The colon is part of the digestive system in the human body. Working in concert with the intestines, the colon helps deliver nutrition to the body and eliminate waste. Since the 19th century, many have claimed that the colon can store residual water and bacteria, leading to a breakdown in bodily function and waste elimination. Commercially-sold varieties of cleansers or colonics exist to supposedly clean the area out, but many doctors agree that they are an unnecessary product meant to make money and can even harm the body.
The concept behind colon cleansers suggests that the body needs assistance to remove excess waste. They are touted as a relief to constipation or digestion problems, and even as a weight loss manager. Some proponents suggest that fecal matter can get trapped inside the colon, sometimes for months or years. Fans of colon cleansers say that they feel cleaner and healthier after cleansing, that they experience weight loss and increased bowel regularity.
By using fibrous ingredients or herbs similar to laxatives, most doctors admit that colon cleansers do clean out your system. They can provide temporary relief from digestive problems and rid the body of waste. However, many medical experts agree that colon cleansers are not even remotely necessary to maintaining a healthy or clean colon. Some suggest that washing out the intestinal system on a regular basis can kill necessary bacteria and cause mineral and vitamin deficiencies. The intestinal track needs bacteria to get nutrition to the body, if it is killed off, the body may be deprived of vital compounds.
Some doctors suggest that colon cleansers are potentially seriously harmful to the body in other ways. Overuse can lead to tears and inflammation in the colon, and can leave you severely dehydrated. As a non-prescription medicine, colonics are not heavily regulated or tested for results. While some products may give you the desired results, without regulation it is difficult to tell the good from the bad.
If you suffer frequently from digestive problems such as constipation, a colon cleanser may be a short term solution. However, some experts suggest that the cure for minor issues is dietary, rather than medicinal. A diet high in fiber and adequate hydration are likely to help prevent any problems that colon cleansers claim to temporarily cure. As long as the body receives proper nutrition, it is extremely capable of maintaining itself.
Colon cleansers are marketed under a variety of brands with a wide range of active ingredients. While some generic brands are priced around $20 US Dollars (USD), popular brands tend to be fairly expensive, usually costing more than $80 USD. As with any commercial medication, consult a physician before using a colon cleanser to identify any possible dangerous side effects, allergies or potential issues. While colon cleansers can provide a quick fix to some stomach problems, it is probably more cost effective to eat correctly and allow your body to do its own job.