Colon Hydrotherapy - stopped my IBS symptoms

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JS_2007
New Member


Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 10/20/2007 10:00 PM (GMT -7)   
I hope this may be helpful to others as it has been a miracle for me. 
 
I had three weekly sessions of colon hydrotherapy (colonic irrigation).  I just went for the general health benefits, never expecting that it would affect my IBS at all.  After these treatments all of my IBS symptoms stopped! This was four months ago and I have been symptom-free since then.  I had had IBS for five years and was taking lomotil at daily, with frequent enemas, laxatives, etc., the whole nightmare.
 
Colon hydrotherapy is somewhat like a very large enema: a large quantity of water is carefully pumped into you and then taken back out.  It reaches up much farther than a regular enema.  It is all controlled by a very high-tech machine with a safety valve. The therapists are very highly trained.  They will give you a little massage of the belly during the procedure, and you can stop it at any time if you feel uncomfortable.   You might stop and take some "bathroom breaks".  It took about one hour and cost me $60 per session.  The therapist recommended that I come back every few months for one "maintenance" session.
 
The idea is that it moves out old or impacted stool from your colon.  I had massive bowel movements during this procedure (I left the table and went into the bathroom) - I had no idea all that could be inside me.  It also is supposed to "tone" the muscles of your bowel so you have normal functioning again.
 
It isn't recommended for people with ulcerative colitis and a few other things (there is info online).  Also, If you decide to try this, be SURE to get a licensed, and experienced therapist - many of them nowadays are not very well trained, so be careful!  Try to stay away from a spa; look for a specialist at a holistic health center.
 
My last caution is that you may have a little "accident" on the table during the procedure.  Some people really freak out about this, so I thought I should mention it.  But please don't let it stop you from getting a treatment that may help end your suffering - you are worth it!  And the therapists see this happen every day - it does not phase them and you will just end up laughing about it tongue .
 
I hope this is helpful to a few people!  Good luck!
 
 
 
 

gutastrophe
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 319
   Posted 10/21/2007 12:30 AM (GMT -7)   

Completely, 100% concur with your recommendations.  And I'm glad to finally see someone else on the message board who has undergone this incredible treatment.

I went on my GI's recommendation.  He dx me with a colon impaction and suggested the most "friendly" approach to cleaning out the back up would be colon hydrotherapy.  I had done some research on it in years past because I've had IBS C for over 20 years but always felt too frightened to make an appointment. 

My experience with it was also wonderful.  I had a very knowledgeable and patient clinician who taught me how to massage my belly to release the gas and "other things".  I still use this technique every day, especially after meals.  Like you, I was astonished as what my gut produced during the sessions.  It still freaks me out because I know I am not "going" like that normally and I still worry that I will end up back in the same condition I was in before. 

I wish I could say it "cured" me.  What I can say is that I never felt better than I did those few months that I had the treatments.  I remember leaving the clinic and thinking "Wow, this must be what normal people feel like!". 

Thanks for your post.  I hope others read it as well.


Sarita
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 2486
   Posted 10/21/2007 1:27 AM (GMT -7)   

I've been known to raise the red flag when I hear "colonic" anything, but gutastrophe and med school are making me much less volatile about this.  I'm just glad to see that people are advising others to educate themselves and be safe while investigating their options.  I'm not an advocate of any foreign objects being inserted into the intestine, for a number of reasons, but sterilized water is pretty harmless.  And anyway, I'm a staunch advocate for relief of discomfort.  If something helps you, it helps you, and that's all that matters.  I just encourage people to educate themselves and be informed in their treatment and ask questions.  Thanks for posting.

P.S. I will never get to experience this technique first-hand since I seem to have an ongoing problem with "colonic irrigation" (i.e., way too much diarrhea every day) but I know I'll get questions from patients about it so I might as well learn as much as I can!


Co-moderator - IBS Forum


gutastrophe
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 319
   Posted 10/21/2007 11:46 AM (GMT -7)   

Sarita,

I think about you every time I post on this topic!  I am happy to see you are "softening" on colon hydrotherapy!

