Colonic irrigation has no health benefits

Asides from being rather uncomfortable, the alternative procedure can lead to dangerous side-effects, warn doctors

Colonic irrigation doesn’t work and can lead to dangerous side-effects such as sickness, bloating and even kidney failure, warns new research.

‘Colonic hydrotherapy’ as it now known, has long been popular with celebrities such as Ben Affleck, Courtney Love and Princess Di seeking to lose weight.

However, a new report could see people shying away from the invasive procedure – which involves flushing large amounts of water through the back passage – as doctors warn that there are no noted health benefits.

‘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,’ says Ranit Mishori, a physician at Georgetown University School of Medicine in the United States.

For thousands of years, people have dabbled in the arts of colon cleansing – the ancient Egyptians were among the first to believe that pumping water through a tube inserted in the rectum was good for you.

In recent years, the procedure has made a startling comeback as people seek alternative procedures to try and help them lose weight and feel healthier.

However, Ms Mishori suggests there are less invasive ways to help improve your health.

‘Eat a balanced diet, exercise regularly, get six to eight hours of sleep and see a doctor regularly,’ she explains.

Doctors looked at 20 previous papers and found that there was no dramatic improvement to health, but side-effects following the use of cleansing products such as cramping, bloating, nausea, vomiting, electrolyte imbalance and renal failure were often cited.

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