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August 1st, 2011
12:30 AM ET

Mayo doctor is no fan of cleanses

Editor's note: "AC 360” senior producer Jill Billante was considering a cleanse and went to the Mayo Clinic for expert answers. Dr. Michael Picco didn’t have good things to say. A new study out Monday backs up Picco’s opinion. But CNN Showbiz writer-producer Lisa Respers France has done it for years and says it really makes her feel better.

The answer to weight loss continues to be eating a healthy diet, but many Americans want a shortcut, and there are plenty of companies willing to offer it. Type the word cleanse into your browser and you'll be overwhelmed with choices. Walk down the aisle of your health food store and you will find products promising to cleanse the colon and now, they can even be found at drugstore chains. Pick up a box and you might go into sticker shock; most cleanses are expensive. There are even companies that offer to deliver juice cleanses right to your home.

This spring, with my New Year’s resolution a distant memory and bikini season looming, I was considering a cleanse to help me lose some weight. After reading a few books on the subject, and one book in particular that seemed to have a smart approach, The Ciminelli Solution, which advocates eating more fruits and vegetables and healthy fats to help cleanse your body, I had some pretty big questions, and I did what journalists do: I started reporting.

I went to Dr. Michael Picco, a consultant on gastroenterology at the Mayo Clinic, for his expert opinion on cleanses.

Do cleanses help you lose weight quickly?

Any weight loss you get is not real. It's due to loss of fluid and waste and it is potentially harmful. Weight loss needs to be done with diet and exercise. I support a diet rich in veggies and a good, well-balanced diet that  includes complex carbohydrates, fat and fruits and vegetables.

When it was reported that Beyonce lost weight fast on the "Lemonade Diet" cleanse, sales of maple syrup, a component of the diet, shot up. What are your thoughts on the "Lemonade Diet?"

We don't endorse this at all.

Do cleanses have any real benefits?

No. The whole basis to this cleansing business is people say it can help things like the immune system, fatigue and depression and it can clean the toxins out of the colon and it can aid in losing weight. There is really no evidence to that at all. Sometimes those cleanses could actually be quite harmful, too. Both in terms of what’s in the cleanse and also in administering them.

Is there any upside to a cleanse?

There is really no good evidence based upon any good research that this stuff makes any difference. The FDA doesn't regulate these products because they are considered within the supplements category. Dietary supplements don't have to meet the rigor that proprietary medicines would require. As a result of that, companies can claim just about anything.

How can cleansing be harmful?

Colon cleansing means you are doing something to cleanse out the colon. That can take the form of enemas or oral preparations. The methods are nowhere near standardized. Some cleanses could have electrolytes or irritants that make the colon more irritated. This can make existing conditions like hemorrhoids worse, and increase dehydration, malnutrition and fatigue. Those who have other medical conditions, elderly folks who are more susceptible to dehydration, continue to increase the risk of adverse effects.

Is there ever a time when the colon needs to be cleansed?

There is no need to cleanse colon; the colon does its own job cleansing bacteria. There are billions of bacteria in the colon, and they work in a symbiotic way to help with various different colon functions. The colon does a good job of changing its lining. It basically works quite well and does not need a periodic colon cleanse to get rid of any toxins.

The  bottom line on cleanses?

The bottom line is that there isn't any evidence that these work. The people claiming they do have evidence it works are not correct. They can do that simply because they are not regulated. I think your readers need to know this before they believe these claims and purchase these preparations and understand there is a downside as well.

Follow @jbillante on Twitter


soundoff (49 Responses)
  1. B. G.

    And chemotherapy is REAL safe!

    August 1, 2011 at 01:47 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Leo

      Well, let's see...

      Cancer –> You're going to die if you do nothing.

      Treating cancer with chemotherapy –> You have a chance to live, even if the side-effects are unpleasant.

      So, no, chemotherapy isn't safe. Nobody said it was. The point is that IF you want to survive the cancer and get rid of it, chemo is one of the few ways we know of to do that, and the safety of chemo drugs is improving as the technology improves. Besides, the only other option is sitting back and waiting for the cancer to kill you. And yes, you DO have the freedom to make that choice. But given the actual implications of avoiding chemo, most people are willing to risk the side-effects unless they're already old and near the end of their natural lifespan.

      August 1, 2011 at 07:55 | Report abuse |
    • Antonio

      1)To save money and time I do colon hydrotherapy at home twice a year before a 30 days water fast and it has cured my chronic acidity in my stomach and has cured a chronic irritation of my throath. I no longer use TUMS and I no longer have problems with my voice.

