Q: Several friends just suggested I should do a “colon cleansing” to make me feel better and be healthier. They say they do this regularly. The “cleansing” appeared to involve extensive use of cathartics for several days. They cited many benefits. Should I?
A: No. No. and No. When I was growing up, my mother and hence the whole family embarked upon spring cleaning and fall cleaning to spruce up our house. There are people who analogously recommend that our colons should be purged each spring and fall for various alleged benefits. People who promote such practices have no understanding whatsoever of their bodies and hence of yours or mine. The intestinal tract takes care of itself just fine. It actually is quite delicate. Using purgatives for no purpose is harmful and of no benefit. The only indication for purgatives is in preparation for medical tests that require a completely empty colon, or for rare correction of severe constipation when dietary improvements and other interventions have not succeeded.