One Mom’s Journey from Fat to Skinny to Confident

ASK RONI Q&A

Have You Ever Done a Colon Cleanse?

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Question of the weekYikes!

Prepare yourself for a TMI (too much information) Question of the Week. I have gotten many emails and questions like this one…

Have you ever done a colon cleanse? I have checked webmd and other internet sites, but it seems everyone has a different opinion. I was hoping it would be a good way to jump start my metabolism for weight loss and energy.

I touched on a response in this Ask Roni video but I’m motivated to visit the topic again. Why? Well, I’m about to do one.

Hold the phone! What?

That’s right, I’m cleaning the old colon. I can’t believe I just told you that. Let me back up a bit and tell you why.

Recently I changed health insurance, which meant I had to change doctors. With all the training and running I’ve been doing I thought it would be a good idea to get a physical and meet my new Doc. During that procedure she ran a test that came up positive which prompted her to refer me to a Gastroenterologist. Given my family history and the symptoms I’ve been having he recommended I get a colonoscopy.

I struggled a bit with the decision to share this information with you. I mean it’s kind of… ummm… yucky, gross, embarrassing, awkward.. BUTT (excuse the pun) I figured it’s worth it. Part of the reason I blog is to share information, learn and grow. If that means embarrassing myself in the process so be it, I don’t mind being the butt (last time, I promise) of joke now and then. Plus, we’re all human here right? We all have colons, right? RIGHT?

So as of noon tomorrow I’m on a clear liquid diet and will be taking a prescribed colon cleansing kit.

FUN!

Now I KNOW I’m not the only one that has gone through this. I know some of you have actually done it by choice! So I’m looking for experiences, opinions, thoughts on the whole colon cleansing process for weight loss. Why’d you do it? Why are you thinking of doing it? Is it worth it?

Disclaimer: I warned you, total TMI. :) The comments that are to follow (if anyone has the guts) do not represent my feelings on the whole colon cleanse for weight loss thing. I’m a big believer in the "to each their own" mindset. I’m just really curious about others experiences as I know you are too. Just know this doesn’t mean I endorse colon cleansing for weight loss.




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Discussion

There are 42 comments so far.

    Christine

    March 24, 2009

    My husband had a ruptured polyp which caused MASSIVE internal bleeding that almost killed him when he was just THIRTY FIVE…as a result, he has gone through this procedure two times in the last five years. The best thing about it is that it is somewhat gradual and for most of the day, you will just be a little hungry. Once the real fireworks start, its a pretty fast process, he never really complained,believe me, if he could, he would, LOL! Anyway, I am glad you shared the info, I wish you all the best of luck- I know ANY medical testing is nerve wracking, but its best to know whats going on. We’re all here for you!!!!

    Christine

    March 24, 2009

    And as I recall, your meals prior to noon should be fairly bland and simple, yes? And by all means, DONT RUN TOMORROW…the next day you might feel a little weakened as well…not always, but sometimes that happens.

    Tyson

    March 24, 2009

    I have done the Colonix cleanse by Dr. Natura with great results. Not quite picture worthy (visit the site on an empty stomach) but good results non-the-less.

    Jessica

    March 25, 2009

    I’m so glad you mentioned this. Like the children’s book, ‘everybody poops’, we all have colons. I hope it goes smoothly and everything checks out. If you feel like sharing, what kind of test would prompt your doc to want this test? Please, fill us in with what you think of it afterwards! Thanks for all your candor!

    Jill

    March 25, 2009

    My family refers to these as “the fun operation all adults have to go through at some point.” No need to be worried and/or embarrassed. It’s just one day, and you can do it.

    Elaine

    March 25, 2009

    I’ve never done a colon cleanse, per se, but there was this one time that I ate nothing but organic fruit, filtered water, and organic teas for 48 hours. I had plenty of energy and felt really good. The purpose of it was the “flush” my colon, since fruit is fast moving through the digestive system. It’s hard to explain, but I did feel a lot cleaner and lighter after this….probably more so because I flushed excess sodium out of my body than because I cleansed my colon, lol.

