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 (3,051 Responses)
  1. Golden Szesterniak

    Hello! I could have sworn I’ve been to this website before, but after browsing some of the post, I realized that it is new for me. In any event, I am certainly glad that I found it and I’ll be book-marking and checking back frequently!


    April 4, 2021 at 18:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. 토토사이트

    Thank an individual so much intended for letting me personally know what We didn't know. I look ahead to working with you.


    April 4, 2021 at 21:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. tadalafil daily use

    generic tadalafil https://elitadalafill.com/ generic tadalafil united states

    April 5, 2021 at 02:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. 안전놀이터추천

    I love your website. I'm faced. Thank a person.


    April 5, 2021 at 03:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. zom

    Saved as a favorite, I like your website!


    April 5, 2021 at 03:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. 안전공원추천

    Seriously. Most likely so good of which you're so good at this point. Your help woke us up. Thank you extremely much.


    April 5, 2021 at 07:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. 사설토토사이트

    Exactly what a man of ability! You have the potential to produce fantastic issues that you can't locate everywhere. to envy


    April 5, 2021 at 09:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. 사설토토사이트

    Wow, the articles are so sexy. How may We write like an individual? My spouse and i want the same writing skills while you.


    April 5, 2021 at 10:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. alprostadil drug guide nursing implication

    alprostadil suppository demonstration video https://alprostadildrugs.com/ alprostadil suppository injection demonstration

    April 5, 2021 at 16:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. clown cbd oil

    I appreciate the manner you have actually concluded this post ...


    April 5, 2021 at 16:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. Jeevanbheema Nagar female escorts Bangalore

    I guess the most important thing is to steer clear away from spam moderators by putting comment that actually MATTER. Anyways, I’ll be using these blogs. Thank you so much!


    April 5, 2021 at 16:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. Kristina Estremera

    Excellent article! We will be linking to this particularly great article on our website. Keep up the great writing.


    April 5, 2021 at 17:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. clown cbd oil

    You have actually covered this subject expertly.


    April 5, 2021 at 18:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. sildenafil online coupon

    sildenafil cost us https://eunicesildenafilcitrate.com/ sildenafil otc india

    April 5, 2021 at 22:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. Jospeh Sager

    Excellent blog here! Also your website loads up fast! What host are you using? Can I get your affiliate link to your host? I wish my website loaded up as quickly as yours lol


    April 6, 2021 at 00:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. tadalafil 30 mg

    tadalafil https://elitadalafill.com/ buy tadalafil us

    April 6, 2021 at 02:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. 사설토토사이트

    Whoa. Professional. You're a good wizard. Appreciate you.


    April 6, 2021 at 03:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. levitra (vardenafil)

    vardenafil 10 mg https://vegavardenafil.com/ vardenafil tablets 20 mg best price

    April 6, 2021 at 07:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. 토토

    I love your blog website. I'm used. Thank anyone.


    April 6, 2021 at 08:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. 사설토토사이트

    There are many approaches to attempt finding your true self,
    info is actually connecting on your own physically through self-massage.
    The process of spinal degeneration is probably
    not a predictable section of aging. Massage recliner units are fantastic
    way to deviate coming from a sedentary lifestyle.

    April 6, 2021 at 08:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. 안전놀이터목록

    You're therefore amazing. Oh my Lord. Lord bless you.


    April 6, 2021 at 11:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. Vonda Ravenel

    Way cool! Some very valid points! I appreciate you writing this write-up and the rest of the website is also very good.


    April 6, 2021 at 12:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. vardenafil teva pharmaceutical

    vardenafil 20mg tablets https://vegavardenafil.com/ buy vardenafil over the counter with no pres. online

    April 6, 2021 at 13:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. 카지노사이트

    Incredible. You're so good that will you're so good at this point. Your help woke me up. Thank you really much.


    April 6, 2021 at 23:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. nba home jerseys

    What's up, I check your blog regularly. Your story-telling style is witty,
    keep doing what you're doing!

