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J Med Assoc Thai. 2007 Nov;90(11):2310-5.

Colonic detoxification among patients attending general surgical clinics: an epidemiological study.

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Department of Surgery, Ramathibodi Hospital, 270 Rama VI Rd, Bangkok 10400, Thailand.



Colonic detoxification is a popular form of "alternative medicine".


To study the epidemiology of colonic detoxification in general surgical outpatients.


Questionnaires consisting of items measuring demographic variables, methods and resources of colonic detoxification, factors associated with the preference to undergo colonic detoxification, and results of colonic detoxification were administered to general surgical outpatients. Patients were classified as having colorectal and non-colorectal conditions.


One thousand nine hundred and thirty nine questionnaires were distributed and returned Ninety-one patients (4.7%) had colonic detoxification. More female patients performed colonic detoxification than male patients (83.5% vs. 16.5%). The mean age of patients who performed colonic detoxification was 50.0 +/- 11.3 years (range 22-71 years). Coffee was the most commonly used substance for colonic detoxification (90.1%). The majority of patients performed the procedures by themselves (73.6%). The frequency of procedures was 1-5 times per month in 26.4% of patients. Seventy eight percent of patients felt better, while 17.6% felt the same and 4.4% felt worse after the procedure. The patients who performed colonic detoxification had more colorectal problems than those who did not; the risk ratio was 1.35 (95% CI, 0.82 to 2.22), but this was not statistically significant (p = 0.241). In subgroup analysis, cancer was the significant preferential factor in patients who performed colonic detoxification (risk ratio = 1.55 (95% CI, 1.13-2.14), and p-value = 0.011). The complication rate of colonic detoxification was 2.19% (rectal bleeding).


The presented article was the first study of colonic detoxification in a Thai population. The result of the present study suggests that colorectal conditions are not related to the performance of colonic detoxification.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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