Colon Hydro Therapy: Intestinal Rehabilitation with Risks

A colon hydrotherapy, as the name suggests for a particular form of intestinal lavage, is offered by naturopaths and alternative medicine as a beneficial and health-promoting method of purification. However, experts warn against dangerous side effects, especially in people with intestinal diseases.
                          Stomach pain instead of relief: Experts warn against side effects of colon hydro-therapy.

Even the ancient Greeks and Egyptians used various substances such as oils or milk to cleanse the colon and thus cure and prevent diseases. Modern colon hydrotherapy (also: colon hydrotherapy) goes back to the American John Harvey Kellogg (1853-1943), who used the special procedure in his sanatorium for holistic methods. From the US, colon hydrotherapy in the 20th century reached Europe. In Germany it has been used for about 25 years.

What exactly is colon hydrotherapy?

An intestinal lavage is a preparation for an examination of the intestine and can be done by drinking a laxative solution as well as by introducing irrigation fluid into the intestine via the anus. The latter method is used in alternative medicine and therapeutically for intestinal cleansing , purification and stimulation of intestinal activity.

One form of rectal colonic irrigation is colon hydrotherapy , which is offered in Germany by alternative practitioners and alternative practitioners. Colon hydrotherapists say it's a "successful method of centuries of experience to completely cleanse the colon." With this method, stuck stool remnants, slags and putrefaction and harmful germs would be flushed from the intestinal wall.

Preparation and course of colon hydrotherapy

Before the colon cleanse, the doctor or therapist first takes a stool sample to exclude blood in the stool and thus injury in the intestine. If the result is negative, the actual treatment can be started. The patient should not eat or drink for several hours before the start of treatment, so that the large intestine is emptied as much as possible .
The patient is on the back or on the side of the colon hydro therapy. By a previously introduced into the anus, several centimeters long plastic tube warm water is passed with varying temperatures between 21 and 41 degrees Celsius in the intestine. An abdominal massage can assist in loosening the contents of the intestine, which then flows through the tubing with a flushing fluid.
At the end of the approximately 45-minute treatment, once the intestine is cleansed, oxygen is added to the rinse water. Some therapists also work with other additivessuch as vinegar or herbal essences in these fluids in the intestinal fluids. The procedure is repeated as part of a therapy in several sessions.
To rebuild the natural intestinal flora after treatment, some colon hydrotherapists recommend probiotic supplements . These are to colonize the intestinal mucosa with good lactic acid bacteria and thus protect against pathogens.
The cleaning effect would be that of a long-term fishing and many complaints could be cured, advocates praise the procedure. According to the therapists, the intestinal flora can be favorably influenced with the help of colon hydrotherapy. Therefore you apply the method above all for the following complaints:
  • Indigestion such as constipation , intestinal cramps or flatulence
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • allergies
  • Skin diseases like eczema or acne
  • General defense weakness
  • Headaches and migraines
  • Concentration weakness , performance degradation
  • Fungal infections of the colon
  • rheumatism
  • fatigue
Also for fasting accompaniment, the procedure for colon cleansing and intestinal rehabilitation is recommended.

"Antique concept, scientifically outdated"

The Medical Service of the Association of Health Insurance Funds ( MDS ) comes to a completely different conclusion in its IGeL-Monitor, a portal for evaluating so-called Individual Health Services (IGeL): "The beneficial effects attributed to colon hydrotherapy in alternative medicine is, goes back to a disease concept of antiquity, which is scientifically obsolete, "it says. This refers to the concept of attributing illnesses to an imbalance of the body fluids that originated in antiquity and continues to find supporters to this day.
The MDS cites an information note from the Paracelsus alternative schools, according to which the majority of people suffer from a disturbed composition of intestinal bacteria ; mental and physical disorders and diseases as well as a weakened immune system are the result.
Intestinal flushing, such as colon hydrotherapy, is designed to wash out harmful microorganisms and toxins, thereby countering specific ailments and increasing overall well-being. "But the concept of slags , which are deposited in various places in the body - such as soot in a fireplace - and can be excreted by rinsing, fasting or sweating , is scientifically untenable, " says the MDS.
Worse, purging with intestinal lavage can seriously ill instead of cure, warn experts such as Wolfgang Wesiack, President of the Association of German internists (BDI). He points to a US study, according to which, if misused, several side effects are possible.

Risks and Side Effects of Colon Hydro Therapy

The adverse effects include nausea , vomiting , abdominal pain, diarrhea, and kidney failure . There have also been deaths due to infections, warns Wesiack. Particularly dangerous could be an improper, medically unfounded colon cleansing in chronic inflammatory bowel disease such as pronounced hemorrhoids , Crohn's disease, after bowel surgery or even in kidney or heart disease.
The US study to which Wesiak refers and which was published in the "The Journal of Family Practice" finds no evidence for the promised beneficial effects of colonic irrigation. Instead, the authors warn against the procedure and advise physicians to sensitize their patients to the dangers that it poses.
Among other things, dangerous injuries of the intestinal wall are mentioned in case of improper execution. It is also reported cases in which the additives in the rinse solution turned out to be toxic to the liver : poisoning instead of detoxification may therefore be a consequence of colon hydrotherapy.

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