    Patty

    March 25, 2009

    I’ve never had this procedure myself, but I know it will be in my future due to family history etc. My mom needs to have one on a rather regular basis, every other year or something like that. My sister also had to have one, they both said that the actual procedure isn’t bad at all. The worst part was doing the cleanse to prepare. So don’t get yourself worked up too much (like I know I would LOL) you’ll be fine and like another poster said it’s just one day. Good luck I’ll be thinking about you!

    me

    March 25, 2009

    I have one suggestion….go out and get a small container of Tucks.
    Its not an awful thing, but I did have some uncomfortability the night before when I did the clense just from the number of times I HAD to go to the bathroom….again – nothing major, but it will make your process a bit better. I used a couple of Tucks that night and the next morning I was fine and ready for the procedure – which by the way – was SUCH a non-event that I don’t even remember it!

    Marie

    March 25, 2009

    Roni – I’m younger than you and had to have a colonoscopy last year because of some medical issues I was experiencing. It (colon cleanse) wasn’t something that I could imagine anyone actually going through unnecessarily. The procedure wasn’t nearly as bad as the preparation, for sure! I will admit that the stuff that they make you drink is awful. Don’t go far from the bathroom!!! Good luck.

    sheryl

    March 25, 2009

    Hey Roni,

    Once again thanks for paving the way – i’m scheduled for my first colonoscopy on May 2nd. try to keep the humor in it and good luck – please share the experience to help settle my nerves. In my heart I know that i would much rather go for this test than die of colon cancer. I’ve seen this first hand and it’s not good.

    Debbie

    March 25, 2009

    Roni, I had a colonscopy last fall and they removed pylops. I never even knew I had them….except for the symptoms that prompted my Dr to request the test. He had me to take Miralax and Dulcolax products the day before the procedure. They worked wonderfully, no bloating, gas, OMG moments tethered to the toliet, but very effective. and fyi…my daughter gave me a great idea…. I now keep baby wipes in the bathroom all the time now. Tucks are wonderful but expensive. The procedure itself was a breeze, they make sure you are properly sedated and I never knew when they did it. Thank goodnes I had it done, as they found and removed some “stuff”. As a weight loss remedy…Im not sure. I know there are bacteria (normal flora) that lives in my colon… I dont know if I would want to flush all that out or not. I have heard that we have tons of waste in our bodies at any one time though. Interesting …Good luck to you, thanks for sharing with us.

    Holly

    March 25, 2009

    I know you don’t know me from boo, but just to show you what an avid readership you have, I literally woke up this morning to my husband saying, “Roni’s getting a colon cleanse!” :~)

    Keri

    March 25, 2009

    I have irritable bowel syndrome and had a colonoscopy at age 15. I remember the GoLytely drink didn’t taste great and you had to drink tons of it. I don’t remember atomic bathroom visits, though. Enemas are very painful for me, though. The colonoscopy itself was nothing. They give you plenty of sedation.

    As far as voluntary colon cleansing. I do like the idea of detoxifying my body every year or every six months or so, but I’m not convinced there are real benefits to it with weight loss. Plus, I’m not willing to be uncomfortable for 2-7 days just to cleanse the system. I think I cleansed the system pretty well this winter when I got the flu, so I’m good for the next year. :)

    Good luck–you’ll do great!

    Lola Fierce

    March 25, 2009

    Very interesting. I thought for a second you were going to talk about Colonics which is where they stick the tube in your booty (I think) and massage your stomach to clean the colon. I think its related mostly for weight loss and not as a precursor for a colonoscopy. I wonder has anyone done that?

    And, good luck! You are brave to share…and we love you for it.

