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Colon Cleanses: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

colon cleanses

Have you ever considered a colon cleanse? 

Maybe you are now, which is why you’re reading this article. In short, it’s a practice that involves flushing the colon with fluids to remove waste. While some alternative medicine doctors offer colon cleansing for detoxification, it’s not really necessary for good health. 

Why? Well the body does a great job at eliminating toxins by regularly cleaning your colon and digestive tract, however we live in a time when everything is over processed so assisting your body with a little help will go a long way in maintaining good colon health.

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What are Colon Cleanses?

Colon cleanses are procedures that aim to remove toxins and waste from your colon.

They may involve enemas, colon hydrotherapy, or herbal supplements that flush your colon.

Colon cleanses are often marketed as a way to improve your overall health and well-being.

However, there is no scientific evidence that colon cleanses are necessary but if you’ve been backed up for a few days or weeks, you may need to help your system regulate itself.

It’s important to talk to your doctor before trying a colon cleanse, especially if you have any underlying health conditions.

Types of Colon Cleanses

There are many different types of colon cleanses, but they can all be categorized into two simple groups:

  • Home-based cleanses are the most popular ones that you can do at home, without the assistance of a professional. They often involve drinking special teas or taking supplements, or using enemas or colonic irrigation.
  • Professional cleanses are those that are performed by a professional, usually a colon hydrotherapist. They involve using a machine to flush out the colon with water or other fluids.

Both options have their pro’s and con’s. 

Home-based cleanses are generally considered to be less effective than professional cleanses, but they are also less expensive and more convenient especially when you’re in need of immediate relief. 

Professional cleanses can be more effective, but they are also more expensive and may not be necessary for most people. 

However, I do recommend trying a professional colon cleansing at least once in your life, because your body will feel a whole lot better. Mine certainly did after I did a colonic hydrotherapy with the most gentle and attentive practitioner I’ve ever met.

Common Types of Home Remedies

  • Water cleanses. These cleanses involve drinking large amounts of water or other liquids, such as juice or tea. The idea is to flush out the colon and remove toxins from the body.
  • Fruit and vegetable cleanses. These cleanses involve eating a diet of mostly fruits and vegetables for a period of time. The idea is to give the body a break from processed foods and allow it to detoxify.
  • Fiber cleanses. These cleanses involve eating a diet high in fiber, such as whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. The idea is to help the body move waste through the digestive system and prevent constipation.
  • Herbal cleanses. These cleanses involve taking herbal supplements or drinking herbal teas that are said to detoxify the body. Some popular herbal cleanses include aloe vera, ginger, and turmeric.

Best Products For a Home-Based Cleanse

Detox Tea

HealthForce Superfoods

Common Types Of Professional Cleanses

  • Colon hydrotherapy. This involves using a machine to flush out the colon with water or other fluids. The water is heated to a comfortable temperature and gently pumped into the colon through a tube. The water then flows back out through the same tube, carrying with it any waste or parasites that have been loosened.
  • Colonic irrigation. This is similar to colon hydrotherapy, but it involves using a different type of machine. In colonic irrigation, the water is pumped into the colon under pressure. This can help to dislodge and remove more waste and toxins from the colon.
  • Deep colon cleanse. This is a more intensive type of cleanse that involves using a combination of different methods, such as colon hydrotherapy, colonic irrigation, and herbal supplements. Deep colon cleanses are often recommended for people who have chronic constipation or other digestive problems.

Benefits of Colon Cleanses

In 2009, Ruben D. Acosta, MD, MS, published a research article in the American Journal of Gastroenterology, he concluded that:

  • Colonic cleansing is not an effective way to remove toxins from the body.
  • Colonic cleansing can be a harmful practice, as it can cause dehydration, electrolyte imbalance, and could even cause infection.
  • Despite popular claims, there is no scientific evidence to support the use of colonic cleansing for general health promotion.
  • People should not do a colonic cleanse unless they have a specific medical condition that absolutely requires it.

Keep in mind that scientific research and public studies have to be funded to gather research information.

Conducting research is costly, and it takes a lot of time and resources. 

There are several different ways to fund research, including:

  • Government grants. Governments regularly invest in research that serves to benefit the public.
  • Private donations. Individuals, businesses, and charitable organizations all contribute financially to support research initiatives.
  • Corporate funding. Companies often fund research that is related to their products or services.

It is important to note that the source of funding for a study can influence the results of that study. 

For example, a study funded by a company that makes a certain product is more likely to find that product safe and effective.