    April 7, 2021 at 00:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. la kings dodgers jerseys

    Thanks for finally talking about > Colon cleansing:
    Not so healthy, analysis says – The Chart – CNN.com Blogs < Liked it!

    April 7, 2021 at 00:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. connor cook jerseys

    Great goods from you, man. I have keep in mind your stuff prior to and you're just extremely
    wonderful. I actually like what you have received right here,
    certainly like what you are stating and the best way through which you assert it.
    You're making it enjoyable and you continue to take
    care of to stay it smart. I can not wait to read much
    more from you. That is really a terrific web site.

    April 7, 2021 at 01:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. Raelene Decelles

    After study several of the blogs on the website now, and i genuinely much like your strategy for blogging. I bookmarked it to my bookmark site list and will also be checking back soon. Pls take a look at my website too and make me aware what you consider.


    April 7, 2021 at 01:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. tadalafil max dose

    what is tadalafil https://elitadalafill.com/ tadalafil

    April 7, 2021 at 05:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. 카지노사이트

    Going through your brilliant blog is great as in the event that it ended up written by means of a writer. I am going to go to your blog frequently. Thanks always.


    April 7, 2021 at 07:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. 카지노사이트

    Wow, the articles are so sexy. How can certainly I actually write like you? I actually wish to have the identical writing skills since you.


    April 7, 2021 at 17:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. sildenafil soft gel capsule

    sildenafil 100mg buy online us https://eunicesildenafilcitrate.com/ sildenafil pills 100mg

    April 7, 2021 at 18:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. vilitra 60mg vardenafil

    side effects for vardenafil https://vegavardenafil.com/ generic levitra vardenafil

    April 7, 2021 at 22:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. 우리카지노

    Heya, not necessarily you too great? Your current writing widens my expertise. Give thanks you.


    April 8, 2021 at 00:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. 우리카지노

    Hey, not necessarily you too great? Your writing widens my understanding. Say thanks to you.


    April 8, 2021 at 06:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. kleemann blow bars

    Your Online Metal Marketplace In Texas With Lowest Prices, Guaranteed. Thousands of Steel Items Available, Custom or Stock. Call Our Experts, Shop Steel Now


    April 8, 2021 at 07:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. Merrilee Guttenberg

    you've an incredible weblog here! would you wish to make some invite posts on my blog?


    April 9, 2021 at 04:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. Norine Waley


    April 9, 2021 at 04:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. Warner Wadley


    April 9, 2021 at 05:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. 카지노사이트

    You're therefore amazing. Oh my The almighty. Our god bless you.


    April 10, 2021 at 15:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. 카지노사이트

    I love your blog. I'm experienced. Thank you.


    April 10, 2021 at 20:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. 카지노사이트

    Your website is great as if it had been written by way of a writer. I am going to check out your blog generally. Thanks a lot always.


    April 11, 2021 at 00:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. Dewayne Crownover


    April 11, 2021 at 03:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. Jerrell Beets

    christian dating is always exciting and enjoyable, i would really love to day a christian girl-


    April 11, 2021 at 06:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. 메이저사이트

    Just what a man of capability! You have the capability to compose fantastic issues that you can't find at any place. to envy


    April 11, 2021 at 16:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. sildenafil 100 mg lowest price

    can i buy sildenafil online https://eunicesildenafilcitrate.com/ online sildenafil without prescription

    April 11, 2021 at 17:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. 메이저사이트

    Wow, the articles are so sexy. How can certainly My partner and i write like a person? My spouse and i want the exact same writing skills since you.


    April 11, 2021 at 18:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. alprostadil injection where to buy

    alprostadil pellets https://alprostadildrugs.com/ injectable medication for erectile dysfunction

    April 11, 2021 at 18:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. can i purchase sildenafil over the counter

    sildenafil without prescription https://eunicesildenafilcitrate.com/ sildenafil 100mg tablets in india

    April 11, 2021 at 22:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. Isiah Cribbs

    There is noticeably a bundle to know about this. I assume you made certain nice points in features also


    April 11, 2021 at 23:11 | Report abuse | Reply
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48

Leave a Reply to 제주출장마사지


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.

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.