery.

      August 1, 2011 at 12:07 | Report abuse |
    • Ray in Vegas

      Ouch!

      August 1, 2011 at 12:08 | Report abuse |
    • Ray in Vegas

      The "ouch" was for CURMUDGEON and his water skiing colonics, not you, Ed.

      August 1, 2011 at 12:14 | Report abuse |
  8. A. Noble Feller

    I say on all issues go with your gut. lol

    August 1, 2011 at 10:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Jeepers

    So what they're saying is...sticking a hose up your butt and forcing chemicals into your body through it is unhealthy? Shocking!

    August 1, 2011 at 10:39 | Report abuse | Reply
    • katie123

      Hydrotherpy is just water flushed through the large intestine, NO chemicals. You keep saying putting chemicals up your butt and you just sound stupid. Read the article. The chemicals referred to are the cleasing methods you intake orally.

      August 1, 2011 at 11:37 | Report abuse |
  10. chuck

    Don't waste your money on these "cleansing kits". When I feel the need to clean myself out, I just go buy 4 jugs of prune juice and don't eat anything for 2 days, just drink 2 jugs of prune juice per day for 2 days. I start this on a friday morning so that part way through friday it is starting to work and by the time I get home from work on friday, I'm starting to flow like a faucet. Then Saturday I have the next 2 jugs and I'm really running clean by then. And Sunday I just have light meals – fiber, fruit and such. By monday morning I'm pretty much done with the "flow" and ready to go back to work with not much of the runs to the bathroom. There you go..............all cleaned out. ENJOY!!!!

    August 1, 2011 at 10:40 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Steve

      Yeah, it's too simple for people to believe it...

      Although, you don't even really need the prune juice, but if it works for you, that's fine too. A water-only fast will also boost your growth hormone and improve insulin sensitivity in addition to any desired cleansing, benefits you can't really get when you're taking in calories.

      August 1, 2011 at 10:49 | Report abuse |
    • Susan

      Why do you want to "clean yourself out" when your natural state is not that way? I think it puts a terrible strain on your colon and whole body to do that. Crazy.

      August 1, 2011 at 11:13 | Report abuse |
  11. wd

    Funny how the 'MD' world in the States doesn't want to recognize this, yet in Europe they have spas that specialize in this therapy (on Lake Constance for example) and have been doing so for years!

    Having participated in such a program under a Dr's care in Europe I am happy to say after 8 weeks I lost 25 lbs, lost my asthma (forever), reduced my high blood pressure from needing 20 mg drug/day to 5 mg per day and had more energy than ever in my life- this at age 45 and 175 lbs. Wonderful programs with unbelievable results! I am now in my 50s with everything going well except since moving back to the States I have gained back 20 lbs.....

    August 1, 2011 at 10:42 | Report abuse | Reply
    • PC

      You could have got the same results drinking a jar of prune juice, giving yourself an enema, and taking a healthy s*^t.

      August 1, 2011 at 10:54 | Report abuse |
    • Er

      That doesn't make it healthy. Why in the world would you have such a procedure? The human body eliminates waste by itself. If you put on that much weight, you are eating too much and not exercising enough. It has nothing to do with colon cleansing.

      August 1, 2011 at 11:23 | Report abuse |
    • vonspoo

      the human body is an incredible machine that works wonderfully if you treat it right. eat junk, sit on your can all day watching tv, and yeah, you will gain weight. i find it sad that so many people don't seem to have a clue as to how or why the body does what it does, but they want to meddle with it anyways, because they know better. back when i was in college, champagne enemas were supposed to be the end all, be all of "cleansing". sounds fancy and european right? and if it's fancy it must be good for you! wrong. some idiot i knew landed himself in the ER with severe alcohol poisoning. any 9th grader at our high school could have told him liquid is absorbed in the colon. if you don't understand how something works, don't mess with it!

      August 1, 2011 at 12:10 | Report abuse |
  12. Joe - AvrgJoe

    Have you ever had a barium enema? Remember the scenes in All the Right Stuff or Armageddon, where the guys are trying not to deficate because their backsides are full of whatever is up there. LMAO. I've survived a barium enema and can say it beats a colonoscopy anytime for cleansing the colon. Everytime a patient goes in for a colonoscopy, what do they have to do? They have to clean out their colon for the procedure to be a success. Did you ever read the contents of the bottle you have to ingest? Basically it is a mild soap with flavoring, and believe me take the second package of flavoring and mix it in. It's been said too much of anything isn't a good thing. All the "expert" opinions can be bought in my way of thinking. Just a thought, just a thought.....