This is because the company has personal stakes in the results of the study regarding their product rather than the benefit of some old homeopathic treatment, so the same attention and funding to natural remedies are not given.

However, the evidence in favor of homeopathic and herbal treatments is growing every day, and you should conduct your research and consult with your physician if you plan on using them.

It’s important to remember that even if something has been found to work for some people, it may not be right for you.

Improved Digestion

A colon cleanse can help your digestive system absorb nutrients more effectively since the body got rid of the majority of the waste it was holding. It can also prevent constipation and improve overall bowel regularity which can reduce bloating and gas.

Clearer Skin

Cleansing your colon could possibly lead to clearer skin by removing built up stubborn waste from your body. 

Your diet and environment does play a huge part in the appearance of your skin so it’s possible that a colonic cleanse can improve skin conditions such as acne, eczema, and psoriasis. 

Increased Energy

When your body isn’t lugging around extra weight, all that energy can be redirected elsewhere.

It’s not surprising that increased energy could be a benefit experienced by many people. 

It is important to note that it should not be relied upon as a cure-all.

How to Prepare for a Colon Cleanse

Before starting a colon cleanse or a colonic hydrotherapy session, consult with your doctor to ensure it is safe for you.

It’s not necessary to stop eating solid foods 24 hours before the cleanse, but it could help your bowel movements during the cleanse, so try switching to a liquid-only diet a few hours before.

  • Drink plenty of water and herbal tea to stay hydrated.
  • Avoid alcohol, caffeine, and sugary drinks.

On the day of the cleanse, follow the instructions carefully and allow plenty of time to rest.

A few hours after the cleanse, slowly reintroduce solid foods into your diet to avoid digestive issues. Start with soups.

Risks and Side Effects

Colon cleansing can cause serious side effects.

Here are a few:

  • Serious side effects of colon cleansing
    • Dehydration, mineral and electrolyte imbalance can occur when you lose too much water or electrolytes through diarrhea or vomiting.
    • Dehydration can cause symptoms such as thirst, dry mouth, fatigue, and headache.
    • Electrolyte imbalance can cause symptoms such as muscle cramps, weakness, and confusion.
  • Other potential risks of colon cleansing
    • Infection can occur when bacteria enter the colon through a tear or open sore.
    • A tear in the rectum can occur when the colon is forced to stretch too much.
    • Infection and a tear in the rectum will require medical treatment.
  • Less serious side effects of colon cleansing
    • Cramping
    • Bloating
    • Uncontrollable Bowel Movement 
    • Nausea
    • Vomiting
    • Dizziness
    • Weakness
    • Irritability

These side effects are usually mild and go away on their own. It is important to stop the procedure immediately, if conducting a home-based cleanse, and seek medical attention.

Colon cleansing is not a substitute for a healthy diet and lifestyle.

Recommendations for safe use of colon cleanses

If you are interested in trying a colon cleanse, it is important to keep in mind some safety recommendations. 

First, make sure to choose a reputable provider who uses sterile equipment. 

Second, do not use colon cleanses as a substitute for medical treatment. 

Third, be aware of potential side effects and stop the cleanse if you experience any discomfort.

Caution: Consult with a healthcare professional before trying

It is highly recommended that you consult with a healthcare professional. 

Oftentimes, they can help you determine if a colon cleanse is appropriate for you and provide guidance on how to safely perform one. 

Additionally, if you have any underlying health conditions, a healthcare professional can help you determine if a colon cleanse could potentially be harmful. 

Remember, your health, and yes that includes your colon and digestive health, is important and should always be a top priority.

What natural colon cleanses have you thought about trying? 

Let me know in the comments below.

Questions You May Have

If I’m interested in a colon cleanse, what should I do?

Talk to your doctor first if you’re interested in a colon cleanse. Your doctor can help you to determine if a colon cleanse is right for you and can also recommend a safe and effective method.

How do you clean out your colon?

There are many different ways to clean out your colon. Some people use laxatives, enemas, colonic irrigation, colonic hydrotherapy, supplements and diets to help clean out their colons.

Is it good to flush your colon?

Flushing your colon may be harmful, it can cause dehydration and electrolyte imbalances and other serious risks. Eating a healthy fiber filled diet and drinking plenty of water is the best way to keep your colon healthy.

What should you do to prepare for a colon cleanse?

Drink plenty of water
Follow any specific instructions given by your healthcare provider

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Jody is a creative writer, artist, graphic designer, and a digital nomad who also helps people live more fulfilling lives by finding creative solutions to their personal growth and development problems and lifestyle challenges.

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