    Katie

    March 25, 2009

    I am in nursing school and got to see a colonoscopy a few weeks ago. It was pretty cool! If you dont cleanse properly when they go in they wont be able to see and you will have to come back again. They best part is you do all this cleansing and go without food and the proceedure takes all of 15min. They look around, take some samples, and then your done. The actual scope they use to see is 5 feet long! But your knocked out and wont feel a thing. And all the patients, after they woke up asked if they could eat. So dont worry you will be fine.

    Melissa

    March 25, 2009

    I haven’t done it, but colon cancer runs in my family and having been diagnosed with IBS a few years ago, I’ve really needed to be careful and I might need to get screened earlier than other people my age as a result — but I’ve never done one myself.

    Tests always scare me, but you have a great attitude about it!
    I support medical cleanses like this — for a colonoscopy — 100% and wish you, as we say at Yom Kippur, “an easy fast”.

    But when I hear what Angelina (who looks sickeningly thin as it is) is doing (Master Cleanse), it really gets my goat. It’s water weight these people lose, not fat. I just see no purpose to it. Our bodies do this on their own and I think it’s just a gimmick.

    kate

    March 25, 2009

    This post sent me on a research mission to find out more about colon cleansing. I found a lot of mixed reviews and a TON of different products. I’m not sure that I’m convinced of the value of colon cleansing. Most of the health related sites (as opposed to product selling sites) said that healthy diet of high fiber/low fat is the best way to keep your colon healthy. This article really made me think twice about buying any colon cleansing products.

    http://www.latimes.com/features/health/medicine/la-he-toxic30-2008jun30,0,4875078.column

    me

    March 25, 2009

    me again – Babywipes may be fine…but the reason I suggested Tucks is that they have witch hazel…which releives irritation and swelling…which is what could occur when you poop that much. If they are too expensive as mentioned above, just buy a .99 bottle of witch hazel.
    On a totally ranodomly related note, my son gets irritatations in that ‘area’ sometimes if he’s had a strong antibiotic or, (warning TMI!!!!) if while practicing the whole ‘wiping my butt thing’ doesn’t get quite everthing. I use the witch hazel on him and it takes the red and irritation right out.

    Stacey

    March 25, 2009

    I have no experience with Colon cleansing, but I admire your courage to talk about it, and I wish you all the best with the cleanse and I hope that nothing serious is wrong…good luck!

    Stacey

    Krista S.

    March 25, 2009

    Good luck, Roni. <3

    Nicole

    March 25, 2009

    Speaking of embarrassing…
    My high school band director had to get a colonoscopy b/c of family history, and told the whole band about it, summing it up as: it really wasn’t that bad, so if your parents or you ever need to do it, don’t worry about it b/c it is worth knowing if you have a problem early.

    My MIL had to go in twice b/c the first time she wasn’t “clean” enough, even though she followed all the instructions. That sucked for her but they did find some polyps that needed removal so it was good that she went through with it!

    That being said, I don’t agree with them for weight loss/toxin cleansing purposes. Our livers remove toxins from our bodies, and I would just never do anything that crazy just to lose some weight that probably won’t stay off.

    Laura

    March 25, 2009

    Hope everything is ok. Thinking of you and praying medical tests go well.

    Hey – I put a link to your site from mine since I was writing about blogs I like! Hoep that is OK.

    Mandi

    March 25, 2009

    I have done one several times. I have to have a colonoscopy on a regular basis…about once a year…due to the fact that I had cancer almost 4 years ago (yeah…at 33 yrs old!) that was initially detected by a colonoscopy. so…each time, of course, I have to do the colon “prep”, as they like to call it! I use the Fleet’s phosphosoda…not sure what you have been instructed to use. It is not fun…but not the worst thing in the world either! And…the colonoscopy…I am knocked out cold every time and I do not know a thing! They put me under and wake me up a while later and it is all done! Hope all goes well with your colonoscopy!

    patty

    March 25, 2009

    THE WORST OF IT IS DRINKING THE GOD AWFUL STUFF – THE REST (PROCEDURE) IS NOTHING… YOU’LL BE GLAD WHEN IT’S OVER BUT NOT TO WORRY.

