Colonic irrigation, also known as colon hydrotherapy, is a procedure with the purpose of eliminating feces and toxic substances from the colon. The large intestine is literally flushed with warm water. In spite of being rather safe even this procedure has several side effects. They include dehydration, imbalance of electrolytes, allergic reactions, infections, and in rare cases perforation of colon.
The patients are given certain advice before the procedure and they have to follow the advice strictly. No heavy meals and large amount of beverages are allowed prior the procedure. The very procedure includes placement of a rubber tube into the rectum. What follows are regular injections of small amount of water which will help in loosening of all the waste in the colon. The entire procedure lasts approximately 45 minutes. Some people are supporters of colonic irrigation and consider this procedure rather effective in elimination of all the toxic substances. On the other hand, there are people who think that the results of colonic irrigation are not worth of potential complications.
Benefits of Colonic Irrigation
Supporters of colonic irrigation claim that waste in the bowel may cause a variety of colon diseases. By performing colonic irrigation this risk can be drastically reduced. They also say that people who are suffering from chronic fatigue and allergies as well as those with irregular bowel movements, chronic bloating and irritable bowel syndrome can significantly benefit from this procedure. Still, not all the people share the opinion of colonic irrigation supporters.
Possible Side Effects of Colonic Irrigation
The procedure has several side effects and all people who are willing to try it must be fully informed about what may go wrong.
Irrigation of large amounts of water can result in elimination of a lot of bodily fluids. Rapid loss of fluid may lead to dehydration. The person complains about weakness, fatigue and these can be evident right after the procedure. Repeated irrigation and pumping out of water can result in loss of certain electrolytes including sodium and potassium. This leads to imbalance of these electrolytes and the symptoms of hyponatremia and hypokalemia.
In some cases, the specialist who performs colonic irrigation uses water and certain herbs together. These herbs may in susceptible people cause serious allergic reaction. This is why it is important for a person to report all the allergies to medications and other allergens prior the procedure.
Another potential complication is infection. Infection may be caused by contaminated instruments. This can be successfully avoided by adequate sterilization of all the equipment.
And finally, the most serious complication of colonic irrigation is perforation of the bowel. It may occur due to increased pressure of irrigated water or be caused directly by instruments.