The large intestine is made up of colon, which terminates as anal canal (4 cm long), from where the faeces are then expelled. The rectum has the same diameter as the sigmoid colon above (about 4 cm in the empty state).
The digested food is in different forms in different parts of large intestine. It becomes solid or faeces-like in the descending colon. Most of the time, the rectum is empty of faeces.
The functions of colon are:
- Absorption of water and electrolytes from the chyme.
- Faecal lubrication.
- Storage of faecal matter until it can be expelled.
- The secretions of cells lining the large intestine are rich in mucus and IgA antibodies. Large number of WBC, including lymphocytes are present in the large intestine to protect the body from ingress of microorganisms.
Peristalsis is a propulsive movement responsible for evacuation of faeces.
The large intestine is home to a large population of bacteria called as commensal bacteria or normal microbial flora of the human body. These bacteria are responsible for metabolism of Vitamin B12 and Vitamin K.
Considering all the above points, it is quite evident that a healthy colon is equal to a healthy body. A slight disturbance in the function or the structure of the colon may lead to disturbances having repercussions on the entire human body.
Therefore it is utmost important to have a clean and functioning colon.
Research shows that faecal matter may stick to the inside the lining of the colon and thus altering its normal structure and function.
Colon cleansing is a gentle procedure where a tube is inserted into the rectum and the colon is flushed with warm water. Around 60 litres of water is used in the entire process. But at a time only a small amount of water is introduced in the colon and the patient is asked to use the toilet for regular bowel movement. This process is repeated till the entire colon is flushed off and cleaned. The water dissolves the faecal matter that may be sticking to the insides of the colon and is expelled immediately. The entire procedure is painless or with a minimum discomfort. As adequate privacy is provided to the patient by appropriate draping and a private washroom, it is also odorless.
The process is done in the hands of a trained expert.
The equipment used for colon hydrotherapy is FDA-registered. Apart from ultra filtration of the water prior to its use, there is controlled mixing of temperature regulated water. Valves are present to prevent backflow of water and pressure gauges keep an eye on the force of the water. Disposable or single use tubes and speculae for gentle insertion in the rectum are used, to maintain hygiene and sterility.
Sometimes in addition to the plain water being used for colon cleansing, probiotics are added, to replenish the lost gut flora.
Colon hydrotherapy not only effectively cleans the colon, but is also therapeutic to the mind.
This detoxification procedure eliminates harmful toxins and bacteria that may be responsible for causing various allergies and diseases in the body. It also boosts the immune system. A clean colon makes a suitable home for healthy bacteria known as commensal bacteria to flourish inside the colon.
It is an effective detoxifying process for addictions of different kinds, including alcohol & substance abuse.
The difference between enema and colon hydrotherapy is that enema cleans the rectum only and that too, forcefully. Colon hydrotherapy cleans the colon in addition to rectum and that too gently, without undue stress to the muscles, sphincters and the body in general.
The action of laxatives is different and harmful as compared to colon hydrotherapy. Laxatives cause loose motions, whereas colon therapy doesn’t and it just flushes out faecal matter that may be sticking to the colon.
There is a feeling of general well-being and lightness after colon hydrotherapy. Oral rehydration therapy may be given after colon therapy if needed. A regular diet may be consumed after a couple of hours of colon hydrotherapy.
The best part of colon hydrotherapy is that in the removal of metabolic waste products from the large intestine, not a single toxic agent is applied or used!
It is a perfect procedure to banish sluggish bowel movement and constipation.
A vast varieties of clinical conditions have been known to benefit from colon hydrotherapy, namely Allergies, Acne, Arthritis, Asthma, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Hypertension, Colitis, Fibromyalgia, Body Odor, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Spastic Colon, Headaches, Multiple Sclerosis (MS), Peptic Ulcer, Seizures, Chest Pain, Memory Lapses, Brittle Nails & Hair, Cold Hands & Feet, Constipation, Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), Nausea, Pot Belly, Muscle Pain, Skin Rashes, Pigmentation, Mouth Sores, Peripheral Neuropathies, Poor Posture, Joint Aches, Toxic Environmental Exposure & Toxic Occupational Exposure.
However, there are a few side effects:
- Dehydration due to fluid loss, unless replenished.
- Electrolyte imbalance.
- Intestinal perforation.
- Depletion of helpful normal gut flora unless replaced by probiotics.
- Colon hydrotherapy should be avoided if there are inflammatory bowel diseases, tumors of the intestine, bowel surgery, heart or kidney diseases.
Guyton and Hall Textbook of Medical Physiology.
Bailey and Love’s Short Practice of Surgery.
Wheater’s Functional Histology.