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How is colon cleansing safe and effective?

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.
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.



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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.