    August 1, 2011 at 10:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. Ray in Vegas

    One last thought .. I know that dropper in the picture is probably NOT full of poop ... but since it's a brown liquid and we're talking about colonics ... it's grossing me out!

    August 1, 2011 at 10:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. Sqeezer

    Like our bodies, sewage systems can get backed up and clogged too. Maybe if we stop stuffing so much garbage and crap down there, we wouldn't need such remedies.

    August 1, 2011 at 10:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. AlphaBob

    "You shouldn't put things up there that really don't belong there," stressed Mishori...

    Boy that's gonna make some groups very upset.

    August 1, 2011 at 10:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. John Hein

    Oh Robin Ophellia Quivers do not lead me astray. Cleanse my colon with your giant chocolate milkers.

    August 1, 2011 at 10:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. Marissa1980

    Had anyone knows about coffee?

    August 1, 2011 at 10:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. gtvracer

    They're basing this on a study done in 1900's? Gotta be kidding!
    Colonics does not shoot water up your rectum like a water hose. Whoever did this report is just a mouthpiece and obviously had never had a colonic performed. Like they say, don't believe everything you read, nor studies from 1900's...

    August 1, 2011 at 10:52 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Er

      It's the Mayo Clinic. I trust them over some random on the internet. And I'm SURE they have done studies since the one cited. The article is poorly-written.

      August 1, 2011 at 11:25 | Report abuse |
  19. BlackDynamite

    Why would a doctor, or any medical company, want you to clean out your body? No conflict of interest here........LOL
    BD

    August 1, 2011 at 10:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. Furious Styles

    The colon is self-cleansing. Drink plenty of water and include more fruit into your diet, problem solved.

    August 1, 2011 at 10:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. planet212

    Any rear end doctor will tell you that colonics is not necessary and a waste of good money. I've done it many many times and have a had 2 full colon scopes. The waste product in the large intestine is supposed to be there for a reason but i still enjoy a good cleanse myself just for the sake of feeling clean.

    August 1, 2011 at 10:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. Pete

    If it were so incredibly toxic and dangerous we wouldn't have to IMAGINE so many other 'cases' that went 'unreported'. Anyway, the medical establishment wants y'all to be addicted to THEIR drugs and not being proactive with health techniques that have been used for centuries. Better to just not practice preventive care and simply get unhealthy. They make more money that way.

    August 1, 2011 at 10:59 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Er

      The body is self-cleansing. No need to do such things. You're being taken for a ride.

      August 1, 2011 at 11:26 | Report abuse |
  23. Kerry M. Berger

    I tried it once at a spa. Felt like a water balloon filling up and bursting. Not my cup of tea. Reading that there are indications of liver toxicity from herbal remedies along with anemia is enough to keep me from doing it again. Old Wives tales.

    August 1, 2011 at 11:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. DNADEB

    90% of your body is made up of bacteria. The intestine is one of the largest parts of the immune system. Deleting healthy bacterial colonies is not a wise thing to do.

    August 1, 2011 at 11:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. mac1319

    No way will I stop my colon cleansing. I swear anything that takes the health profession out of the loop always gets a bad rap. All I hear is "follow the money". My irritable bowel syndrome disappeared and my eczema is under control. Doctors never did anything to help alleviate the cause of these conditions except to help themselves to my wallet for their time to tell me there was nothing they could really do. Our food supply is filled with chemicals that cause horrible allergies, drugs are handed out like candy to the point where it is acceptably fashionable to take several prescription meds each month as if this is how we were meant to live. I'll stick with my annual series of cleanses I do at home. My colema board is the best purchase I ever made to look after my own health.

    August 1, 2011 at 11:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. Susan

    I can only imagine the shock to your system when a hose full of cold water is sprayed way up there. Come on people, have a little common sense. This clearly has never been healthy and I can't believe what some people will subject their bodies to.

    August 1, 2011 at 11:09 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Cleopatra1981

      The water that goes in there is not cold, it's body temperature. Maybe you should read about or experience it before you make a comment.

      August 1, 2011 at 11:20 | Report abuse |
    • Casey

      I'd like to see your diet.

      People who live in glass houses.........