Just wanted to correct a misunderstanding.  Nothing is "inserted" into the instestines.  The rectal speculum doesn't even go in as far as a typical sigmoidoscopy does.  It doesn't go in any further than a home enema.  It is larger because it is a vehicle for introducing the water and allowing the "matter" to flow out.  But it does not enter the instestines.

I can't imagine you would ever need to avail yourself of this treatment considering all I've read of your symptoms.  I know this sounds silly, and much like a "grass is always greener" statement, but I often wish I had your particular "problem" rather than mine!  Since my daily life is often a quest to achieve proper elimination, the concept of going 5, 6, or 10 times a day seems idyllic to me!  Course, I am sure I'd be singing a different tune if I actually found myself in this situation!

If you are interested in the equipment used and the actual procedure involved, I can provide you with a link to a very informative website!


JS_2007
New Member


Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 10/21/2007 1:17 PM (GMT -7)   
I would just like to add that, according to the hydrotherapists, having only diarrhea does not mean that you do not have dried or stuck stool in your intestinal walls.  It just means that it isn't coming out!  The diarrhea just passes it by on the way out, and you think you are "all cleaned out". 
 
In fact, they say, the stuff lining your intestinal walls can be a contributing cause of the  diarrhea, by preventing your intestines from their natural function of reabsorbing the fluid that goes through them. 
 
This jibed with my own personal experience, as I was eating very lightly and doing enemas before the hydrotherapy.  I thought I was all cleaned out before I went in for the sessions - boy was I wrong. 
 
Of course everyone is different and definitely should do research before jumping into something like this.  Thanks for all of the responses to my post.

Canyonbabe711
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 1451
   Posted 10/21/2007 2:21 PM (GMT -7)   
I would think that there would be no way that it could get impacted if you had diahrea. It is not there long enough. Many people have to go as soon as they eat as things just go right thru them. It does sound like more and more people are trying this but I think I would find it easier to do it with the same thing they use for colonscopy. When the Doctor is in there he can tell if there is stuff impacted. They have a birdeye view of the nooks and crannies.

Sarita
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 2486
   Posted 10/21/2007 6:13 PM (GMT -7)   

It's pretty hard to get "entirely cleaned out" no matter what you do - and that's not necessarily abnormal.  I still have some reservations about the method because even if nothing is being "stuck up there" you still may have residual problems stemming from depletion of colonic bacteria.  You need those bacteria in there. 

Then again, I have reservations about a lot of treatment methods.  Nothing is going to work for everyone and some treatments will be dangerous for some and benign for others.  Your doctor has to help you decide the risks and benefits of any kind of treatment. 


Co-moderator - IBS Forum


gutastrophe
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 319
   Posted 10/21/2007 11:03 PM (GMT -7)   
Canyonbabe711 said...
I would think that there would be no way that it could get impacted if you had diahrea. It is not there long enough. Many people have to go as soon as they eat as things just go right thru them. It does sound like more and more people are trying this but I think I would find it easier to do it with the same thing they use for colonscopy. When the Doctor is in there he can tell if there is stuff impacted. They have a birdeye view of the nooks and crannies.
In my case, while I was having D immediately following meals, what was actually coming out was undigested food that had not had a chance to make it's way through the colon due to old, impacted fecal matter being in the way.  So instead of "hanging around" long enough to go through the process of forming itself into compact stool, it literally rushed around the old stuff and flew out.
The advantage of this treatment over the standard pre-colonoscopy clean out is that is does not artifically stimulate the bowel.  It is very gentle and simply provokes the natural peristaltic motion which propels the stool out.  In addition, if done over a period of time, it will help "remind" a lazy bowel what it's supposed to do by encouraging that natural motion.  That was, for me, the bigger benefit.  I can clean myself out on any Saturday with a cocktail of Magnesium Citrate but it's gonna make me feel pretty icky for a few days and the gut will be in turmoil while it's happening!
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