Colonic Irrigations: A Review of the Historical Controversy and the Potential for Adverse Effects
by Douglas G. Richards, Ph.D., David L. McMillin, M.A., Eric A. Mein, M.D., Carl D. Nelson, D.C.
"Colonic irrigations enjoy widespread popularity in the alternative medicine community, while being viewed with considerable skepticism by the conventional medical community. The medical objections include a belief that scientific research has proven that colonics are not effective therapy, and that they pose a high risk of serious adverse effects (e.g., infection, perforation of the wall of the colon) (Ernst, 1997). Furthermore there is a concern that those administering colonics are primarily unlicensed, non-medical practitioners who make exaggerated claims of health benefits, “quacks” (Barrett, 2004; Jarvis, 2004). Our interest arose from the need for information on the safety and efficacy of colonics for informed consent for clinicians and researchers. We found that there is very little information on either the safety or efficacy of colonic irrigations, and that modern sources have not addressed the historical debate among medical professionals."
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