      2) No large studies have been done because no one make money selling water but as far large scale observations, during World War 2, in concentration camps, the prisoners will not get sick with bugs or with flu but the well fed guards would get sick.

      3) Hydrocolon Therapy, water fast or juice fast or anything that keep you colon empty for a period work like a miracle for any diseases because the immune system that normally keep 70% of the troops in the colon while there is food, when it is empty, it goes to all the other parts of the body, curing it. Your immune system become, over 300% stronger

      August 1, 2011 at 08:29 | Report abuse |
    • Lina

      @Antonio – can you please provide resources that support your claim regarding the health conditions of POWs? Because I'm slightly amused by this information...

      August 1, 2011 at 09:28 | Report abuse |
    • chinatueys

      @Antonio Are you in the business of selling this procedure or products, or are you just a total nut ball?

      August 1, 2011 at 09:50 | Report abuse |
    • Doctor

      Correct me if I'm wrong, but your implied argument, fully stated, goes like this:
      1. The medical establishment says that "colonic cleansing" is not good for you.
      2. The medical establishment endorses chemotherapy as a treatment for cancer.
      3. Chemotherapy is "unsafe."
      4. Therefore, the medical establishment is illogical or untrustworthy because it recommends a treatment that is "unsafe" [chemotherapy] while at the same time warning against another technique [colonic cleansing] because it is supposedly unsafe.
      5. Therefore, colonic cleansing must be safe after all.

      August 2, 2011 at 09:35 | Report abuse |
    • Doctor

      There we have it folks. The people promoting "colonic cleansing" believe that WWII prisoners in concentration camps had better health than the guards. Beautiful. You can't make this stuff up.

      August 2, 2011 at 09:43 | Report abuse |
    • Kieran

      @Antonio: Typhus, typhoid, malaria, your beloved influenza, and dysentery were just some of the diseases that killed hundreds upon hundreds of thousands (if not millions) of concentration camp inmates, so I don't know where you got the idea that being starved to death helped them stay disease free; that's pretty much the opposite of the truth. It's also fairly disgusting for you to suggest that these inmates were in any way healthier than "the well-fed guards;" it's almost as if you're trying to use this misinformation as support for your ridiculous water fasts. I don't know whether you're just ignorant or whether you're a genuine nut case, but I suggest that you put down the enema bag and pick up a history book.

      March 14, 2013 at 09:38 | Report abuse |
  2. fernace

    A good friend of mine says:"Broccoli, natures little whisk broom"! 🙂 I love that saying, it's cute & true! I also eat alot of veggies ,cooked & raw & fruit is my dessert! Most of the time I like many holistic/homeopathic recipes& techniques for health & healing, & I don't think a short fast is a bad thing. I just think using ingredients & techniques you're not familiar with, can be a recipe for harm! It's always good to be well informed before jumping into something new! I'l be sticking to what's tried & true, & perhaps a short fast here & there!!

    August 1, 2011 at 02:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Ellyce

    When people start taking action to heal themselves, doctors of course get nervous. Bye-bye, income! In fact, the colon does not do a good job of cleaning itself out. For those of you who have never done a cleanse, it's horrifying what comes out. And that waste is just lurking in the crevices of your colon! DISGUSTING! I know folks who have performed cleanses of various types for years to no ill, and plenty of superior, effect.

    August 1, 2011 at 02:15 | Report abuse | Reply
    • doctorincredible

      well said...

      August 1, 2011 at 09:57 | Report abuse |
    • LaDy00

      Very well said indeed

      August 2, 2011 at 07:14 | Report abuse |
    • Doctor

      No, there's nothing about a "cleanse" that threatens a doctor's source of income. If doctors were in favor of people pursuing unhealthy lifestyles, they'd just sit back and be silent on matters like fatty foods, obesity, smoking, nutrition, and so on.

      On the matter of colonic cleanses, doctors are basically saying "don't waste your money." They are not selling an alternative to colonic cleansing, so where is the financial conflict of interest? In fact it is the practicioners of colonic cleansing who have the financial conflict of interest.

      August 2, 2011 at 09:18 | Report abuse |
  4. Jen

    The body is dynamic and with proper nutrition and fiber cleanses itself.
    Unfortunately the people who sell cleanse products have found a profitable market selling bad medicine to people with neurotic health anxiety issues. If you gave these individuals a sugar pill for an ailment they would be the first to tout its benefits.

