The 1 Common Treatment A Gut Doctor Would Never Have

It seems satisfying, but it can ruin your microbiome.
PonyWang via Getty Images

There are many mistakes most of us know to avoid when it comes to our gut. Avoiding fibre, not drinking enough water, and steering clear of probiotics can all seriously harm your microbiome ― so many of us are actively trying to improve those factors.

But what about when a biome-busting treatment comes straight from the doctor’s office?

In a recent TikTok, Dr. Karan Raj, who’s known for sharing his medical knowledge on the app, Sittched a video of someone getting colonic irrigation.

“If you want to be tortured by a jet of water being fed into your butthole by a plastic pipe and pay for the pleasure of someone messing with your biological plumbing, that’s colonic hydrotherapy,” the doctor began his video (oof).

Goodness gracious. What’s his beef?!

It’s a strong opener ― but then again, it’s in reaction to a pretty extreme exit (teehee).

And it turns out the doctor’s unhappiness with the procedure kind of makes sense.

After all, “being squirted with up to 60 litres of warm water up your exhaust pipe leads to diarrhoea, which can lead to serious electrolyte imbalances and the loss of minerals like sodium, potassium, magnesium, and calcium.”

In case you thought removing stubborn stool was a good thing in and of itself, though, Dr. Raj warns that this “Biblical chocolate flood” can harm the microbiome, too.

Because the good bacteria are flushed out with the bad, he explains, many people who have had colonic hydrotherapy experience dysbiosis ― an imbalance in your gut’s all-important flora.

Fair enough, I suppose

Oh sorry, did we say we were done?

The doctor adds that the pressure from the water can also cause a perforated colon ― that’s literally a hole or tear in your heinie highway.

As if all that wasn’t enough, Dr. Raj adds that the procedure is usually done in places like spas, where there’s no medical supervision.

“I’ve got serious doubts about the licensing of that equipment,” he added in his video. “So there’s no guarantee of sterilisation or basic hygiene standards.”

“If you still wanna do this, just know that you’re literally flushing money down the toilet,” he finished.

Well, there go my Saturday night plans...