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Can Colonics Kill You?

By on August 4, 2011

In this age of self-care, the metro-sexual, and spa days, we’ve all heard of colon cleansing, a practice to rid the body of years of bad behavior. New research says that colonic irrigation has no real health benefits and can lead to dangerous side-effects.

The procedure, which involves flushing large amounts of water through the back passage, can lead to sickness, bloating and even kidney failure. Ranit Mishori, a physician at Georgetown University School of Medicine in the US, said:

“There can be serious consequences for those who engage in colon cleansing whether they have the procedure done at a spa or perform it at home.”

Surprise, surprise, she recommends healthier alternatives to improve well-being: “Eat a balanced diet, exercise regularly, get six to eight hours of sleep and see a doctor regularly.”

Colon cleansing has been carried out for thousands of years, with the ancient Egyptians the first to believe that pumping water through a tube inserted in the rectum was good for you. They thought it rid the body of waste accumulating on the walls of the intestines that released toxins into the bloodstream.

According to a paper published in The Journal of Family Practice, the theory of “auto-intoxication” was largely debunked in the early 20th century but has made a comeback in recent decades as part of a general interest in alternative medicine procedures that are seen as more natural and traditional than taking drugs or undergoing surgery.

But the new academic study looked at 20 previous papers published in the medical literature over the past decade on colon irrigation, and found little evidence of benefit. A warning from the study authors, “There is an abundance of studies noting side effects following the use of cleansing products including cramping, bloating, nausea, vomiting, electrolyte imbalance and renal failure.”



  1. Steve

    October 13, 2013 at 7:09 pm

    in reply to the electrolytes, why dont you give yourself an anemia with pedalite?

  2. Preston Fairchild

    August 4, 2011 at 11:34 pm

    I am a bit skeptical with this report and I would like to see more data from this study. It does seem reasonalbe that large amounts of water flushed through your colon can lead to an electrolyte imbalance as well as possibly renal failure but ridding the body of toxins also seems logical.

    I’ve never had a colonic’s and have long considered eventually scheduling an appointment for one. I agree that it makes sense eating a healthy diet with plenty of fiber as well as stay sufficiently hydrated would also accomplish these same results.

    So for the moment I will continue to load up on fiber and drink my 8 glasses of water each day.

    Thank you Healthy Black Men for keeping us updated on the latest news regarding our health and well-being.


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