The Dangers of Colonics

Colon hydrotherapy, colonic irrigation, or simply colonics is a type of alternative health therapy that is meant to improve the function of the colon. During a colonics treatment, the client rests on a table while a rubber hose and nozzle are inserted into their rectum and the colon is flushed of toxins and any built up waste with a large amount of warm water (up to 60 liters per treatment). The colonics procedure is often likened to an enema also done in order to promote better efficiency of the gastrointestinal tract.

Colon hydrotherapy should always be performed by an experienced colon therapist practitioner. However, even when it is, the following negative health effects can take place…

1. Severe Cramping

Awful abdominal cramping is one of the most common side effects of a colon hydrotherapy treatment. This occurs due to large amounts of water being flushed through the digestive system. Air bubbles can occur causing painful cramping, abdominal pain, a weighty feeling of fullness, and bloating.

2. Electrolyte Imbalance

The colon is like a sponge and oftentimes clients can absorb too much water during a colon hydrotherapy treatment or over repeated treatments.  Too much water can cause a severe electrolyte imbalance and side affects—including heart arrhythmia, nausea, vomiting, cramping, fluid on the lungs and even coma.

3. Bacterial Infection

A bacterial infection can occur following a colonics treatment if the equipment used is not properly sanitized. This is why most states demand that any equipment used in colonics hydrotherapy is serialized and disposable so it can be replaced between clients. Contaminated colonics equipment may cause a bacterial infection anywhere along the digestive system. An infection can also result inside the colon if too much healthy bacteria are flushed away during the procedure.

4. Renal Failure

Renal failure (or kidney failure) is a severe risk of colonics that has been linked to certain herbal preparations used over many colonics treatments. Renal failure will occur if the kidneys are unable to filter waste products out of the blood.

5. Bowel Perforation

Bowel perforation, which actually results from damage to the wall of the bowel, can occur with colon hydrotherapy that is not performed by a professional. This severe perforation is usually caused by flushing the bowel with too much pressure and requires emergency surgery to repair.

6. Liver Toxicity

The liver is closely related to the colon as both filter waste and toxins out of the body. If an unsafe herbal preparation is used in a colonics treatment, liver toxicity (or aplastic anemia) can occur if toxins remain in the blood.

7. Abscesses

Studies show that abscesses can form after faulty colonic hydrotherapy treatments. An abscess or multiple abscesses can form due to damage to the walls of the colon. If the tissue becomes infected, pus can accumulate in sacs along the colon lining (similar to a condition called colitis).

8. Exacerbate Existing Health Issues

A client should never undergo colon hydrotherapy treatments if they have existing health conditions—such as Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, internal hemorrhoids, rectal or intestinal tumors, heart disease, kidney disease, and diverticulitis. Also, any patient who recently underwent any type of surgery should avoid colonics altogether.


Catherine Roberts

Catherine is our go-to writer for women’s health news, diet trends and more. She’s dedicated to providing Activebeat readers with the information they need to maintain a healthy lifestyle every day.