Health Watch — The Post-holiday Diet: Colon Cleansing

Health Watch is a Public Service of the Office of News and Publications  and is intended to provide general information only and should not replace the advice of a medical professional. You should contact your physician if you have questions about any of these topics.


This week on Health Watch, we’ve been talking about the promise so many of us make to ourselves after the holiday season – that we’ll make up for the holiday excess by eating better, exercising more and generally being better to our bodies. But if you’re thinking about a colon cleanser to rid your body of toxins, doctors at UT Southwestern Medical Center urge you to think twice.

Dr. Anne Larson, a UT Southwestern internal medicine physician, says the lining of the gut regenerates itself every seven days, so cleansing really isn’t necessary. It can also be dangerous because it can unbalance the body’s fluids and lead to salt depletion, dehydration and low blood pressure. Long-term, colon cleansing can cause malnutrition, anemia, heart failure and breaking the colon wall. Infection is also a risk. If you’re worried about keeping your colon clean, eat plenty of fiber and drink plenty of water.

Visit http://www.utsouthwestern.org/digestive to learn more about UT Southwestern’s clinical services in digestive.

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December 2008

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