      August 1, 2011 at 11:30 | Report abuse |
    • katie123

      It is amazing that you can give advise on a subject you know nothing about. You obviously have never had a colonic. If you did you would know it is not cold water, nor are any chemicals used. Additionally, it is recommended that after a colonic a pro-biotic or flora (natural) is injested. Stick to what you know Susan, if that is anyting at all.

      August 1, 2011 at 11:46 | Report abuse |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      katie, if YOU and your pals stuck to what you know, you'd be busy perfecting the ability to walk and chew gum simultaneously. None of you nitwits have the brains God gave a freakin' turnip. Colonics do no good and can do harm. Prove otherwise with scientific data or shut up.

      August 1, 2011 at 12:36 | Report abuse |
  27. S Jefferson

    It has been reported that properly used pharmaceuticals are responsible for roughly 69% of all poisoning deaths in the US, yet enemas are dangerous?

    Before accepting this article as gospel, I'd ask anyone who reads it to do their OWN homework and ask yourself who funded this study? As they say, follow the money. Since virtually ALL university drug/health studies these days are funded by the major pharmaceutical companies, it's not a stretch to believe the findings reported in this article are not completely on the up-and-up...

    I'm actually not one to use enemas, but I do know people who have cured themselves of various ailments using them alone, with absolutely NO use of pharmaceuticals at all (so no, it wasn't the pharmaceuticals that cured them)... Ask yourself, if you were a pharmaceutical company would you REALLY want to cure people of disease? Of course you wouldn't... you'd be losing customers! No, ideally you'd keep with sick(without killing them) and dependent on your drug to keep them in the money pipeline. It's a brilliant strategy, actually.

    In my opinion, this article was written to scare people into spending their money on pharmaceuticals and away from natural remedies which are cheaper and more safe in most cases.

    August 1, 2011 at 11:10 | Report abuse | Reply
    • intheruins

      Where has that been "reported?" And New Age magazines don't count.

      August 1, 2011 at 11:35 | Report abuse |
    • Er

      Reported by WHOM? Cite your sources.

      August 1, 2011 at 11:35 | Report abuse |
    • Er

      Btw, "natural remedies" are not always safe. For one thing, they aren't regulated by the FDA...they actually CAN'T be regulated by the FDA b/c the potency of herbals changes based on things as simple as what time of day the herb was picked. Natural remedies can actually be very dangerous.

      August 1, 2011 at 11:38 | Report abuse |
    • E

      Natural remedies don't need ANY regulation whatsoever, so they MUST be safe. You will find equally damning evidence for so-called natural remedies if you simply look. That said, some things do when tested correctly (e.g., cranberry juice in certain medical situations), and I stress TESTED.

      Read up on what actually goes on in the drug research process, before passing sweeping judgments.

      People who comment "I know people . . ." always crack me up. It's called self-reporting / self-selecting bias. Misses the bigger picture.

      What about the many, many others who tried the same thing and didn't have it work? What special conditions made it work?

      August 1, 2011 at 11:51 | Report abuse |
    • S Jefferson

      ::sigh::

      OK... for my "new age" source:
      http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=prescription-drug-deaths

      August 1, 2011 at 12:05 | Report abuse |
    • S Jefferson

      E,

      As for what goes into drug testing... I suggest YOU read up on it, because I have and I know of what I speak.
      For a new drug to get approved by the FDA, all a drug company has to is prove that their concoction works better than placebo in 2 studies. So that means a drug company can actually conduct as many studies as it takes to get 2 results who's findings are "better than doing nothing at all." Seriously?!

      This process is not nearly as rigorous as we've been lead to believe. All through college I participated in drug studies and I promise, they aren't all that rigorous.

      August 1, 2011 at 12:13 | Report abuse |
  28. Roger Ogilivy Thornhill

    I'm an American, darn it! If a little poo is good for me, a LOT of poo must have miraculous health benefits!

    August 1, 2011 at 11:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. Jon

    As soon as the heat wave ends I'm going to clean my colon by eating an entire fried chicken with rice and gravy, some grease soaked, black skillet fried okra, a huge pot of field peas and butter beans all mixed together and cooked down with some fat back, a black skillet corn bread and all washed down with a gallon or two of sweet iced tea. Soon as that colon screams "give me some relief"....I'm gonna hit it with a fresh pecan pie and several cups of hot black coffee. If that routine doesn't clean the d a m n thing, then I'm just gonna quit.....

    August 1, 2011 at 11:11 | Report abuse | Reply
    • HeidiLiz

      Lol, you wouldn't happen to be from the South hm? Sounds awesome though!

