By Ron Leon
Colon hydrotherapy (also generally referred to as colon irrigation or simply “colonics,” and hereinafter referred to as CHT) is a rapidly growing complimentary/alternative medical treatment. In fact, the number of certified practitioners in the United States expanded more than tenfold in the last decade. Despite the growing awareness and popularity of CHT amongst the general population, the understanding and acceptance of this treatment within the medical community remains virtually unchanged.
The poor methods and promotional techniques of some (though not many) CHT practitioners may be largely to blame for this, but it is still a good idea for the medical community to take a closer look at CHT and consider whether the treatment might be of use to certain patients.
The FDA has determined that Class II CHT devices can be used to prepare patients for endoscopic procedures. As readers of this publication are aware, the traditional forms of bowel prep are extremely unpleasant for many patients and can lead to various side-effects, some of which are very dangerous. Moreover, surveys have shown that the main reason why patients do not have colonoscopies as often as recommended by their doctor is because they dislike the traditional bowel prep solutions that are approved by their doctor. Perhaps if CHT were offered as an option for bowel prep, more patients would adhere to their recommended screening schedules.
Studies have shown that CHT is a very effective method to prepare patients for colonoscopies, and it is statistically superior to traditional bowel prep in providing a clean environment for the colonoscope in the transverse colon, ascending colon and the cecum.