Richa Madaan

Richa Madaan

Colon Hydrotherapy Risks: Everything You Need To Know

  Mar 20, 2024

Colon Hydrotherapy

Are you considering colon hydrotherapy? But, let me tell you one thing, before undergoing colon cleansing you should consider both the benefits and risks. Earlier, this therapy wasn’t that popular but Colonics have made a comeback in popularity in recent years.

Although irrigating your colon doesn’t sound pleasant at first, practitioners claim it can provide numerous health benefits. For instance, it improves digestion and helps in weight loss. 

Anyway, it should be approached carefully like most lifestyle practices. The practitioner must have sufficient knowledge of the potential dangers.

It may involve anything from drinking specially-made juices to receiving colonic irrigation. Many people use it to get rid of body toxins, lose weight, or treat several illnesses.

But do these homeopathic colon hydrotherapy treatments work, and are they safe? Find it by yourself by carrying on reading this article that includes everything about colon hydrotherapy and the risks associated with it. 

What is Colon Cleansing?

First, the colon is a large intestine that absorbs water and salts. From where did it absorb water and salts? To answer, from waste material that has traveled through the body. Bacteria in the colon then break down the secreted material that comes out from the intestines through the rectum and anus.

The stats above demonstrate the colon hydrotherapy market size and share analysis. Therefore, the colon hydrotherapy market is expected to register a CAGR of 4.2%.

The stats above demonstrate the colon hydrotherapy market size and share analysis. Therefore, the colon hydrotherapy market is expected to register a CAGR of 4.2%.

Concerning colon cleansing hydrotherapy, it is also known as a high colonic or colonic irrigation. This therapy cleanses the colon. How? The procedure includes:

  • A tube is inserted into the rectum.
  • Water is pumped into the colon. Sometimes the water is mixed with additives like vitamins, probiotics, enzymes, or herbs.
  • The therapist then massages the abdomen during a waiting period to move the fluid around.

After that, the liquid and the fecal matter (poop) used during the procedure are flushed out of the body. For that matter, patients are taken to a toilet to complete this process. 

This is how this therapy excludes parasites, microbes, and toxins from the intestine. 

Risks of Colon Hydrotherapy

Risks of Colon Hydrotherapy

The fact that there isn’t much scientific evidence to support this therapy. Meanwhile, there may also be side effects. Some of them are seen as serious. For instance, electrolyte imbalance, infection, and perforation of the colon.

The rest are as follows:

Disruption in Proper Colon Function

Post-therapy may disrupt the natural balance in the colon and can cause an imbalance of microbes in the intestines. For example:

  • Dehydration
  • Electrolyte Imbalance
  • Infection
  • Gut dysbiosis

Electrolyte Imbalance

Electrolyte Disturbances

The functionalities of the colon include transferring electrolytes. These are minerals that play a significant role in the body. Colon cleanses can upset the balance of electrolytes in the body like potassium and sodium.

The chemicals carry electrical signals across cells, causing complications that stem from an electrolyte imbalance in the blood. As a result, this imbalance can lead to a loss of consciousness as well as kidney damage.


Besides chemical imbalances, colon hydrotherapy may lead to mild abdominal cramping, bloating or feelings of fullness, and soreness in the anal area. Also, cramping can occur since the colon contracts to expel waste.

Perforation of the Colon

Colonic perforation caused by hydrostatic pressure is rare. When the tube is inserted through the anus, there are chances that it can cause a tear or perforation (or rupture) in the wall of the colon.

“In rare cases, colonic cleaning via hydrotherapy can result in perforation of the colon”, says Dr. Bhama.

Introduction of Foreign Material

Foreign substances not expected to be found in the colon also pose risks. It can be either non-sterile instruments, water, or ingredients. These contain harmful organisms, like bacteria or amoebas that cause infection.

Many wonder why it happens. The answer is because of the delicate tissues of the colon and rectum. nonetheless, low concentrations of these microorganisms can be harmful.

Eliminates “Good” Bacteria

During the cleaning process, the colon also removes “good” bacteria that live there. When the good bacteria is removed from the colon, bad bacteria can grow and cause illness. 

Other side effects of colon cleansing include: 

  • Bloating
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting and nausea
  • Potential interference with medication absorption
  • Kidney failure
  • Irritation in the skin around the anus
  • Soreness

Bowel Perforation

Studies have shown that the increased risk of perforation in patients with a fragile bowel wall occurs due to scarring from prior rectal surgery. It happens when a tear occurs in the wall of the lower intestine.

Do You Know?:
As per the reports, the incidence of bowel perforation is 1% to 7% in pediatric trauma patients.

This is often considered a medical emergency. To prevent this, you need to pay attention to its symptoms. It begins with fever, pain, chills, and nausea which can progress and even be fatal.

Tips for Safe Colon Cleansing

Having said that, colon hydrotherapy includes risk. If you know the risks and still are interested in colon cleansing, then you must follow the tips noted down below. These will reduce the likelihood of suffering any ill health effects.

Here are the tips:

  • Drink plenty of fluids.
  • Choose your therapist wisely.
  • Make sure you use only new, disposable equipment and protective gear.
  • Exercise.
  • Eat a plant-based diet including vegetables, whole grains, fruit, and beans.
  • Eat more probiotic foods like yogurt, cottage cheese, kombucha, miso soup, etc.
  • Avoid toxins like tobacco, alcohol, and processed meats.

Final Words 

Are you struggling with digestive issues, especially constipation? Initially, to get rid of it, you can start doing exercise, hydrating the body, and making sure you’re getting enough fiber. Remember, colon hydrotherapy Is not the only solution.

Indeed, colonic hydrotherapy is an alternative healing procedure because it comes with risks, like potential perforation of the colon, electrolyte imbalance, and infection.