      August 1, 2011 at 11:20 | Report abuse |
    • Jon

      Heidi, you bet I'm from the south and I can cook too.....you can take that to the bank. All this colon cleansing business is the greatest new age psycho-babble rip off I've ever seen and it just cracks me up to see my friends swallowing slop or putting things where the sun don't shine with great optimism and trust that they will "cleanse" a bowel. I realize that these are intensely personal things, but if I only had a buck from every fool that wasted their money on "products" to cleanse their colons I'd be delighted. My money says their colons are cleaner than their hands or teeth.....lol...

      August 1, 2011 at 14:37 | Report abuse |
  30. Les

    If you believe the AMA then you must believe in the tooth fairy and Santa Clause. Look at all of the medication that is out there and is causing serious side effects... so much so that it has created a whole new industru for lawyers. You see lawyers advertising all of the time regarding Avandia side effects or some other drug. All of these drugs that cause these serious side effects have been approved by the medical community. They don't like people taking their health in their own hands because its less money for them.

    August 1, 2011 at 11:14 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Er

      Psssh, exactly. How would a doctor that has been studying biology and anatomy for 10+ years POSSIBLY know more about medicine than the average Joe?
      Drugs have side effects......so.......that means dr's don't know anything? That's some interesting logic.
      Natural remedies ALSO have side effects.

      August 1, 2011 at 11:34 | Report abuse |
    • Jarks

      ER, doctors are all about the $$$$$$
      they say what they are paid to say. ha ha ha you can honestly look around this country and how bad our health is and say that Dr's have all the answers and are keeping us well informed so we can take care of ourselves?
      Nope

      August 1, 2011 at 11:48 | Report abuse |
    • E

      @Jarks

      Actually, the good ones do educate their patients.

      Harder and harder to find nowadays.

      August 1, 2011 at 11:56 | Report abuse |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      So, Jarks, do naturopaths and colon cleansers offer their services free of charge?

      August 1, 2011 at 13:01 | Report abuse |
  31. John

    Funny...to cleanse your colon you need to drink what looks to be someone else's cleansed colon. Eeeeewwwwww.

    August 1, 2011 at 11:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. Cleopatra1981

    In my opinion colon clensing has its benefits as long as it's not done too often, the recommendation is twice a year max. The body has been designed to rid itself of waste, but what everyone failed to mention is that the colon has multiple nooks and crannies where waste gets stuck. That waste stays there for years, calcifies and causes all kinds of toxicity. During a colon hydrotherapy, the specialist performs a massage in order to get the hidden stuff out. When I did mine, all kinds of stuff came out, even dead parasites, I know, gross. But that's what gets stuck in there. Big Pharma won't tell you about natural, non-chemical ways to benefit your health. They only supress symptoms with their medications without trying to get rid of the cause, why wouldn't they? That's what makes you come back for more.

    August 1, 2011 at 11:18 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Er

      I'm sorry, but that's baloney. Just like ear candling. A load of crap. So to speak.
      I wish people would learn more about anatomy before they go ruining their bodies by getting rid of ALL natural gut flora.
      Yes, it's all a conspiracy. ALL doctors are in on it. Sure.

      August 1, 2011 at 11:29 | Report abuse |
  33. Jake Rockwel

    Apple a day!

    August 1, 2011 at 11:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. CatastropheCathy

    I'll take fasting over the drugs doctos want to give me. Personally I think we'd all be a lot healthier if we avoided doctors and just ate better and cared for ourselves better. But there's a lot less money in that.

    August 1, 2011 at 11:19 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Casey

      Amen.

      You know there are studies that show large amounts of vitamin C arrest cancer? But where's the money in that? Gotta give chemo!

      August 1, 2011 at 11:29 | Report abuse |
    • Er

      Just based on the majority of comments here, I would wager that the average dr. knows a whole lot more about how the human body works than the average citizen. Why would anyone think otherwise? They've studied it for years and years...but yet people think that THEY are somehow more knowledgable....even though they think colinics are a good idea. Oy.

      August 1, 2011 at 11:32 | Report abuse |
    • Jarks

      ER, the answer to that is simple. $$$
      they get paid to say things that will keep you coming back to them and keep you on their drugs that don't cure they just temporarily relieve and make you dependent.

      August 1, 2011 at 11:46 | Report abuse |
    • E

      @ER

      What the comments tell me:

      Media and scientific (and worse, health) literacy are in short supply among the posters.

