MEDICAL ALERT!!–YOUR COLON IS UNDER ATTACK!!!

I hope this title has attracted your attention. It is tinged with sarcasm and frustration.  As a meta-physician who happens to be a gastroenterologist, I am a strong proponent of holisitc treatment approaches which incorporate the body/mind/spirit treatments.  I am open, as well, to alternative and herbal therapies that work and are safe.

But I am particularly skeptical of those who take advantage of the public's desire to seek such treatments and misrepresent the truth about how our bodies actually work.

Their info-mercials describe a scenario in which pounds of accumulated fecal wastes build up on the walls of the colon, festering and toxic to our health. Their remedy, of course, is to have the public purchase their products which will 'cleanse' the colon and preserve their health.  They also propose these therapies as a method of weight loss.

The truth is that our colons do not build up fecal material over years.  The walls of our bowels do not react like our arterial walls. Having performed thousands of colonoscopies over my career I have NEVER had one patient who described bizarre or unusual fecal 'expulsions' from the colonic cleansing process.

Certainly, constipation is an annoying and uncomfortable condition. Fecal impaction can be dangerous for the elderly as well. But we do not become 'infected' by our own colonic residue.

Colon 'cleansing'? Of course we should be conscious of maintaing our bowel movements to the extent that they do not require much effort or are uncomfortable.  This  should be accomplished by increasing our dietary fiber, fluid intake, exercise and occasionally with natural herbal laxatives. But we do not need to 'purchase' expensive therapies or use enema 'hydrotherapy'.

There must be a great deal of money generated by these therapies–otherwise I would not be inundated by numerous spam emails from these companies. 

Defend your colon from such attacks. It will thank you.

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