    Michelly

    March 25, 2009

    I hope it’s not too late, but definitely get yourself some flushable wipes (the feminine wipes or Cottonelle or something–not baby wipes as they are not flushable). Do not start wiping with toilet paper or it will be too late when it starts to rub you raw, as even the softest toilet paper will. The preparation is the worst part of a colonoscopy, but the flushable wipes make it bearable.

    Colonoscopy prep is the only colon cleanse I’ve done. I have Crohn’s disease (which they diagnosed with the colonoscopies) so I avoid anything risky with my intestines as I don’t need any more symptoms than I have.

    Amanda

    March 25, 2009

    I had a colooscopy done almost 4 years ago (so I was 26 at the time) so I also did the prescribed colon cleanse. Let me tell you that the prep (the cleanse) was harder than the procedure itself! My prep was taking a bunch of pills so I didn’t have to drink anything besides water and I hear I’m pretty lucky in that regard b/c the drinking stuff is NASTY! The one plus for me was I had my procedure done on the day of my usual WI, so that night I was down like 5#! But it didn’t stay off forever. I don’t think it’s a way to boost your metabolism per se, I’m also part of the ‘to each their own’ group. Good luck with the colonoscopy…let us know how it goes, if you feel like sharing. :)

    Christie

    March 25, 2009

    Thanks for being so frank about your procedure. I think it’s good to get things out in the open sometimes because you never know who could have been avoiding getting a colonoscopy because they were afraid. Does anyone remember when Katie Couric did her colonoscopy on tv and everyone started to go theirs? Colon cancer is no joke and it is largely preventable with the right screening. **stepping off the soapbox**

    That said, I am pretty young (24) so I haven’t been advised to have a colonoscopy. However, my husband bought some stuff once that was supposed to help “cleanse the colon” because his cousin convinced him it was a good thing to do. Ha! He ended up having to call in to work for a few days because he couldn’t work (it was that bad). I wouldn’t think of going through the cleansing process unless I had been asked by a physician…

    sassyaztec

    March 25, 2009

    You’re my hero :) I love that you talk about this. Hubby had one done, but it was a OTC bottle of something and was pretty easy. For a colonoscopy.

    Adi (oatonomy.com)

    March 25, 2009

    A family member had one and had to drink some pretty gross tasting stuff. Apparently there are two different kinds of liquids you can take to ‘clear’ yourself out before hand, and he ended up with the awful one. Try to get the better tasting citrusy one if you can!

    kris

    March 25, 2009

    Hey Roni, I did a colon cleanse about a year ago and mentioned it on the WW boards. I got CHEWED OUT by them and some of there comments were really rude about doing them, needless to say I haven’t been back on the WW boards because I was so shocked at how immature people were being about it…you are soo brave for mentioning this as everyone will have thier own opinions about it! You gotta do what best for you though!

    Shannon

    March 25, 2009

    My husband has to have a colonoscopy almost yearly due to family history. I agree with everyone else, the prep is pretty unpleasant but the procedure he has no recollection of. I have heard they actually make a pill now instead of having to drink that fluid but I don’t know what it is called.

    Brandy

    March 25, 2009

    I just watched the documentary The Beautiful Truth and in it they talk about the Gerson Therapy for healing. Gerson apparently strongly suggested a coffee colon cleanse. Something to do with helping the liver….Gerson Therapy really seems to have worked for a lot of people and much of what the documentary said made a lot of sense. He believed in eating a diet full of whole foods, mostly fruits and vegetables, and nothing processed. I’m okay with all of that. I’m just not sure I’m ready to voluntarily stick anything up there at the moment.

    Tammy

    March 25, 2009

    Been there. Done that. Doing it for weight loss? Doesn’t fiber help do the same thing? Does enough for me!

    SeaShore

    March 25, 2009

    I’m scheduled for a barium enema April 29. Same liquid diet, same colon cleansing stuff. It’ll be well worth it if they figure out what’s going on with me!

