What is a Colonic? Is it Safe?


Have you often wondered what is a colonic? It’s hydrotherapy to flush your colon with fluids for waste removal. Colonic practitioners claim to have benefited with weight loss and promote digestion. However, it comes with potential risks too. Check out below everything you need to know about colonics.

In this article:

What is a Colon Cleanse?
Benefits of Colon Cleanse
Risks of Colon Cleanse
Can you Lose Weight with a Colonic?
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Colon Cleansing: History, Benefits and Risk

What is a Colon Cleanse?

First, let’s know what a colon is. The colon is simply our large intestine which removes water, some nutrients and salt by way of stool. The colon forms a part of the digestive system.

what is a colonic


Colon cleansing (colonic) is also known as colonic irrigation or colonic hydrotherapy. It refers to flushing your colon using lots of fluid. It is used to treat digestive problems like indigestion, constipation, colitis and bloating. It also helps cure completely unrelated disorders like allergies, alcoholism, arthritis, asthma, lethargy and skin problems.

Those who can benefit from colonics, develop acute constipation resistant to using a laxative. They can have fast relief from colonics and evacuation of stool from their colon.


Colonic hydrotherapy is based on the ancient theory of ‘autointoxication’ which says that when our body retains waste products, it poisons itself. It was believed that health can be promoted by eliminating faecal waste. The idea of cleansing the colon of an average person or getting health benefits from it is not proven. The Natural Standard Professional Database says that there is limited medical evidence regarding health improvement from colon therapy.

Benefits of Colon Cleanse

According to the practitioners of colon cleansing, it can provide various benefits by detoxifying the digestive system. They claim that it can aid in better digestion, weight loss, improved thinking and enhanced energy. But these claims are mostly not backed by scientific evidence.


A small pilot study performed in 2016 found that colonic irrigation could improve gastrointestinal symptoms in patients suffering from irritable bowel syndrome. However, despite such positive results, colon cleansing must be done cautiously as it can potentially damage the colon.

Risks of Colon Cleanse


The weight loss caused by colon cleansing is associated with the removal of waste as well as fluids. Hence, dehydration can result in kidney failure in critical cases.

Electrolyte Imbalance

Colonics can disturb the balance of electrolytes such as sodium and potassium in the body. They transmit electrical signals across cells. So, an imbalance can damage the kidney as well as your consciousness.

Bacterial Imbalance and Infection

Colon cleansing can lead to the buildup of harmful bacteria in your lower digestive system due to the fluids and instruments used. Colonics also remove the useful bacteria which can fight your infection.

Bowel Perforation

A tear in the wall of your lower intestine causes bowel perforation. It’s a medical emergency. Symptoms can start with pain, fever, nausea and chills, progressing even to a fatal condition.


Some other side effects of a colonic may include:

  • Mild cramping
  • Fullness
  • Abdominal pain
  • Bloating
  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Perianal soreness

Certain herbal preparations employed in colon hydrotherapy have been linked to problems of liver toxicity and aplastic anaemia. Cases of disseminated abscesses and rectal perforation were also reported.

Can you Lose Weight with a Colonic?

A colonic helps you feel light and energetic (not exactly lose weight) in the following 2 different ways:

Removing Excess Waste

Colonic irrigation aids in weight loss. But, you will not be losing fat tissue but sludge (hardened waste) and mucus which has kept accumulating along the walls of the colon. You might have felt usual lack of energy and bloating due to buildup of this excess waste in your body. According to the condition of their colon, many people lose several kgs after getting a colonic. You are supposed to feel lighter and not lose a noticeable amount of weight after the treatment.

Improved Digestive System

A colonic makes sure that your digestive system is working at its highest capacity by cleansing it thoroughly. If the digestive system isn’t healthy, it’ll be slow in removing waste, causing accumulation of unwanted weight. It’s an ideal thriving condition for toxin-producing bacteria. All these factors can adversely impact your body’s mechanism of digesting food and using or storing the calories. A colonic can provide you with a waste-free clean colon and result in better energy and mental focus.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What does a Colonic Do?

A colonic hygienist carries out the colon irrigation while the patient rests on a table. He sends 60l (approx.) of fluid into your rectum through a tube. Through another tube, toxins are eliminated. The process is repeated.

Do Colonics Hurt?

Even though everyone is not a candidate for colonic, the ones who were treated often report feeling no pain but more frequent bowel movements and occasional cramping after treatment. Most people find their colonic therapy relaxing and refreshing. The warm, purified water is installed very gently. So, the pressure of water (p.s.i.) which enters the colon is even less than a standard hospital enema’s. People often feel only oddness for 5 seconds or so while the speculum is inserted.

What is a Spastic Colon?

A spastic colon refers to the rise in motility or spontaneous contractions of the muscles in your both intestines due to IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome). Such contractions may be called spasms. But since IBS may also lead to reduced motility of the muscles, the term ‘spastic colon’ doesn’t always hold accuracy.

What is a Colon Sewed for?

Colon resection surgery is performed to treat colon cancer. In this surgery, the part of the colon affected by cancer is removed. Then the surgeon sews back the healthy ends of the colon together. When your abdomen gets a long incision, it’s called open surgery. When your abdomen gets several small incisions, it’s called a laparoscopic (minimally invasive) surgery. The affected part of your colon is removed through the incision (or incisions).



As you read above, colonics cannot significantly cut down your weight but can make you feel more refreshed and lighter. Try it out safely until you experience side effects.



Colon Hydrotherapy