Does your colon need to be cleaned to remove toxins that build up over the years?

First, a little explanation for those more refined readers among us:

a “high-colonic irrigation” is a high-powered enema in which up to twenty gallons of liquid are pumped into your intestines a few pints at a time, with a really smelly liquid pouring out afterward.

A few “alternative health” gurus claim that cleaning out your intestines in this way will lead to a wide variety of benefits that is (literally) unbelievable.

Exactly what are the benefits of having a sparkling clean set of intestines? Well, how about this list, from the Web page of a high-colonic provider:

“By cleansing the colon of impacted and putrefied waste matter on a regular basis, high colonic irrigation offers relief from a variety of disturbances such as: chronic fatigue, excessive gas, headaches, irritability, depression, skin problems (psoriases), lethargy, constipation, chronic diarrhea, parasites, yeast infections, colds and flu, distended abdomen, bad breath, insomnia, allergies, etc.”

Whew! How could anyone argue against that? Well, according to medical boards across the country, the procedure of ramming water up your intestines is potentially dangerous.

Hazards include death and illness from electrolyte depletion, contamination by the colonies equipment, and even the perforation of your intestinal wall. Considering that the medical community considers this procedure completely worthless from a medical standpoint, it doesn’t seem to be worth the risk.

If you need a backup argument for your girlfriend, start with the human body’s amazing ability to clean itself.

No matter what she’s heard, it is not true that red meat sticks in your intestines, or that gum gets lodged there for five years, or that you can be starved for nutrients because of a buildup of “toxins and fecal matter.”

Like the skin, the colon sheds its lining every seven days or so, so stay out of its way and let it do its job.

About Karen Hill

Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist. Born in New York, her work has appeared in the Examiner, Yahoo News, Buzzfeed, among others.

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