    August 1, 2011 at 09:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. doctorincredible

    I would totally believe this article if I had ever heard of or had a medical doctor seriously use healthy eating as a way to get healthy, instead they 'poo poo' (no pun intended) any 'alternative' and have you return for check ups until you NEED to have surgery. Been in the natural health field for 16+ years. seen many helped with cleanses. And yes the body is SUPPOSED to cleanse itself, and all that... but if it did all the time, doctors would have nothing to do... think think think.... do your own research.

    August 1, 2011 at 09:55 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Talgrath

      Have you ever been to a doctor? Because they pretty routinely harp about eating more fruits and veggies and less high calorie, high sugar food if you're overweight or having issues relating to your diet.

      August 1, 2011 at 17:03 | Report abuse |
    • Doctor

      Your argument is absurd. First off, doctors lecture patients all day long about healthy lifestyles until they are blue in the face. If you decide to eat right, avoid processed foods, eschew cigarettes, get exercise and stay fit, you're hardly sticking it to The Man. But if it makes you feel good to pretend that you're defying your doctor by living a healthy lifestyle, have at it.

      Secondly, you imply that the doctor you see for years has a financial interest in causing you or tricking you into someday needing surgery. For this to be true, the doctor you see for regular visits would also have to be a surgeon, would they not? But alas, this is not the case. Surgeons are not primary care doctors. The cardiothoracic surgeon does not have time to see you for regular checkups for 15 years while you get fat and unhealthy under his evil spell.

      August 2, 2011 at 09:25 | Report abuse |
  6. Okay

    Just completed a cleanse.

    It helped magnificently with skin issues I've been dealing with my entire life. Issues that, I should add, conventional medicine has done nothing for.

    I tihnk I'll trust my own experiences over the biased opinion of some "Mayo" doctor, whatever that is.

    August 1, 2011 at 10:38 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Okay, but.....

      "..some "Mayo" doctor, whatever that is." Ha ha! I got a chuckle out of that one. I'm pretty sure they didn't get to become "Mayo Clinic Doctors" for prescribing herbal supplements. Try looking up the May Clinic when you get a chance. Wouldn't hurt to educate yourself.

      August 1, 2011 at 21:13 | Report abuse |
  7. Stephanie

    Oh I have SO many points of contention here... hope a doctor will address them!

    First off, a colon cleanse WILL make you lose weight. Water and fecal matter count as weight just as much as anything else does. Companies that market this product don't advertise it as something for fat loss (at least none that I have seen). So it will cause "weight loss". Shame on people who don't know that there is a difference.

    Secondly, what is the difference between taking mag citrate vs. a cleanse? Mag citrate is recommended for medical usage and it works by drawing water into the bowel. That sounds very similar to what colon cleansers claim. Seems to me that BOTH have the potential for serious side effects because they can draw too much water away from the kidneys and cause dehydration.

    This article and the other article about colon cleansing that CNN has posted both talk about the "dangerous chemicals". What exactly are those chemicals?!? I would like to know so that way I could avoid them. I have only heard of coffee being used for colon hydrotherapy. Is that really dangerous? The caffeine in it is supposed to work as a stimulant for bowel movements, much like what drinking regular coffee does.

    In case doctors haven't realized it, many people are jaded by current Western medicine practices. Personally, I would rather the FDA or any other groups to start testing supplements and creating more rigorous standards than recommending I take a Rx with loads of adverse side effects.... to which the doctors also get spiffs for.

    Not every patient is an absolute moron and incapable of thinking for themselves. The fact that this doctor couldn't even come up with ONE reason in favor of colon cleansing makes it seem like he is the one incapable of critical thinking. So there is no evidence that they work, but not much evidence that they don't since the studies haven't been done. Thanks for a pointless article.

    August 1, 2011 at 11:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. AverageGuyY2K

    Think and Read Everyone!!! As others have noted Water, Fruits, Veggies and Herbs will not make a doctor or any pharma company rich, of course they would deny a colon cleanse healthy or safe. Many people are too lazy to eat a truly nutrious lifestyle (not a diet) a healthy and nutrious lifestyle. People need to learn to truly take care of themselves nutrionally, physically and mentally and not eat and fill up with the junk they see advertised. You have to really look and ask around to find a healthcare provider who is open to the true basics of healthy eating and living and doesn't immediately start prescribing meds of one sort or another. The only time it may be okay would be if you truly abused your body and health but even then I would first find a holistic or naturopath health plan and start ridding myself of the overly processed foods.
    BTW, Mayo does publish a 'alternative health' book – maybe this doctor should start their reading there.

