Can a colonic help with weight loss and/or bloat?

I eat a clean, fiber-rich diet and work out almost every day yet recently I have been feeling “clogged up.” I thought it was due to hormone medications I was taking as I’m trying to get pregnant, but the effects have lingered since getting off of them. I wondered whether getting a colonic could be an answer to getting over this unexplained hump. I’ve had colonics twice before. The first time I felt rejuvenated (it was at a random place in NYC… too long ago to remember which) and the second one was at SHA – a place I love – but it was horrible! It was uncomfortable and left me feeling even more bloated. As I mentioned I’m also trying to get pregnant so I was worried that getting a colonic might interfere with that as I’ve heard it can remove the “good” bacteria along with the bad.

With that in mind I spoke with Dr. Roshini Raj, board certified gastroenterologist and internist, Lose It! advisory bard member, author of “What the Yuck” and founder of TULA skin care.

“Colonics really aren’t needed, and they don’t have any medical backing or benefits to the body. Colon cleanses claim to remove harmful toxins and bacteria, but your body is already doing this on its own. I wouldn’t recommend saunas or steam rooms as an attempt to remove toxins, either: your liver and kidneys do most of the detox work in your body.” She goes on to say tha the best way to “cleanse” your body is to keep a consistent, nutritious diet with probiotics and fiber, along with plenty of water. “You can start off drinking water every morning, and eating breakfast with yogurt, flaxseed, and berries. If you’re feeling bloated, try fresh foods like cucumber and papaya, or include probiotic drinks like kombucha or kefir. Probiotics are the healthy bacteria that promote regularity and overall good digestion. You might also hear of juice fasts. I don’t recommend doing one for more than a day. Juicing removes helpful fiber, and if you’re only juicing you’re not getting the healthy fats, proteins, fiber, and carbohydrates that you need.”

Given this feedback I’m doing three things: adding more probiotic-rich foods to my diet, taking a probiotic, and taking magnesium which is said to be helpful to fight constipation naturally. I’ll report back to update how they have helped! That said I do want to underline that I’ve not ruled out getting another colonic just yet! A number of health experts that I really respect – including Melissa Wood and Kimberly Snyder – advocate for them as long as you do research as far as finding the right therapist so I might potentially try it again if my more “natural” approach doesn’t work.

Paul Labrecque Salon and Spa comes highly recommended. It’s a cult Upper East Side spot and they always hire the best of the best whether for hair, makeup, facials, or colonics.  Colonic therapist Birgit Krome says that it’s safe and effective for everyone over 18. “They’re especially great to help aid constipation, bloating, lots of gas, significant weight gain, symptoms of IBS and a sluggish thyroid. I also highly recommend them for people who are on a variety of popular cleanses, including the parasite cleanse and Candida Cleanse, and for those on probiotics. It’s important to have great nutrition and a colonics program in place to really feel your best and operate well.”

As for pregnant women? She says it’s safe up to the seventh or eighth month.

If you do opt for a colonic here is how Krome suggests preparing:

  • Don’t eat three or more hours prior to coming in for the treatment, and try not to drink much, too. You don’t want to have to go to the bathroom during the process.
  • After the procedure you can eat and drink right away. I recommend my clients eat a lot of raw foods and follow a vegan diet, or at least one that is 70%-80% vegan!
  • You can’t go wrong consuming less sugar and dairy products.

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