Colon cleansing was a part of some of the traditional medicines in ancient years. Somewhere down the line, this methodology lost its popularity and resurged again in the recent years. Many believe that colon cleansing helps to remove the toxins from the body, protecting it from a host of other diseases, like arthritis, asthma, and allergies. Proponents of this method believe that colon cleansing helps to promote the growth of beneficial bacteria and improve the immune system. Only few studies have been dedicated to understand the effects and benefits of this method.
Our body has all natural mechanisms to cleanse colon:
- Detoxification of toxins by bacteria
- Neutralization of toxins by liver
- Mucus membranes prevent the entry of foreign substances into blood
- Cleansing of colon by normal bowel movements
It is still not clear whether an additional method is essential to detoxify and cleanse the colon. The safety and potency of most of the products used for this purpose is not tested and hence not known.
Some of the common side effects of this method are:
- Abdominal cramps
- Nausea and vomiting
- Risk of dehydration
- Imbalance in minerals
- Bowel perforations
- Risk of infections
- Removal of beneficial bacteria from the gut
Whether cleansing is done by herbal remedies, supplements or water, this method is found to cause lots of discomfort.
Colon cleansing is not suggested if the person has:
- Ulcerative colitis
- Crohn’s disease
- Colorectal tumor
- Heart problems
- Kidney problems
It is not clear whether colon cleansing is helpful in the health conditions, like fecal incontinence, spasm during colonoscopy, and drug withdrawal. The number of side effects associated with this methodology outweigh the benefits. So, rather than using this method for unproven purposes, it is better to improve colon health through natural methods.
Colon health can be improved by a healthy diet rather than regular colon cleansing. This will also help to reduce the risk of colon cancer. Normal diet should include both soluble and insoluble fiber to prevent other conditions like constipation and diverticular disease. One should drink plenty of water to keep well hydrated.