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  • Writer's pictureMarcie Vaske, MS, LN, CNS

Colon Cleanse for Leaky Gut Should You Try It (Research and Expert Advice)

Updated: Apr 26

Video Transcript:

Hi, and welcome back to our channel.

Today I'm going to answer the question, is a colon cleanse good for a leaky gut?

Now, the health of our colon is going to be very critical for the development of leaky gut.

The colon, also known as the large intestine, is critical to help absorb water, absorb electrolytes, as well as removing toxins from our body.

Now, sometimes what happens is that if the colon ends up getting more sluggish and has an overload of toxins, this leads to a leaky gut syndrome, and this leaky gut syndrome has gained lots of attention over the recent years.

What is Leaky Gut Syndrome?

Well, what it is is it refers to the intestinal permeability of our colon.

And when that happens, we end up getting a lot of extra toxins into our bloodstream as well as undigested food particles. And of course, this then leads to a lot of symptoms, so symptoms such as bloating or gas or abdominal distension and pain, and even fatigue.

colon cleanse for leaky gut with image of a colon cleanse supplement. yellow notepad page with paper clip and words. Colon Cleanse for Leaky Gut: Should You Try It? (Research and Expert Advice)

Now, we don't really, the root cause of the leaky gut syndrome isn't totally explained perfectly, but from what happens, what we've seen in a lot of research is that when the intestinal integrity of our gut has been becomes inflamed, then these tight junctions that we have kind of pull apart or they're inflamed and therefore is letting in some of that bacteria or those food particles that I talked about.

Now, before we get into answering the question about is a colon cleanse going to be good for leaky gut, my name is Marcie Vaske and I'm a functional nutritionist working with Flusso Nutrients and at Flusso Nutrients, we really try to provide you with information about many different supplements to help you make a better choice for yourself.

Now, if you have questions about supplements, getting as much information as you can is going to be helpful, but also working with a literate practitioner who knows a lot about supplements is going to be also very helpful.

So let's dig into the different types of colon cleanses that are out there.

A lot of people will ask me:

Should I do a colon cleanse? Is a colon cleanse going to be helpful? And what colon cleanse should I do if I do it?

And there are several little different ones out there, and one of 'em is going to be using herbal supplementation.

Now, a lot of times in these herbal supplementation type cleanses, there's going to be psyllium and some type of stimulant for the gut, because what happens with the herbs is that they will help to bind all together and help the peristalsis of your intestinal tract and therefore rid stool and excess toxins and kind of get things moving.

These supplements are often just taken orally and obviously following the directions with the packaging is going to be the place to begin.

But a lot of times with these also is that you might have even diarrhea, but you're really just ridding excess stool out of the gastrointestinal tract.

Colon Irrigation - What is it?

Another type of colon cleanse is called colon irrigation, and this is oftentimes taken place by a professional. You go into a place that specializes in this, and what they do is they just put up a small tube up the rectum and gently fill it with water, and therefore just kind of irrigating because then you get the water in there and then you'll eventually have a bowel movement.

So again, just kind of irrigating the colon by putting in water, and then with that, the bowel or the intestinal tract gets kind of irritated and then needs to push out all of the water and all the toxins along with it.

Now again, that is done by a professional, so this isn't something you would do at home.

Fasting Colon Cleanse: what is it?

And another type of colon cleanse is also fasting.

So you'll fast for a certain period of time. People maybe will fast from three days to seven days, usually just doing water or bone broth.

Sometimes people will even add in those herbal supplementations, but this way when you're fasting, it gives your digestive system time to just sort of rest and restore.

And so those two things in combination can clear out the digestive system nicely.

Again, you're going to want to work with a health practitioner really on any of these. You should be working with somebody to make sure that you're doing it correctly and safely, most of all.

Now, when it comes to the question of:

Is a colon cleanse good for leaky gut?

The scientific evidence is really kind of lacking, but through anecdotal stories is that people really do feel a lot better after they do a cleanse.

So when you're taking fasting or maybe using the herbal supplementation or even a colonic, you're going to feel better in the way of having reduced symptoms.

So symptoms such as the bloating or gas or abdominal pain or constipation can really be alleviated and giving that time then for the gut to reset.

And in addition, people have also felt like their skin got better, just more clear and bright as well as helping with just brain fog, so their mental health felt better.

And I think it's really important to pay attention to that. It's really different person to person, and of course, depending on your symptoms and also which type of cleanse you decide to use, but any cleanse that you do decide to use, again, get enough information on it so that you feel really confident and comfortable with it.

And I again will say, work with a health professional, I think that's going to be safest.

Is there anybody who shouldn't do a colon cleanse?

And of course, a colon cleanse is not for everybody.

If you have inflammatory bowel disease, then doing a cleanse wouldn't be helpful.

Pregnant or breastfeeding women shouldn't be doing cleanses.

Anyone with eating disorders or disordered eating really shouldn't be doing any kind of colon cleanse as well as if you're on certain medications.

And so really, there's a lot of different people that might not be able to do a colon cleanse, which is totally fine because you can still improve your gut health, you can still heal your gut without doing a colon cleanse.

But if you are just kind of thinking, well, you know what? It's a new year. I'm really healthy. I just want to kind of clear out all the toxins. This might be something that would be helpful for you.

So maybe you've decided to do one and what you're thinking, well,

Are there any side effects of a colon cleanse?

