COLO HYDROTHERAPY, A SAFE OPTION ?
Naturopathy states that accumulation of waste products in the body by eating wrong types of food, overeating or poor digestion is one of the major cause of various diseases. Nothing eliminates these waste products more effectively than fasting and enema. The human body is a sophisticated but tough machine. But man's quest for replacing natural processes with mechanised ways is an on going affair. UpperCrust asked Dr. Prasana Shah, Gastroenterologist, consulting doctor at Jaslok, Saifee and Harkisondas hospitals, to give his view on Colo hydrotherapy.
The large bowel or the colon is an important organ in the body. It is a tubular structure approximately 1.5m in length. The function of the colon is to form the stool and excrete the unwanted nutrients and toxins. The colon mixes the contents which it gets from the small intestine to facilitate the passage of stools. There is an exchange of water electrolytes and short chain fatty acids in the colon which it stores in the colon for a while. The passage of stool is approximately 1cm per hour. Therefore whenever there is stress to the body like dehydration (less water intake or increased water excretion like in loose motions) the colonic motility (pumping action of the colon) is impaired or fastened and it can lead to symptoms.
There can be constipation or loose motions, bloating, tightness of the abdomen with pain in the abdomen or urgency in passing stools. These are common complaints or symptoms we see in clinical practise. Over the years there has been alteration in life style, alteration in food habits and drinking. Work pressure and tension has increased manifold. All of us are trying hard to achieve our goal and destination and in doing so we are compromising our body. The human body is one of the most wonderful creation of God. Our body has the ability and capability to adapt and adopt the various situations we face in our lives. It is because of this abuse to the body we land up in trouble which ultimately leads to Irritable Bowel Syndrome. There is a large population which has Irritable Bowel Syndrome, means erratic colonic activity therefore these symptoms arise. IBS is a well established disorder and there are ways to treat this disorder. The treatment of this disorder involves medical therapist, psychologist, dietician and a colorectal surgeon.This disorder requires a multi-pronged approach.
Recently COLO HYDROTHERAPY has come in a big way. It has been publicized and made into a good commercial business. In Colo hydrotherapy they introduce luke warm water via a tube into the back passage. The machine pumps water into the colon in a timed program. This therapy lasts for 45 minutes. After which the tube is removed and large volumes of stool is passed. Practitioners claim that a number of sessions are required to get optimum results. Colo hydrotherapy has been tried for patients with colonic problems like colitis, ileitis (inflammation or swelling of the colon), diverticulitis (pouches of the colon), abdominal pain and bloating. Medical therapy can be offered for distension of all the above complaints.
Similarly, Colo hydrotherapy has been tried for arthritis, cancer screening and skin diseases.
All I can say is that medical and surgical therapy is the best and optimum modality of treatments. Medical science is time-tested and proven. We know all the effects/side effects/indication/contraindication of medicines. Colo hydrotherapy is a new concept. There are no trials conducted to prove its efficacy. Hence one must think twice. It is very important to get an expert opinion before venturing into this new modality of colon cleaning.
Yes, colon cleaning is important when one needs to undergo screening colonoscopy or a colonoscopic procedure or surgery of the bowel for which medicines (purgatives) are available and given to the patient.
The importance of all this is that one must be healthy, have a good exercise regime and do regular medical check ups to obviate the need for non-scientific modalities. Yoga and other alternative therapies for relaxation of the mind are most welcome. Colo hydrotherapy looks impressive, has come in with a bang but I think, will go out in a whimper.