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. 사설바둑이

    This blog was... how do I say it? Relevant!! Finally I have found something which helped me. Cheers!


    April 27, 2021 at 10:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. jersey bola

    I have been absent for some time, but now I remember why I used to love this web site. Thanks , I’ll try and check back more frequently. How frequently you update your website?


    April 27, 2021 at 14:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. 바둑이게임

    Everything is very open with a very clear clarification of the issues. It was truly informative. Your website is very helpful. Thanks for sharing!


    April 27, 2021 at 15:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. telescopic ladders

    What an incredible way of taking a look at things.


    April 27, 2021 at 17:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. 온라인바둑이

    I love reading a post that can make men and women think. Also, many thanks for allowing me to comment!


    April 27, 2021 at 18:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. GvdbCrulk

    tadalafil solubility https://boxtadafil.com/ tadalafil 5mg canada

    April 28, 2021 at 00:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. avanafil

    avanafil 50mg buy avanafil uk

    April 28, 2021 at 01:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. 바둑이사이트

    Itís hard to come by educated people on this topic, but you sound like you know what youíre talking about! Thanks


    April 28, 2021 at 03:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. average perscription pills taken by 65 year old canadian?

    canadian pills online https://canadapillstorex.com/ average perscription pills taken by 65 year old canadian?

    April 28, 2021 at 04:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. erectile dysfunction drug

    is erectile dysfunction curable https://canadaerectiledysfunctionpills.com/ erectile brokenness

    April 28, 2021 at 04:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. pkvgames

    I am not sure where you're getting your information, but good topic. I needs to spend some time learning more or understanding more. Thanks for fantastic info I was looking for this info for my mission.


    April 28, 2021 at 05:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. lawn ornaments

    You have covered this subject properly.


    April 28, 2021 at 11:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. 바둑이사이트

    Good web site you have here.. Itís difficult to find quality writing like yours nowadays. I truly appreciate people like you! Take care!!


    April 28, 2021 at 12:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. AbdgEncox

    Microzide http://canadianeve21.com/ Plavix

    April 28, 2021 at 12:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. GvdbCrulk

    farmacia genericos comprar cialis generico online tadalafil precio https://boxtadafil.com/ tadalafil enteraction with medicine

    April 28, 2021 at 15:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. generic viagra shipping from canada

    anyone order viagra from canada https://canadaviagrastore.com/ canada cheap viagra

    April 28, 2021 at 16:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. 바둑이사이트

    I was able to find good information from your content.


    April 28, 2021 at 17:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. garden power tools

    Just bookmarked this post as I have actually found it quite handy.


    April 28, 2021 at 18:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. 온라인바둑이

    Hi! I could have sworn Iíve been to this blog before but after browsing through a few of the articles I realized itís new to me. Anyhow, Iím certainly pleased I discovered it and Iíll be bookmarking it and checking back often!


    April 28, 2021 at 18:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. 바둑이사이트

    An impressive share! I have just forwarded this onto a colleague who was conducting a little research on this. And he in fact ordered me breakfast because I discovered it for him... lol. So allow me to reword this.... Thanks for the meal!! But yeah, thanks for spending some time to discuss this matter here on your blog.


    April 28, 2021 at 19:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. Destiny Tuckerman

    You made some good points there. I did a search on the subject and found most persons will have the same opinion with your blog.


    April 28, 2021 at 22:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. packers and movers in nanganallur

    Having read this I thought it was really informative. I appreciate you spending some time and energy to put this short article together. I once again find myself personally spending a significant amount of time both reading and posting comments. But so what, it was still worth it!


    April 29, 2021 at 01:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. jasa backlinks

    Hi there, i read your blog occasionally and i own a similar one and i was just curious if you get a lot of spam remarks? If so how do you reduce it, any plugin or anything you can advise? I get so much lately it's driving me mad so any help is very much appreciated.


    April 29, 2021 at 05:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. dapoxetine

    priligy dapoxetine priligy usa

    April 29, 2021 at 05:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. Casie Worford

    I’ll immediately take hold of your rss as I can't in finding your email subscription link or newsletter service. Do you've any? Kindly let me understand so that I may subscribe. Thanks.