Because to be confident about what you're doing, you need to kind of know all the things that can take place.

So one of the things is that you can have more digestive upset.

Of course, some of these things are going to be upsetting for our digestive system because we're trying to get it to move.

We're trying to get rid of toxins, especially with herbal supplements or even the colonic moving, the stimulating the digestive system.

You could have some gas, you could have more bloating, but it's temporary.

Another thing to pay attention to is dehydration, and especially if you're doing this for an extended period of time, meaning even up to three or seven days, and especially if you're going to throw fasting in with that, make sure that you're drinking enough water, because if you're getting rid of a lot of stool, that means you're also getting rid of water, and so you can get easily dehydrated, and that kind of leads right into electrolyte imbalances.

So if we're ridding a lot of liquid or fluid from our body, then those electrolytes that we need in our body such as sodium and calciums and magnesiums and potassiums, they can get all out of whack.

So making sure that you're drinking enough water, maybe even putting a pinch of an electrolyte in the water to help you kind of keep a nice good balance going.

So now you know the types of colon cleanses that are out there, you kind of know some of the side effects. And so now you're just going to think about, okay, well,

"Which colon cleanse should I do? Which one is right for me?"

And that's a great question, right, because everybody is a little different.

And so I think it really comes down to personal preference, what you feel more comfortable with.

And of course, going, I go back again that it might be most beneficial for you to work with a health practitioner.

If you're thinking about doing a colon cleanse, then you'll choose your method and then of course, follow the instructions if you're not working with a practitioner or even if you are, because they'll obviously give you the instructions to follow and monitor your symptoms.

Make sure just really paying attention to how you're feeling.

If you're feeling really weak or lethargic or fatigued, are you dehydrated?

Are your electrolytes out of whack?

Really checking in.

And if at any time you feel, oh, this doesn't feel very good, you can stop that.

You don't have to do the whole time.

I think we all kind of have to stop when it doesn't feel good, especially with colon cleanses.

And then of course, the last thing would be to reintroduce foods.

How to reintroduce foods after a colon cleanse?

And if you're doing a colon cleanse, anytime you do one, you usually kind of minimize food. Even if you're not fasting, you kind of stick to more whole real food so that your body's not getting more toxins.

And so when you're going to start eating just kind of at your normal, in your normal way, you want to reintroduce those foods a little bit more slowly because if you start just piling in the food, you're going to definitely have a stomach ache and you will not feel good, and you'll have a lot of symptoms.

So just reintroducing.

So let's say you're doing the fast, you'll want to reintroduce slowly with just maybe some bone broth and maybe just some soups, and then working maybe into a smoothie and then into maybe more of a meal, just kind of goes slow.

There's no reason to rush because we don't want to overdo the system. That will definitely make you feel bad.

So as I mentioned, when you do a cleanse, there are foods that you're going to take takeout, and you're going to definitely do no caffeine.

You're going to take out any kind of processed foods, high sugary foods, damaged fats, all the foods that we really need to slow down on anyway, you're going to remove and you want to, because what happens is that if you're putting in toxins and you're trying to get rid of toxins, you're not really helping, right?

It's going to take a lot longer to get rid of those toxins.

So it's always best to eat a whole foods diet. And sometimes for people doing the colon cleanse is like a jumpstart into just eating healthier in general.

So overall, after you finish your cleanse, then as I said, reintroduce foods really slowly.

Keep eating that balanced diet is going to keep your gut happier so that maybe you never have to do a colon cleanse again.

Lifestyle considerations during a colon cleanse for leaky gut

Also, watching your lifestyle, making sure that you're getting enough sleep and that your stress isn't totally crazy every single day, and stay hydrated.

Make sure you drink enough water.

You'd be amazed at how many clients I work with, I just aren't drinking enough water for whatever reason, and once they start drinking water, wow, things really change.

So before starting a colon cleanse, it's going to be advisable to work with a health practitioner or at least talk to somebody about it so that you're making sure you're doing what is going to be best for you.

Also, making sure that you have adjusted your diet accordingly and stayed hydrated.

Now, as I said, a colon cleanse isn't for everybody, but if you are feeling called to do it, you just feel like you want to and you've done your research on it and you're ready to go, I will provide a link to a herbal type supplement down below that you can check into and see if it feels right for you.

Again, you can definitely work with a health practitioner to make sure you're doing it safely and efficiently so that it can provide you with the support of getting the benefit that you want at the end of the day, which is to help heal up your leaky gut.

Now, oftentimes the way that this works is that you'll do the colon cleanse.

You'll be on a healthier diet during, and staying on that healthy diet after is what's really going to help with that leaky gut, because we need to bring down inflammation in the digestive system for a longer period than maybe three or seven days to help maintain less inflammation, to help those tight junctions really tighten back up.

And so maintaining a healthier whole food diet is definitely going to be something that if you go through all the work to do the colon cleanse, it only makes sense to continue your healthy eating pattern, and again, if there are people who shouldn't be doing it.

So make sure that you don't fit into any of those categories if you're going to look into doing this.

But overall, even with a little bit of lack of information, scientifically, anecdotally, people have felt better after they've done a cleanse.

I think the big takeaway is to be smart about it, and if you have questions, work with a health practitioner and make sure it really is something that's going to be best for you.

So thanks for joining me today. I hope that was helpful.

Click our subscribe button down below or add some comments if you have any. Thanks.

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