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    Friday, May 22, 2009

    Going to Starbucks for an enema?

    Can Colon Cleansing with Coffee and Other Colon "Detoxification" Methods Leads To Better Health?

    You have heard the claims--that regular colon or liver cleansing and other methods of “detoxification gets rid of auto-intoxication in our body.

    Claims are that it rids us of pollutants, aids in weight loss, prevents cancer, causes a beautiful skin, fosters potency, strengthens the immune system, reduces stress, improves circulation, improves sleep, enhances mental focus, relieves headaches and arthritis pain, as well as provides relief from indigestion, diarrhea, constipation, weight loss, body odor, Candida, acne, mucus colitis, gas, food cravings, fatigue, obesity, Diverticulosis, bad breath, parasitic infections, premenstrual syndrome and whatever else.

    What is Autointoxication?

    Autointoxication is an ancient theory based on the belief that intestinal waste products can poison the body and are a major contributor to many, if not all, diseases.

    Ancient Egyptians associated feces with decay and used enemas and laxatives liberally. In more recent times, this concern has been embodied in the concept of "autointoxication" and has been promoted by warnings against "irregularity." The theory of "autointoxication" states that stagnation of the large intestine (colon) causes toxins to form that are absorbed and poison the body.

    Some proponents of colon cleansing depict the large intestine as a "sewage system" that becomes a "cesspool" if neglected. Other proponents state that constipation causes hardened feces to accumulate for months (or even years) on the walls of the large intestine and block it from absorbing or eliminating properly. This, they say, causes food to remain undigested and wastes from the blood to be reabsorbed by the body.

    In the 19th century, it was the ruling doctrine of medicine and led "colonic quackery" in various guises. By the turn of the 20th century, it had received some apparent backing from science. When it became clear that the scientific rationale was wrong and colonic irrigation was not merely useless but potentially dangerous, it was exposed as quackery and subsequently went into a decline.

    Today we are witnessing a resurgence of colonic irrigation based on little less than the old bogus claims and the impressive power of vested interests.

    Even today's experts on colonic irrigation can only provide theories and anecdotes in its support. It seems, therefore, that ignorance is celebrating a triumph over science.

    Colonic irrigation is performed by passing a rubber tube through the rectum.

    Some proponents have advocated that the tube be inserted as much as 30 inches. Warm water—often 20 gallons or more—is pumped in and out through the tube, a few pints at a time, to wash out the contents of the large intestine. (An ordinary enema uses about a quart of fluid.)
    Some practitioners add herbs, coffee, enzymes, wheat or grass extract, or other substances to the enema solution.

    Colonic irrigation, which can be expensive, has considerable potential for harm.

    The process can be very uncomfortable, since the presence of the tube can induce severe cramps and pain. If the equipment is not adequately sterilized between treatments, disease germs from one person's large intestine can be transmitted to others. Several outbreaks of serious infections have been reported, including one in which contaminated equipment caused amebiasis in 36 people, some of whom died following bowel perforation.

    There are also claims of detoxification through special footpads. But when held over a pot of boiling water the steam caused the pad to turn black, indicating that the dark color that results from wearing a pad is caused not by toxins attracted to the pad but by a chemical in the pad that reacts to moisture. Sweat glands in the feet can excrete water and some dissolved substances. However, its minor role in ridding the body of unwanted substances is not changed by applying footpads. All such products should be regarded as fakes, and the proposed mechanisms should be regarded as nonsensical.

    Colon cleansing is based on the same theory --that your body accumulates harmful toxins such as metals, pesticides, bad bacteria, bad whatever, etc. Without any real medical evidence except personal anecdotes proponents believe special treatments including herbals or supplements given orally or as enemas, or special diets are needed to remove these toxins from the body. There is NO proof to support any of these theories...or that any special product or method will rid the body of toxins.

    How about Coffee enemas?

    Three deaths have been recorded associated with the use of coffee enemas from electrolyte imbalances and septicemia as reported by. Eisele JW, Reay DT. Deaths related to coffee enemas. JAMA 1980;244:1608; Ernst E. Colonic irrigation and the theory of autointoxication: A triumph of ignorance over science. J Clin Gastroenterol 1997;24:196.; Margolin KA, Green MR. Polymicrobial enteric septicemia from coffee enemas. West J Med 1984;140:460.

    The Facts

    Real detoxification of foreign substances takes place in the liver, which modifies their chemical structure so they can be excreted by the kidneys, which filter them from the blood into the urine.

    The truth is that our kidneys and liver are very efficient at filtering and eliminating toxins from the body. There are dangers associated with some of the practices that are being promoted especially those detoxification programs, which include laxatives. These laxatives can cause significant diarrhea, which then results in body fluid losses and electrolyte imbalances. Some laxatives can even worsen heart failure or cause kidney failure in people at risk. Other risks of enemas or colonics in addition to causing electrolyte imbalances can also cause a perforated rectum.

    One other caveat is that you must guard against strong colon cleansing agents. Acute phosphate nephropathy and renal failure have been reported associated with the use of oral sodium phosphate bowel cleansing products especially in the middle age and elderly people.

    The healthy way is to stick to standard measures...a good diet, regular exercise, using bulking agents (psyllium, etc) to stay regular if needed.

    Please remember, as with all our articles we provide information, not medical advice.

    For any treatment of your own medical condition you must visit your local doctor, with or without our article[s]. These articles are not to be taken as individual medical advice.

    1 comment:

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