    August 1, 2011 at 13:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Dr. Mark

    I am a board certified family practice doctor. I applaud the dialogue going on here – LOVE it! I am western, traditionally trained, but love the progressive growth I see in integrative and alternative medicine, and have progressively taken more of a practice toward, and patient advocacy for, justifiable and low-risk alternatives to the traditional system, especially opposing the pharmaceutical route whenever possible. Yes, lifestyle accounts for much. Yes, there isn't much "evidence" for a, b, or c (in this article's case, colonic hydrotherapy). But regarding the former, our society accounts for just as much as lifestyle (can we cure "human nature" to crave the lazier lifestyle or tastier food options than more exercise and healthier eating? can we politically and administratively stop companies from producing the crap food choices?). And regarding the latter, while scientific evidence, as defined by our medical system, have improved our healthcare to a degree, by no means is it the end-all, be-all, or the final word. Finally, if we want to go scaring people with side effect concerns, we can pull pretty much any pharmaceutical label and talk about the "rare cases" of liver failure, kidney failure, "and even death". It's only fair to present both sides of the coin equally.

    August 1, 2011 at 13:29 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Leo

      I applaud you for being open-minded. And I trust you're aware of how powerful the placebo effect is. So you know that if a patient is coming to you *demanding* treatment for an illness that will pass on its own (or may even be psychosomatic), recommending something with a strong placebo effect (acupuncture) or mild symptom-relieving effect (herbal tea) with little risk will make your patient happy and help them to avoid pharmaceuticals. I think that's GREAT. And if (hopefully) you can convince more patients to eat a healthy diet, exercise, and take better care of themselves, then that's the best possible outcome.

      The problem is that although some of the more rational patients who use alternative medicine will only use cleanses to treat a bit of irregularity, flatulence, or other such things... you'll have some people trying to use it to cure their cancer. Or worse yet... will try to use an "alternative treatment" to cure their kids' cancer, type-1 diabetes, muscular dystrophy, seizures, and so on.

      It's great that you're open-minded about finding other ways to promote wellness. Ideally, none of us would ever need prescription medications, we'd all eat right, we'd all have perfect immune systems, we'd exercise regularly, and genetic illness wouldn't happen. For those who need to take care of a minor, transient issue... an herbal supplement, a colon cleanse, some massage for tension, and a bit of acupuncture for headache, and they'll feel better in a few days anyway.

      Just be aware of the quacks who want to drink a tomato-juice-only diet to cure leukemia.

      August 1, 2011 at 18:03 | Report abuse |
  10. babaelf

    I've been in the health field for over 28 years as one of America's most sucessful Weight Loss specialists with east and west coast offices and clients ranging from the Hollywood elite, several Supreme Court Justices, European models, housewives and mailmen who have had great sucess getting their colon to work again after it had stopped: stopped means less than three good, solid movements a day. Three meals? Three movements. That's how regular you were as a kid. The colon gets blocked like a freeway at rush hour and unless you de-congest it you're carrying maybe up to 12-15 lbs of old "concretized" fecal matter glued to your colon walls preventing the absorbtion of vitamins, minerals and nutrients from the food you eat. This can cause clinical depression if it's seriously blocked over time. That's why you keep eating and eating and can't stop. The body is screaming, "I'm not getting what I need!" Dr. Christopher was the greatest natural doctor this country ever had in the 1940s through 60s. He could grow bones and muscle using just herbs. His colon formula #1 holds the court to this day; formula #2 after the colon is working well again will vacuum out colon pockets known as diverticulii. Just google it and don't believe this Mayo Clinic doctor's hype. He's just uniformed regardless of his credentials.

    August 1, 2011 at 14:07 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Chris R

      Bull. The colon does not carry 'concretized' fecal matter because the lining of the colon is continually replaced and sloughed off – just like your skin. Any fecal adhesions to the side of the colon would come off as the lining does.

      August 3, 2011 at 09:16 | Report abuse |
  11. Zack

    So what about fiber Dr. Know it all? HMMM???

