How is colon cleansing safe and effective?

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
Colon cleansing is a popular trend for detoxifying the body. Dr. Oz discusses its safety and what may be a better option in this video.

This therapy for “cleansing” or “detoxing” the colon of impurities, and supposedly alleviating a host of chronic conditions, has been widely promoted for years. But the risks from performing this procedure, especially by non-clinical persons, outweigh any benefit. The Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore even issued a health alert that advises consumers to avoid it altogether, especially as a home-based remedy administered by someone unfamiliar with the risks involved.
A colonic involves inserting a rubber tube through the rectum and into the colon, sometimes as far as 30 inches. Up to 20 gallons of warm or cool water — possibly supplemented with soap, herbs, coffee, enzymes, minerals or other substances — is then pumped into the rectum and allowed to sit for a few seconds to a few minutes. The risks: 
  • The bowel wall can be perforated.
  • You can have an allergic reaction.
  • You can develop an imbalance in electrolytes, such as potassium and sodium.
  • You can be infected with bacteria and viruses if the equipment is not properly sterilized.

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