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A Look At What You Need To Know About Colon Hydrotherapy

Colon Hydrotherapy

Colon Hydrotherapy: What You Need To Know

While irrigating your colon does not sound pleasant, some medical practitioners claim that the procedure can promote weight loss and help improve digestion. However, it is worth noting that colon hydrotherapy does have some risks and should approach with care. Before having your colon irrigated, make sure you understand what the procedure entails and the risks involved. 

Colon Hydrotherapy

What Does Colon Hydrotherapy Mean?

Colon hydrotherapy, also known as colon cleansing or colon irrigation, involves flushing (cleansing) the colon with copious amounts of fluids, mostly water, to remove waste. The practice has been around for thousands of years, and its claimed benefits are based on the notion that digestive waste can become toxins to the body. 

How the Procedure Performed? 

Though there are in-home cleansing options available today, the procedure generally performed by trained hydrotherapists in medical facilities under the direction of a physician. Since the procedure involves introducing foreign matters into the body, it generally entails meticulous disinfection and the use of disposable equipment to avoid bacterial contamination. 

During the 45-minute-long procedure, patients can expect:

  1. A brief rectal exam 
  2. The introduction of a speculum 1.5-inches into the rectum. An outlet and inlet tube then connected to the outside part of the speculum, creating a closed system that makes it impossible for odors and liquids to escape. 
  3. Once the system set up, a stream of controlled amounts of clean, filtered water – around 60 liters – introduced. 
  4. Mild abdominal massaging started to aid in the removal of gas pockets and waste, which expelled through the outlet tube. 

Colon Irrigation ‘Benefits’

According to hydrotherapists, the procedure offers numerous benefits as it helps eliminate toxins and waste from your digestive system. Some of the claimed benefits include improved digestion, weight loss, clearer thinking, and increased energy. However, it’s worth noting that most of these claims lack scientific support and are, therefore, unproven.

A study conducted in 2016 noted improvements in gastrointestinal symptoms after hydrotherapy in patients with IBS or irritable bowel syndrome. However, this is one procedure that should always approached with caution as it could potentially damage the colon.

Colon Irrigation Risks 

Before getting your colon irrigated, it’s worth noting that the procedure involves many risks. These include:

  1. Bacterial Infections and Imbalances: A colon irrigation could potentially invite or introduce unhealthy bacteria into your lower digestive system through the fluids and instruments used. At the same time, the procedure could do more harm than good by removing the healthy bacteria that helps your body fight infections.
  2. Dehydration: While the weight loss linked to colon hydrotherapy is mostly due to waste removal, the procedure also leads to the removal of fluids in the digestive system. In some extreme cases, dehydration could lead to kidney failure. 
  3. Bowel Perforations: These happen when tears occur in the walls of the lower intestine. Most bowel perforations considered medical emergencies. While symptoms typically start with nausea, chills, pain, and fever, the problem can worsen quite fast and may even be fatal.
  4. Electrolyte imbalance: Having your colon irrigated could upset the balance of electrolytes such as sodium and potassium in your body. These minerals are responsible for carrying electrical signals across the cells in your body and an imbalance could lead to kidney damage and loss of consciousness.

Other side effects may include:

  • Vomiting
  • Mild cramping
  • Perianal soreness
  • Bloating
  • Fullness
  • Nausea 
  • Abdominal pain

Tips for Safe Colon Hydrotherapy

If you understand the risks associated with colon cleansing and still interested in having the procedure performed. There are a few things you should consider doing to lower your chances of suffering ill health effects.

  1. Talk to your doctor before having the procedure done on you for advice.
  2. Drink lots of water and other fluids. Drinking water can help lower the risk of dehydration before and after your irrigation.
  3. Choose your hydrotherapist wisely. While there are currently no licensing requirements for hydrotherapists, there are a few colonic hygienists who are members of professional organizations that require some training in CPR and first aid. Before going through with an appointment, consider talking to other people who’ve had the procedure performed for recommendations.
  4. Make sure all the protective gear and disposable equipment used for your procedure are new. Also, ensure that your hygienist uses disposable equipment and has a proper disinfection routine. Colon hydrotherapy equipment can easily transmit bacteria and other germs if not properly sterilized.