    Michele

    March 25, 2009

    Roni – I had a colonoscopy 2 weeks ago. Definitely the WORST part is the prep! I lost 5 pounds!!! The colonoscopy itself was a breeze…in fact once they put the meds in the IV, I remember feeling real sleepy and the next thing I knew I woke up 30 min. later and it was over!

    As far as doing a colon cleanse for weight loss, I think it’s a lot of BS (no pun intended). You will gain the weight right back. I know I did within 2 days.

    Good luck!

    Bonnie

    March 25, 2009

    So the title of this post made me think you were talking about the colonics thing….but then when you went on to say you were having a colonoscopy, I think now that you’re simply talking about the preparation for the colonoscopy, right? If so…..I had a colonoscopy 4 years ago when I turned 50, mostly because my mother had a massive amount of polyps when she had one done. Well, it was a cinch…it didn’t hurt at all, as I was out, and I had ZERO polyps (yayyyyyy!!!!), but what I remember having afterwards, was…..GAS! That was slightly embarrassing as I was waking up…hahaha. And the preparation stuff was….OK…not too bad tasting, but like others said, stay close to the toilet. Oh and….my Mom had advised me to get my colonoscopy appointment first thing in the morning. That way, it’s over fairly early and you can stop somewhere for breakfast on the way home….hahaha.

    Michelle in CA

    March 26, 2009

    LOL I am giggling only because I read the comment suggesting you go out and get Tucks and post-childbirth hospital bathroom came straight to mind …

    Good luck and looking forward (I think? lol) to hearing how it goes and how you feel!

    Berni

    March 26, 2009

    Roni,
    Good luck. I’ve had a bit of experience in this department both personal and professional. I’ve witnessed the miracle of the colonoscopy prep as a nurse and, trust me, you WILL feel clean ;)

    I’ve also had a few series of colonic irrigations myself and did some work performing them in a clinic for a while. I think advocating colonics as a weight loss aid is really sending out the wrong message, like any quick fix, it isn’t long lasting. Nothing replaces a good healthy diet and regular exercise. I think we all know here there are no quick fixes.

    I’ve seen colonic irrigation be extremely helpful for people with a myriad of health disorders ranging from chronic constipation and IBS to HIV/AIDS and organ transplant patients, but it’s not for every one that’s for sure.

    I hope all goes well for you, and look forward to the report :)

    Sandy

    March 26, 2009

    Dave Barry did a really funny column on this topic. I remember it having a line about some people mixing the yucky drink with vodka. You might google it if you are awake and needing humor to get you through the last hours.

    Jayhawk Girl

    March 26, 2009

    What were your symptoms?

    Nicole

    March 26, 2009

    When I read this I felt I had to share. I’m 38 and just had a colonoscopy 2 weeks ago. I put off going to the dr when I had some bleeding because of being embarrassed; about what I don’t really know. One would think after giving birth twice you lose all sense of modesty. But I just lost my brother 6 months ago to cancer at the age of 42 & didn’t want to go through saying good-bye to my children like he had to.
    Looking back in all honestly the worst part was getting down the last of the drink. Lemonade will never taste the same to me. The procedure was uneventful…I didn’t wake up until well after it was over. I felt nothing. The only issue I had was vomitting afterward from the sedation. I went home & slept for 2 hours. When I woke I felt fine. And I’m happy to say I’m cancer free:) You’ll be fine…Good Luck!

    Mendy

    March 27, 2009

    It’s good to take care of your colon. I have to go in for a colonoscopy in about a month because I just stayed in the hospital for 5 days with diverticulitis. Something you don’t want to have and its because I haven’t taken care of my colon well enough. My husband had it done a while back and he didn’t prep good enough so they wanted him to come back. He did have a polyp they removed though. Colon cancer is not good so anything you can do to prevent that and having to wear a bag for the rest of your life is well worth it.
    Good luck!! Let us know how it goes.