Patti Hartman, an I-ACT-certified colon hydrotherapist and the owner of Connecticut Colon Hydrotherapy (ColonicsinCT.com) in Guilford, Connecticut, has performed over 200 colonoscopy preparations. She spoke with Natural Awakenings New Haven and Middlesex Counties about colon hydrotherapy and how it can help patients as they prepare themselves to undergo a colonoscopy.
Why is there a fear of colonoscopies and how can colon hydrotherapy help?
A colonoscopy is an effective way to help detect and prevent colon rectal cancer at an early stage. It is an integral part of keeping us healthy. For the procedure to be effective, prepping the bowel efficiently is very important so that the doctor has a clear view of the intestinal wall for possible polyps and other abnormalities. However, many people resist having a colonoscopy because of the difficult preparation that the doctor prescribes; the side effects can include severe diarrhea, cramping, nausea, vomiting and dizziness, to name a few.
The good news is that there is an alternative. Colon hydrotherapy has been found to be effective in clearing out the bowels for scoping. Colon hydrotherapy, also known as colonics or colon irrigation, is a gentle infusion of warm filtered water into the colon to loosen and soften waste, allowing it to pass through the intestine with no discomfort. Colon hydrotherapy methods extend beyond the rectum to cleanse the entire colon and offer greater cleansing and therapeutic benefits.
Many of my clients were unwilling to have another colonoscopy because of the prescribed preparation. This can be dangerous if they have a history of polyps. It was a great relief for them to know that there is an easier way to prepare for their colonoscopy.
How do local physicians support the use of colon hydrotherapy?
Dr. Sydney Bogardus, Jr., M.D., AGAF, FACP, president of Connecticut Gastroenterology Consultantsin Guilford, Connecticut is a supporter of colon hydrotherapy for colonoscopy preps. “One reason that people may not think of right away is that colon hydrotherapy can be used as a gentle but effective preparation for colonoscopy, eliminating the need to drink the sometimes difficult oral preparation solutions. Colon hydrotherapy as colonoscopy preparation is an option for anyone who needs a colonoscopy, but is especially nice as an option for people who have either had previous difficulty with colonoscopy preparation or who have medical conditions, including chronic nausea, that may affect their ability to tolerate the preparation,” Dr. Bogardus said to me.
What is the protocol for using colon hydrotherapy as prep for a colonoscopy?
It varies with each patient. It starts with a phone consultation to gather information, such as medical history, bowel history, and any questions or concerns the patient may have followed with my recommendations. Most people have two to three colonics prior to their colonoscopy, including one on the day of the procedure. Patients do need a doctor’s approval to ensure that the doctor supports this option for a colonoscopy preparation.
In terms of effectiveness, 97 percent of my clients have had success. The remaining 3 percent account for those who did not follow the given instructions.
As for how much it costs,that depends on the patient’s location. Unfortunately, insurance does not cover colonics. However, they can use a flexible spending account or health savings account to pay for the sessions.
How can people find a certified colon therapist?
The International Association for Colon Hydrotherapy(I-ACT) has a referral list on their website at I-ACT.org. It is important to look for a therapist that is I-ACT-certified, and is using a FDA-registered device and disposable speculum kits.