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Are enemas dangerous?

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I usually like to do a tap water enema once a week.  Usually on Saturday - it makes me feel good and cleans me right out.  Is this bad?  I haven't read any negative things about it on the net.

Edited Dec 24 2012 13:27 by coach_k
Reason: locked. Asked/answered.
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You're probably going to get mixed reviews for that on this website.

In some ways, I can see it being harmless, but on the other hand, there's helpful  batceria in there that you're washing out....and that part is not too great.

I don't have much experience on that, so see what everyone says

Mayo Clinic says, no, it's not safe. And not a good idea.

If you have a problem with constipation, the natural remedy is to increase your water and fiber intake - GRADUALLY.

Jazz is right - you are not helping your large intestine or colon with frequent enemas.

If you are doing home enemas because you want to purge, you should take this as a serious warning sign and see your doctor for help.
Why would you need to do them that often? If you have a problem with constipation then talk to your doctor. Are you doing it for weightloss?
That mayo article refers to like saline or home made enemas.  I just use water.  I understand that saline enemas are dangerous.

As to why I do it, since I have been eating less, I feel that I'm eating the right things - oatmeal, salad, high fiber cereal, fruits, tons of veggies etc, but my bowl movements have decreased.  I used to go once a day, now its like once every 3 days if that and I get gassy and bloated.  Sorry for the TMI.  I do an enema once a week and it makes everything go away.  I'm just not sure what the problem is.  I used to abuse laxatives in high school and college, but haven't for some time now.  I am afraid that I have screwed up my system forever.

The Mayo clinic article addresses frequent enemas, period.  It also mentions that solutions have an added possibility for negative effect.

You didn't say (or I missed) how long you have been in this habit of weekly enemas.  Training your body to depend on enemas can compromise your natural ability to evacuate.  And you're probably feeling gassy and bloated because you've tried way too much fiber too fast.  Back off, and gradually wean off the enemas as you gradually increase your fiber and hydration.  It may take a while, but unless you've actually injured it,  your body should right itself.

Since you have a history of abusing laxatives, and you are presently engaging in a purging activity, I STRONGLY urge you to take this as a potentially serious sign and seek the help of a doctor.

You're gassy and bloated because you keep washing away the intestinal flora that normally would help you digest your food properly.

Some people have 3 bowel movements a day - some have 1 every three days... both perfectly normal.

Try adding some yogurt with live cultures.  And you may also want to go to a health food store and ask them if they have a supplement to help your intestinal flora (supergreens I think they call it)

If you're not willing to try this instead of the enema, I will say again, PLEASE TAKE THIS AS A SIGN of a problem and seek the help of a doctor.

Calorie Count supports practices that contribute to good health and what you are doing does not fall into that category.
I have a problem with  going only when I dont eat a high fiber breakfast. If I get in 10 - 15 grams of fiber in the morning its easy sailing!!! I average between 40 - 50 grams a day.  Do you track your fiber? You should try increasing it and see what happens. I would definately STOP with the enema, its just not natural to force your body ya know.
I have been to the doctor.  They tell me that my body will go back to normal after I stop abusing the laxatives, which I have.  What is a doctor going to tell me that hasn't been mentioned here.  "Stop doing it and increase your fiber."  I think that I eat enough fiber.  I've been having trouble finding a good doctor and don't really have one to turn to at the moment, at least one who's opinion I would trust.  I work in Medical Publishing and know that doctors aren't always what they are cracked up to be.  Some just really don't care.  The whole finding a good doctor is a frustration in and of itself.
This may sound harsh and that's not my intent, but when you say that

I've been having trouble finding a good doctor and don't really have one to turn to at the moment, at least one who's opinion I would trust.

You are making excuses. Giving yourself enemas like that is another form of purging. Several posters have nicely and gently pointed this out. Are you looking for support or validation in continuing behavior that is not normal and not healthy?

Don't even try to kid yourself, this IS another form of purging (same as the laxatives were).
I wasn't really looking for validation.  I have been to 3 doctors this year and all three of them were useless, didn't listen to my questions and concerns, perscribed me medication I didn't need etc.  I am not making excuses, unfortunately our medical system doesn't produce good doctors.  You get one few and far in between.  Doctor's haven't helped in the past, when I had my ED they didn't help, when I started wanting to get healthy they didn't help, they didn't help when I was having my period problems - I'm just another client to them that brings in money.  I am really not trying to make excuses, its just my experience.  When a doctor tells me "I don't know" to my question and doesn't offer to find out - I will never go to him again. 
There have been reports of enemas punching a hole in the intestines.

Your original question was "are they dangerous".  I did a little research and here's what I found out.