    August 1, 2011 at 14:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. chelsea

    so, let's see... eating garbage does not affect the health of the colon and digestive system to function and cleanse itself. the colon and digestive system will do it's job, BUT, IF you try to assist by putting something healthy into the body like water or OAT BRAN or fruit fiber, YOU ARE HURTING YOURSELF? ... and if you sail to the horizon, you will fall of the edge of the earth. sounds like someone depending on you getting sick for a paycheck is protecting their industry...
    i have been vegetarian by choice almost my entire life. I have 4 sisters. i am still dancing professionally at 63 and look 30. My 4 younger sisters, who all maintain a mainstream lifestyle, all look their age and are all on age related medications. although I have never done a colon cleanse, i have fasted and eaten a wholesome veg based diet, which i was informed in college was dangerous and could lead to serious health consequences. yes, they have led to serious health consequences... like anti- aging, preventing disease and destruction of the bodies ability to rejuvenate itself...

    August 1, 2011 at 21:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. Avser Bastian

    GOVERNMENT "AFTERLIFE" FLASH MOB OR REAL SHOOTING IN UTOYA, NORWAY !!? stateofterror.blogspot.com/ or stateofterror.wordpress.com/ TEARS OF SORROW AND PAIN ON FACES OF MOURNERS OR TEAR GAS AND THEATER/HYPOCRISY ON FACES OF MULTICULTURALISM MANIACS !!? NORWEGIAN OSLO POLICE or COMMUNIST/LIBERAL CRIMINALS IN BLUE UNIFORMS WHO WERE PREPARING FOR TERROR AGAINST NORWAY ALREADY HALF DECADE AHEAD !!? No doubt about bombing in Oslo, but what about shooting in Utoya which was no different from the one in Arizona !!!? WILL THERE BE OBAMINATOR MORALES'S APOCALYPSE NOW OR TOTAL WAR AGAINST NEW WORLD ORDER(multiculturalism) !!? STOLTENBERG = BREIVIK(90 minutes vs 30 and for government vehicles or police even 20 minutes the most) !!!

    DICTATOR OBAMA = STALIN = BUSH or USA = SOVIET UNION http://avsecbostjan.blogspot.com/ or http://avsecbostjan.wordpress.com/

    COMMUNISM(Slowenien/Slovenia) IN CENTRAL & EASTERN EUROPE TODAY(2011) !!! http://sloveniatoday.blogspot.com or http://easterneuropetoday.wordpress.com/

    August 2, 2011 at 04:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. Kristen

    I was at my M.D. yesterday and she now promotes a cleansing system. I myself have done cleanses and colon hydrotherapy. I believe that our bodies ARE designed to clean themselves but unfortunately the world we now live in is so toxin-filled that we do need to help our bodies with a cleanse now and then. Unfortunately people are using cleanses along with bad diets....that is just a vicious cycle and cleansing won't do much. Add cleansing into a healthy lifestyle and diet and you are going to be avoiding trips to the Dr. It would be nice to see more and more medical doctors taking an integrated approach to medicine. Treating the causes instead of the symptoms. Cleanses are only part of the solution but I am in favor of them if used properly.

    August 3, 2011 at 08:47 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Chris R

      Your doctor is a quack. Sorry to be harsh but someone need to say it. There is *no* reputable and repeatable evidence that cleanses do anything at all. None.

      August 3, 2011 at 09:18 | Report abuse |
  15. THETRUTH2U

    Chris R. ......and what about the 250,000 "patients" a year that DIE from "misperscribed" drugs, issued by their "quack" doctors??

    August 5, 2011 at 10:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. Keda

    I tried this particular cleanse in 2009. One night I went into my kitchen and mixed the ingredients together. I poured about one fourth of it in a glass just to taste it. It tasted ok. I decided to start it the following day. I went to bed only to awaken in an ambulance on my way to the hospital. I had a seizure in my sleep. I was confused. I could not understand what was happening. I was so afraid. I had never had a seizure before. The doctor in the ER place me on diazepam. I took it like he told me for a few days. When I was done taking it, I awaken in the hospital because I had another seizure in my sleep. I had another while I was there only to be admitted. Since then, my life has been one big nightmare. I have been tested on a number of seizure medicines. None of them has help me. I continue to have seizures both while sleeping and while awake. My memory has been destroyed. I have five children that I can barely remember anything about them. I am in misery. I just want my life back. I would like the person that I see in family pictures and videos back. I hate my life, but I love my children. They are keeping me strong. I still feel so alone, because no one knows how tormented I feel. I keep it from everyone. I wish that I could turn back time. I wish that I never tried that cleanse. I wish that I could be me again. I am writing this hoping that I could just help at least one person. I hope to detour them a way from this cleanse.

