Is a Colon Cleanse a Good Idea?

Reviewed on 11/4/2020

What Is a Colon Cleanse?

Colon cleanses or colonics are alternative treatments that claim to remove toxins from the colon to improve health, but this is not true. Colon cleanses may actually harm you colon.
Colon cleanses or colonics are alternative treatments that claim to remove toxins from the colon to improve health, but this is not true. Colon cleanses may actually harm your colon.
A colon cleanse (also called a colonic) involves the use of alternative therapies to supposedly flush and remove toxins from the colon. The idea behind it is that foods decompose in the colon and release toxins that are harmful to the body. There is no scientific evidence this is the case in people who have a healthy, functioning colon.

What Products Are Used for a Colon Cleanse?

Colon cleanses often require people to use:

  • Laxatives
  • Enemas
  • Herbal teas
  • Supplements 
  • Colon irrigation or colon hydrotherapy (performed by a medical professional)

What Are Side Effects and Risks of Colon Cleanse?

There is no scientific evidence that colon cleanses prevent illness or improve health, and in fact, they can be harmful. 

Side effects of colon cleanses include: 

Serious risks of colon cleanses include: 

  • Bowel perforation
  • Infection
  • Depletion of probiotics
  • Depletion of electrolytes such as sodium and potassium
  • Kidney damage
  • Changes to the gut microbiome

The only time a person should cleanse the colon is to prepare for a colonoscopy. In this case, a doctor will recommend how to prepare for the procedure. 

QUESTION

What are risk factors for developing colon cancer? See Answer

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Reviewed on 11/4/2020
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