Mayo Clinic Article, which nomoreexcuses posted before.  You seem to have extracted only what you wanted to hear from this article.  So, I'm going to post the part you seem to have missed.

excerpt from article: 

"Frequent home enemas can increase the risk of injury to your anus and rectum. Also, home enema solutions can irritate and cause changes to the lining of your large intestine (colon). Frequent enemas can be dangerous for people with kidney or heart disease, who are more likely to experience fluid overload (hypervolemia) or electrolyte imbalance."

"Over time, frequent use of enemas can impair the natural ability of your colon to evacuate stool. If this occurs, you may have to retrain it to go without enemas."

If you are doing this to lose weight you should know that all the calories are already absorbed by the time waste gets to your colon.

Hi. I feel bad about your plight. Do not do tap water enemas that often, because tap water contains impurities like heavy metals and fluride which would be absorbed directly by your colon. Your problem can be easily managed by the food you say you eat: but on top of that, eat 2 or three prunes a few times a day, including before going to bed. Do not forget your breakfast, lunch and dinner of fibrous food and mixed diet. Go to bed with the aim to exercise in the morning on an empty stomach, so wake up, drink water and try to take a ****. If nothing comes out, just get back to the room and begin the light exercise, if in the middle of it you feel a slight bowel movement, just rush to the toilet and try again. Eventually, this routine will train your system to deficate every morning. Please try this and let me know how it goes. The mind and bodsy both have something to do with this.

 I am not a medic, but I practice yoga and am into self healing methods.

when you really need an enema, do a real one because the opver-all health would aid bowel movements. Use distilled water. Alternatively, a home filte that you buy from your local store removes heavy metals, chlorine, aluminium, pesticides, etc: however, it does not remove fluorine. You can then poass it through a filter which removes fluorine, if one is available. Then do your enema with suitable herbs. Add some ginger (powder or crushed ginger root). Ginger will excite your bowekl and expel the **** more efficiently, leaving you feeling good. once a month is best.

It really sounds like you just came on here to have someone else say "enemas are totally safe, everyone does them all the time".  But that's not the truth.

You are hurting yourself badly.  

You may have distrust in doctors, and I believe sometimes that doctors are wrong.  But it seems to me you're only getting mad at your doctors for telling you what you don't want to hear.


I am a licenced naturopath and I know first had, there is nothing wrong with doing a weekly enema.  PAY ATTENTION TO ME NOW...People puncture their intestines when they don't know what they re doing.

Enemas are totally safe. I do one when ever I am constipated...in fact letting fecal matter become impacted is much worse than completing an enema, as long as one is educated about how much water they can handle and not doing something nuts like coffee enemas. It seems to me alot of folks here just don't bother to read more than what they want to see.

Naturally when one eats less, peristalsis slows down. This is MUCH worse for your colon's natural flora than a WEEKLY enema. KateTheGreat...you're doing fine. Don't listen to these people. Theyre licenced in NOTHING

All these replies are myopic and ignorant.

Original Post by carycass:
KateTheGreat...you're doing fine. Don't listen to these people. Theyre licenced in NOTHING

First of all, why are you yelling?

Second of all, do you realize this thread is almost 3 years old?

Third of all, if you had bothered to read the replies, you'd see that Kate was NOT doing fine - she was abusing laxatives and purging.

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I have been having the same experiences, I changed the doctors asked them to do a colonoscopy, it turned out I had h-pylori bacteria, and recently I was diagnosed with SIBO (overgrow bacteria).  You should ask your doctors to test you for the bacteria. 

Good Luck

3 years late on this reply, but...

Enema's at most every 3 months - but 6 months should be fine.

(Someone earlier said the were a "licenced naturopath". What the* is that? And what's being "licenced"? Suffite it to say, that person is an idiot.)

24 hours prior to enema eat a large bowl of 10g/30g fiber cereal (10g of insoluble fiber), and begin probiotics

Enema: 8 oz water, 1 oz sugar, 1 oz baking soda in carbon filtered water that has been boiled and cooled to room temp. Lay on back with hips slightly elevated, carefull, gently, patiently insert tube 10 inches, and slowly, slowly fill colon with fluid. Let stand for about 7 minutes and then without effort evecuate. 30 minutes later with the same fresh water (nothing added) fill colon again, let stand for 2 minutes and then without effort evacuate.

Cooked vegtables have a tendency to constipate and cause gas. Eat raw veg's, lean meats, slads with olive oil (stear clear of margerines and most other oils as a rule - never heat oil as a rule), nuts, seeds, whole grains, friuts - No pasta, white bread, potatos... white is usually not good as a rule.

Keep messing with your colon to a minimum.

are you nuts? She did not say she was using laxatives.

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