    October 28, 2011 at 10:55 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Guilherme

      / I’ve read some good stuff here. Definitely value bookmarking for retisiving. I wonder how so much attempt you place to make such a excellent informative website.

      October 11, 2012 at 09:44 | Report abuse |
  17. ane

    Big pharmaceutical corporations are with intensive advertising often selling us pills, medical products and medical devices, which we often don't need. Just look which companies are advertising the most on TV. That are usually pharmaceutical corporations or big medical companies.

    Research has shown that almost every third ad on TV is for advertising medical products, pills and medical devices.
    The bad side of this is that people buy medical products, which ad we can see on TV too often. But they do not look for other medical products, pills... so they don't buy products that are made by smaller companies.
    Pills, medical products and devices that sell those smaller companies are usually better quality and they have better health effects. But buyers don't know them or don't look for them, because those companies don't have or don't spend so much money on advertising.

    Let s look at the example for hemorrhoids.
    We can find the same products for hemorrhoids like Hemorrhoidal Ointment or Hemorrhoidal Cream in all the big shops (CVS Pharmacy, Walgreens, Publix, Target etc.)
    And for those pills we see ads every day on TV.
    But the fact is that all those products for internal and external hemmorhoids etc. don't get rid of the problems., that are caused by hemorrhoids. All of the cremes and other products that can be bought in those stores don't even help. They just reduce some of the pain.

    Now lets look at Fullstoppain Stop Hemorrhoid, that is selling by a small medical company and is also available in some pharmacies (Germany, Switzerland) and is on sale on http://www.fullstoppain.com
    This is the only product that doesn't just relief pain but it actually reduce hemorrhoids. It is so simple!
    It also has the certificate of quality. In European union it is one of the best products for hemorrhoids.

    But since people are believing in ads on TV so much they don't look for other products such as this.
    And how can a buyer buy this Fullstoppain Stop Hemorrhoid product if the company isn't advertising it so much in the USA? We can find it on http://www.fullstoppain.com and in some pharmacies in United States.
    Today we can get all the informations through the internet.
    People should, before they decide to buy a product, look on the internet about the different treatments of that disease. They shouldn't just bought the products that often sell products with lower quality, which they replace with a lot of advertising.

    http://www.health.

    February 13, 2012 at 23:34 | Report abuse | Reply
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  24. Julie Tyler

    Here we go...."Allopathic doctors" perpetuating the same mis-information since the around the 40's (when Big Pharma hijacked the medical model) about the risks and lack of benefits of colonic irrigation, which has been around since the ancient Egyptians, basing it all on the their disbelief of autointoxication and justifying it by citing non-existent evidence based studies which would show some finite physiological measurement. When meanwhile, the Naturopathic thinking accounts for the WHOLE organism and has connected the dots and filled in the gaps at the point where allopathic medicine dropped the ball. They recognize that 2 bowel movements in 2 weeks may be "common," but it is by no means, normal or what a healthy body is meant to do. Colon hydrotherapy as dehydrating? GIMME A BREAK. So, until this profession of highly skilled, passionate and self-regulated colon hydrotherapists can scrape together the funds needed to underwrite a "study," the anecdotal evidence shall continue to speak for itself. Because there are thousands of people who are discovering that yes, the immune system resides in the bowel, that each body is unique, shouldn't be placed in a box and labeled a "disease," has a different history leading up to the present, requiring different levels of detoxing and rebooting, and that the "cleaner" one lives, the less one needs to engage in the various cleansing methods. They inherently intuit that the colon is the main "exit" point for all that the body wishes to shed and that once this pathway is open, everything higher up will function better. Sure, there are a couple of contra-indications. But,
    trained therapists know how to recognize these and have NO problem working in tandem with MDs in scenarios which warrant it. I wonder...has the "Mayo" doctor ever even had a colonic? A little education in this area perhaps? Here's a starting point for you:

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    June 12, 2013 at 11:32 | Report abuse | Reply
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  31. Mickey

    I tried cleansing as recommended by Dr Oz. I experienced intense cramping, very painful and lots of diarrhea. I also had bad headaches. This went on for several days, even after I stopped these cleanse. I read up on the topic. I am a pharmacist and should have known better. There is no reason or benefit for a cleanse, except prior to a colonoscopy. It can be dangerous, and cause side effects like I experienced. I am just getting over these effects now, but still have cramping and pain. I will never do this again.

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  32. Anthony

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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.