Colon Cleanse Side Effects – What to Expect During Colon Cleansing
The practice of cleansing the colon dates back to thousands of years ago. It became popular in the 1920s to 1930s but because of the lack of support on its health benefits, the practice fell out of favour. Colon cleansing only became popular again recently and there are now different methods like using enzymes, teas, colon irrigation and natural colon cleansing supplements. The biggest question is – if it really is good for you? And if the practice has adverse effects on the body? This is what we will be answering by the end of this article but first we need to take a very close look at colon cleansing and the different methods.
What Is Colon Cleansing?
Colon cleansing which is also known as colon therapy includes several alternative medical therapies that aim to remove nonspecific “toxins” and other potentially harmful waste and substances from the intestinal tract especially the colon. There are popular methods for colon cleansing like using natural colon cleansing supplements, colon hydrotherapy and colonic irrigation.
The original method for cleansing the colon is colon hydrotherapy wherein tubes are used to inject water which is sometimes mixed with herbs or other liquids through the rectum to the colon. Currently, the more popular method is the use of oral colon cleansing formulations which are usually formulated with dietary fiber, herbs and/or laxatives.
Ways to Cleanse Your Colon
1. Lifestyle Changes
You can cleanse your colon simply by making lifestyle changes which includes eating more fiber-rich foods, drinking plenty of water and getting regular physical activity. Eating more fiber helps clean up the digestive tract especially the colon. It helps get rid of digestive waste and other potentially harmful substances like toxins which can get stuck in the colon walls. One notable problem today is the fact that the American diet is mostly made up of processed foods like junk food and fast food which are usually low in fiber and rich in chemical preservatives and other additives. A simple solution is to eat more fruits and vegetables focusing on unprocessed foods including whole grains which are also high in fiber.
Drinking plenty of water helps flush out toxins and other potentially harmful substances from the body. Remember that water is very important and in fact plays a key role in most bodily functions. A good rule of thumb is to aim for clear or near-clear urine which is a sign that you are getting enough water. When the urine is dark, this is a sign of dehydration so you should increase water intake. Also, minimize intake of beverages that are rich in caffeine or alcohol which are natural diuretics that promote dehydration.
Not getting enough physical activity has been shown to be a top cause of constipation although there is still no explanation why this happens. Constipation is one of the most common digestive problems today which can cause the accumulation of digestive waste and proliferation of bacteria in the colon. Physical activity enhances circulation throughout the body which is important in the body’s natural detoxification process. Sweating also helps get rid of toxins, impurities and other waste from the body which furthermore points to the fact that regular exercise can help cleanse the body including the colon.
2. Colon Cleansing Procedures
The enema was the most popular method for cleansing the colon before the introduction of colon cleansing supplements. It is certainly not an enjoyable experience but is very effective especially if you are regularly suffering from bowel problems like an impacted colon. The procedure involves breaking up the stool using mineral oil or other liquids. It is pricey and very uncomfortable for most people so the popularity of the procedure has decreased since the introduction of other colon cleansing methods.
Colon irrigation or hydrotherapy is another procedure which is actually similar to an enema. It is more expensive and some medical experts say it is not necessary. It involves using a pump which forces gallons of water to flush the colon through the rectum. Once the water is in the colon, the abdomen is massaged to get things moving. The process takes about one hour and most people do not like the procedure because of discomfort, embarrassment and messy nature.
3. Colon Cleansing Formulations
This is currently the most popular method for cleansing the colon because it is affordable, non-messy and convenient. You just need to take the tablets/capsules or mix a powder with water or other beverages then consume. These formulations usually contain natural laxatives like herbs along with other ingredients like fiber-rich sources that help clean up the colon. Just remember that you have to be careful in choosing a product to make sure it is not just effective but safe as well.
Is Colon Cleansing Necessary?
Colon cleansing is usually not necessary but it does offer several benefits. The body’s natural detoxification process can sometimes not be enough because of all the accumulated toxins. This is where colon cleansing is very useful. If you regularly suffer from digestive problems like gas, diarrhea, heartburn and constipation then colon cleansing may be the answer to your problems. Getting rid of digestive waste and other potentially harmful matter like toxins that are stuck in the colon can help increase energy level, improve the immune system, prevent health problems and improve overall well-being.
Colon Cleansing Side Effects
Although colon cleansing procedures are prescribed as preparation for certain medical procedures, most health experts do not recommend such procedures for the purpose of detoxification. This is due to the risk of simple to severe side effects. For such reason, it would be recommendable to use gentle, natural colon cleansing formulations that are proven to be both effective and safe. Here are the possible side effects of colon cleansing procedures so you can weigh the benefits and drawbacks in case you’re interested in undergoing one for detoxification purposes.
- Cramping, bloating and gas.
- Certain procedures can increase risk of bowel perforation.
- Increased risk of infection.
- Electrolyte imbalance which is especially dangerous for people with health problems like kidney disease.
If ever you want to try any colon cleansing procedure like an enema or colonic irrigation, take these precautions to ensure your safety:
- Check with your health care provider especially if you have any medical condition or are taking medication.
- Make sure the colon cleansing practitioner or therapist uses disposable equipment.
- Check the reputation of the colon cleansing practitioner or therapist.
- Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids before and after the procedure.
There are certain health conditions that can make colon cleansing procedures dangerous so if you have the following conditions, do not undergo such procedures unless instructed by your physician.
- Severe or internal haemorrhoids
- Crohn’s disease
- Heart disease
- Kidney disease
- Colon or rectal tumors
What to Expect From Colon Cleansing Formulations?
If you’ve never tried a colon cleanse before, the most important thing to remember is to stay close to a toilet. Make sure to set aside a few free days from work or school to check how your body reacts. Some people don’t have any problems and can go on normally with their lives but others need to go to the toilet a few times daily because of diarrhea. The best colon cleansing formulations don’t cause side effects but others cause slight gas and bloating for a few days. Strong formulations can cause several side effects including severe diarrhea.
How Long Does Colon Cleansing Take?
How long you need to use a colon cleansing product depends on the particular formulation. Some only need to be taken a few days while others need to be taken daily for 1 to 2 months. Remember that the large intestine is about 22 feet long so it takes time to thoroughly cleanse the digestive organ. Colon cleansing procedures take about 30 minutes to an hour or a little longer.
What Else To Expect?
What comes out from your body may not be anything you have seen before so do not be alarmed. Although the sight and smell may be alarming, you should not become distressed. Just imagine the digestive waste that has been stuck in your colon for months or even years. After ingesting a colon cleanser, the dumping of the bowel follows but this make take some time for certain people. Expect the body to continuously get rid of waste that has been loosened from the colon. The process can take a few days to weeks or longer if this is your first time to cleanse your colon. Remember to drink plenty of water which doesn’t just help with the cleansing process but also prevents dehydration.
Colon cleansing definitely offers several health benefits. However, choosing the particular method is the most important part. Because of the affordability and convenience, using colon cleansing supplements or formulations is the best choice for colon cleansing. However, you need to ensure that the product you end up using is both effective and 100% safe. This will ensure that there is no risk of serious side effects and your colon will end up in tip-top shape.