    April 29, 2021 at 07:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. buy aralen

    sulfur effects on body https://chloroquineorigin.com/ drug chloroquine

    April 29, 2021 at 09:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. 바둑이

    That is a great tip especially to those fresh to the blogosphere. Simple but very accurate informationÖ Thank you for sharing this one. A must read post!


    April 29, 2021 at 12:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. 바둑이게임

    This is a good tip especially to those fresh to the blogosphere. Brief but very precise informationÖ Many thanks for sharing this one. A must read article!


    April 29, 2021 at 12:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. this link

    I adore the way you have actually concluded this blog post ...


    April 29, 2021 at 12:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. best telescopic ladder

    Not many authors with appropriate knowledge of the subjects they write about.


    April 29, 2021 at 15:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. priligy

    buy avanafil usa buy avanafil usa

    April 29, 2021 at 18:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. 바둑이게임

    Good post. I learn something new and challenging on blogs I stumbleupon on a daily basis. It's always exciting to read through content from other writers and use something from their websites.


    April 29, 2021 at 20:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. canadian meds cialis

    cialis canadian discounts https://canadacialisstore.com/ canadian pharmacy for cialis

    April 29, 2021 at 21:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. 바둑이게임

    Very good information. Lucky me I came across your website by chance (stumbleupon). I've book-marked it for later!


    April 29, 2021 at 23:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. 바둑이게임

    bookmarked!!, I love your site!


    April 30, 2021 at 00:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. 사설바둑이

    Having read this I believed it was rather enlightening. I appreciate you finding the time and effort to put this content together. I once again find myself personally spending a significant amount of time both reading and posting comments. But so what, it was still worth it!


    April 30, 2021 at 06:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. LhdvZisse

    but cialis online https://asciled.com/ – cialis online australia cialis free trial

    April 30, 2021 at 07:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. insulin small cooler

    Main Features


    April 30, 2021 at 12:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. 바둑이사이트

    Good post. I learn something new and challenging on sites I stumbleupon every day. It will always be exciting to read content from other writers and practice something from their web sites.


    April 30, 2021 at 12:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. canadian pills pharmacy

    average perscription pills taken by 65 year old canadian? https://canadapillstorex.com/ best canadian mail order pharmacies for diet pills

    April 30, 2021 at 15:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. clonidine hydrochloride

    chloroquine malaria https://chloroquineorigin.com/ chloroquinne

    April 30, 2021 at 16:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. RfvbZisse

    buy cialis generic https://cileve.com/ 30 day free trial cialis

    April 30, 2021 at 17:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. Brawl Stars Cheat

    By utilizing our game hack provided right now for you, you will have the chance to speed up your process in this game and turn into the top player in the whole gaming universe. To enjoy this game to the maximum, and advance in this game much faster, you have to use our free and 100 functioning game hack tool. It will certainly allow you to compete with the best gamers in the whole community.


    April 30, 2021 at 18:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. FbsfEncox

    Cefixime http://uspharmus.com/ – cheap pharmacy online canadian pharmacies that ship to us

    April 30, 2021 at 21:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. 바둑이사이트

    Excellent article. I certainly appreciate this website. Thanks!


    April 30, 2021 at 23:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. 사설바둑이

    After checking out a number of the articles on your website, I seriously like your way of writing a blog. I book-marked it to my bookmark site list and will be checking back in the near future. Please check out my web site as well and let me know your opinion.


    April 30, 2021 at 23:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. 온라인바둑이

    You're so interesting! I do not think I've truly read a single thing like that before. So good to find somebody with a few genuine thoughts on this subject matter. Really.. many thanks for starting this up. This website is one thing that is needed on the internet, someone with a bit of originality!


    May 1, 2021 at 02:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. chloroquine phosphate aralen

    chloroquinw https://chloroquineorigin.com/ how does chloroquine work

    May 1, 2021 at 08:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. 먹튀검증

    I truly love your blog.. Very nice colors & theme. Did you develop this website yourself? Please reply back as Iím hoping to create my very own site and would like to know where you got this from or what the theme is called. Many thanks!


    May 1, 2021 at 12:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. 먹튀검증

    There's definately a lot to learn about this issue. I like all of the points you've made.


    May 1, 2021 at 13:58 | 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 먹튀사이트


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.