      August 1, 2011 at 11:59 | Report abuse |
    • My doctor does colonics

      My doctor does colon cleansing and recommends it to alot of his patients including me. He is not some drone bought and paid for by a drug company. He is well -known in our community because he actually gives a crap about his patients. While pills have their place, it takes an especially stupid individual to not realize that this country is bought and paid for by corporations who all have an agenda. Please educate yourself people.

      August 1, 2011 at 12:06 | Report abuse |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Your Doctor Is A Hack.

      August 1, 2011 at 12:16 | Report abuse |
  35. MadCowDis

    I'm Mad as Hell, and I'm not going to put this tube up my butt anymore!

    August 1, 2011 at 11:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. hillbillynwv

    I always found that plenty of cheap draft beer gives you a good colon cleansing.

    August 1, 2011 at 11:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. joe

    If you ever have the opportunity to serve dinner to someone your not too fond of or need a good laugh, put some mild liquid soap in their gravy and they will rember the experience for a long time after they have been on the toilet for a couple of hours.

    August 1, 2011 at 11:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. sideofbacon

    side effects: the sh!ts?

    August 1, 2011 at 11:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. Casey

    Just like vitamins are bad for us right?

    People, all I ask when you read articles like this is to consider the source. The drug industry profits on people being sick. If people don't get sick, they make no money. Bear that in mind as you read anything pertaining to your health.

    August 1, 2011 at 11:27 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Diane

      exactly true. they have an agenda as always. are people really this stupid as to think that only chemical drugs can treat illness? billions of people cannot be wrong over th centuries. i myself have found great success and f you to any who does not believe me. I could really give a rats...........

      August 1, 2011 at 12:03 | Report abuse |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      So because pharmaceuticals companies are a business, that makes them suspect? And what about those who tout colon cleanses? Do they do it for free?

      August 1, 2011 at 12:40 | Report abuse |
  40. colonelingus

    It all boils down to the placebo effect. It's no different then those who believe in echinacea, or wearing a cheap bracelet that somehow gives you amazing and renewed energy. People will believe what they want to believe and no amount of evidence that shows that so much of the stuff that is pedaled on TV and radio is all BS. It's true. A sucker is born every minute and there are a hell of a lot of them in this country who are making these Hucksters, Charlatans and snake oil salesmen very wealthy.

    August 1, 2011 at 11:27 | Report abuse | Reply
    • NO ITS NOT THE PLACEBO EFFECT DUMMY

      It either works or it does not. Stop being such an arrogant a*hole. People have been using natural treatments forever and they work. I can wish wish wish that a tic tac will cure my HEADACHE until the cows come home but guess what? IT WILL NEVER TREAT IT!!! People like you make me sick.

      August 1, 2011 at 12:01 | Report abuse |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      "Natural remedies" do not always work and they are not always safe, dummy.

      August 1, 2011 at 12:38 | Report abuse |
  41. Jarks

    we all know that there are quack jobs out there trying to make a buck and we should all be careful who we trust with our bodies. there is no quick fix and true health takes hard work and discipline.
    that being said this statement disturbed me "because the federal government doesn't regulate their products."
    Just because the federal government regulates a product does not make it safe or healthy. The food pyramid and government involvement in our food and drug consumption has not made us healthier over the decades. The fact that we have an overloaded health care system is proof of that.

    Read books people, educate yourselves, there are tons of resources out there. If you want to cleanse then cleanse, just be informed about it is all.

    August 1, 2011 at 11:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. gtherockstar

    I would rather try some natural remedy first than be subject to some toxic concoction dreamed up buy Pharma and approved by our bought and paid for FDA any day of the week. It's kind of startling how you see these type of articles time and again but you never read about how many people die from adverse reactions to prescription drug therapy. Funny how this information never makes the front page. But mandatory vaccines for all teenage girls for cervix cancer ends up front and center. I did the Medical Specialist Pharmaceutical thing 5 different ways and it almost killed me. I'll stick to my natural remedies thank you very little guys. Now if you removed the Drugs adds from TV and the insurance industry from the practice of medicine you might start to get a system where MD's are the ones deciding what good care is. Until that day I'll stick to my remedies for this and that and go to the doctor for infections and broken bones.

    August 1, 2011 at 11:30 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Malarky. Gardasil isn't mandatory. If you don't believe in pharmaceuticals, fine. But don't even bother attempting to pretend you understand anything about them. You're not bright enough to pull it off.

