Do Your Own Colon Cleanse--the less invasive way!


Written by Dr. Georgia Tetlow, MD and Clare Abercrombie, BS

“The colon cleanse!” When you ask any healthcare provider, he or she is likely to have an opinion on this topic. Colonics, hydrotherapy, and enemas can become a divisive topic within the medical community. Many of you have heard of ‘colon cleansing’, and some of you have even tried it once or twice? Philadelphia Integrative Medicine recognizes the seemingly endless value in nurturing your gastrointestinal tract to improve overall health. How can we optimize our GI tract, specifically the colon? Should we do “colon cleansing”? What role does nutrition play? This post continues our series on detoxification and ‘cleanses’ by exploring our safe integrative recommendations the validity and safety of popular cleansing techniques. First, let’s start with a comprehensive discussion of detoxification, of which colon health and physiology is a part.

Detoxification and Exercise

Exercise can help to stimulate your body’s natural detoxification mechanisms, especially with regard to GI health optimization. Researchers at Johns Hopkins Medical Center pinpoint the direct correlation between exercising regularly and preventing colorectal cancer. Identify the types of exercise you most enjoy--do you prefer to be solo or workout in a group? Try a dance, yoga, or spin class. Swimming, running, or taking long walks are excellent options. Once you’ve found your niche, try to stick with it and enjoy getting into a daily flow. Also, specific yoga postures aid in healthy bowel movements and reduce flatulance, when practiced regularly. 

Nutrition, Probiotics, and Prebiotics

The safest and most researched way to ensure colon health is through nutrition and diet. Drink plenty of water and herbal tea daily to cleanse out any unwanted toxins and move hard stool. Incorporating healthy fats such as coconut oil and avocado can aid in replenishing electrolytes while providing comfort during this water cleanse. Aside from triggering your body’s natural detoxification mechanisms through exercise and water consumption, you may consider incorporating some gentle cleansing herbs into your diet--we recommend consulting with your healthcare provider, especially an integrative provider or nutritionist, before starting any cleanse or incorporating cleansing herbs into your diet. Psyllium husk powder, chickweed, and slippery elm can all act as gentle cleansing agents for your colon. Ask your provider for information on medications and herbal interactions before incorporating any cleansing herbs. Consider incorporating vegetables, fruits, and cold-water fish into your diet at the same time. Make sure to drink plenty of water and, for an extra boost, fresh low sugar juices. Also incorporate probiotics and prebiotic foods to replenish your gastrointestinal bacteria.  

Colonics, Hydrotherapy, Enemas

The jury is still out on the validity of these techniques. Until we have seen research supporting the validity of these techniques, we recommend focusing on nutrition, diet, and exercise to cleanse your colon.

For more nutritional advice schedule an appointment with a PIM Nutritionist at:

Come to our upcoming class Refresh & Renew to learn how to detox your body and mind of a happier and healthier 2017!

When: Tuesday, January 10th, 2017

Time: 6:30-8:00 PM

Where: Treddyfrin Public Library 582 Upper Gulph Road Strafford, PA 19087

Admission is FREE, register here!