      August 1, 2011 at 11:46 | Report abuse |
  43. Ayurwhat

    Peeople have been doing basti / enemas to benefit their health for 5000 + years.

    August 1, 2011 at 11:33 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Snake Oil

      Where is the evidence that the enemas actually provided any health benefits? Don't forget that the average life span in developed countries has increased significantly over the last 100 years due to advances in medicine, vaccines and better nutrition.

      August 1, 2011 at 15:23 | Report abuse |
  44. palintwit

    Here in the Palin household we all jump into the hot tub and give each other enemas. Us Palins like to wallow.

    August 1, 2011 at 11:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. TODAY

    Want colon cleansing (+ brain washing ) watch Congress

    August 1, 2011 at 11:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. J

    This link will describe in layman's language why homeopathic medicine is complete nonsense. Enjoy!

    August 1, 2011 at 11:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. florence

    Personally I think one of the best foods you can eat for your colon is 100 percent whole wheat bread..then vegetables and fruits..get some excercise and sleep at least 7-8 hours of sleep a night and try to relax your schedule and if that doesnt work then see a doctor and see what else you might need but I really do think simple is better

    August 1, 2011 at 11:35 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      The only idiots here are people like you who believe that if it's on some film it MUST be factual. Get back to me when you've got an MD after your name, you bonehead. Otherwise, you are nothing more than an azzhole who owns a computer and dreams of owning a brain.

      August 1, 2011 at 12:18 | Report abuse |
  48. GB Khalsa

    Hey y'all ! Watch the program " Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead" on Netflix. And then see if you think doctors have all the answers !

    August 1, 2011 at 11:40 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Right, because somebody made a film and sold it to some sucker producer, we should believe it. You're a dolt.

      August 1, 2011 at 11:43 | Report abuse |
    • Jarks

      actually its a good film and he produced it himself. there are no gimmicks and the guy actually helps others in the movie. you should watch something before you judge it.

      August 1, 2011 at 11:44 | Report abuse |
    • American doctors are paid for by drug companies!

      Tom Tom, you are an imbecile. It was a great movie. Stop being such a drone and realize that Americans are finally waking up from all the lies that we have been told to trust your doctor implicitly. As the saying goes, 'follow the money'. You will find that drug companies provide lavish gifts to doctors on a regular basis to tout their drugs no matter how harmful they are. They also do anything and everything to not educate them how to WORK WITH THE BODY and use natural treatments. Sigh.
      Why do I even waste my time explaining it to an idiot like you?

      August 1, 2011 at 11:59 | Report abuse |
  49. Susan Meth

    She bases her conclusions on the few people who show up in hospitals. Whadda ya expect? How about the millions who benefit? Sometimes people abuse these things. I've lost a lot of weight by colon cleansing. My skin looks better. My mind is clearer. I have more energy and feel better. Typical doctor. My mother died of excessive antibiotics in one of the biggest hospitals in NYC. Fancy doctors. Lots of egos. Why doesn't she write an article about that? She clearly has not done her rseaerch very well. Shame on you.

    August 1, 2011 at 11:41 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Another dumbazz bleats. You don't have an MD. Shut up.

      August 1, 2011 at 11:44 | Report abuse |
    • Ray in Vegas

      She never claimed she had an MD, tom tom the dumbazz troll. She was simply sharing her experience and pointing out how the article paints all situations with the same broad brush. This article is very weak on reasearch or data and heavy on unsubstantiated claims by conflict-of-interest ridden, biased sources. She even conceded, as do I, that people often abuse these things, and I agree. Flushing out your colon excessively on a daily basis has to be bad, I would agree with that. But that's not what we're talking about. So go stick a firehose up your rear end at full blast for being so mean.

      August 1, 2011 at 12:01 | Report abuse |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      And more stupidity. You two should get together; you might be able to form a coherent thought. I doubt it, but miracles happen. The FACT is that colonics are potentially harmful and do NO GOOD WHATSOEVER. The body doesn't need help 'flushing toxins'. It is perfectly capable of doing that without your idiotic meddling.

      But idiots like you would have us believe that doctors are charlatans and you uneducated twits are the experts. Get bent.

      August 1, 2011 at 12:21 | Report abuse |
  50. Giggler

    There better not be any solid evidence after the cleansing!!!!

    August 1, 2011 at 11:42 | Report abuse | Reply
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

Post a comment


 

CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.

Advertisement
About this blog

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.