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Good morning to all!Last week when I was in the health food store buying PB8 Acidophilus, I struck up a conversation about IBS with the clerk. He recommended colon cleansers to help control the C. What does everyone think about the use of cleansers or enemas to aleviate the problem? It sounds like a remedy to get rid of the gas. I get desperate at night.
 

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hi sagesome info for youSome "alternative" practitioners make bogus diagnoses of "parasites," for which they recommend "intestinal cleansers," plant enzymes, homeopathic remedies. Health-food stores sell products of this type with claims that they can "rejuvenate" the body and kill the alleged invaders.The danger of these practices depends upon how much they are used and whether they are substituted for necessary medical care. Whereas a 1-day fast is likely to be harmless (though useless), prolonged fasting can be fatal. "Cleansing" is unlikely to be physically harmful, but the products involved can be expensive.Colonic irrigation, which also can be expensive, has considerable potential for harm. The process can be very uncomfortable, since the presence of the tube can induce severe cramps and pain. If the equipment is not adequately sterilized between treatments, disease germs from one person's large intestine can be transmitted to others. Several outbreaks of serious infections have been reported, including one in which contaminated equipment caused amebiasis in 36 people, 6 of whom died following bowel perforation [5-7]. Cases of heart failure (from excessive fluid absorption into the bloodstream) and electrolyte imbalance have also been reported [8]. Yet no license or training is required to operate a colonic-irrigation device. In 1985, a California judge ruled that colonic irrigation is an invasive medical procedure that may not be performed by chiropractors and the California Health Department's Infectious Disease Branch stated: "The practice of colonic irrigation by chiropractors, physical therapists, or physicians should cease. Colonic irrigation can do no good, only harm." The National Council Against Health Fraud agrees [9].charlie
 

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Don't Trust Advice from Health-Food Retailers!Advice from health-food retailers is a major factor in the sale of supplement products. Laypersons (such as health-food store clerks) who diagnose ailments or prescribe products from their stores are practicing medicine without a license -- which is prohibited by state laws. "Prescribing" can also be construed as the unlawful practice of pharmacy.Many investigation have shown that retailers routinely ignore these laws. Government enforcement efforts, which are limited, are directed primarily against manufacturers. Here are some of the reports I have collected.In 1976, Eric Faucher, a National Enquirer reporter, visited 16 health-food stores in major American cities and complained of afternoon fever, weight loss, insomnia, and fatigue-symptoms that could indicate a serious disease such as cancer. Only one salesperson told him to see a doctor. The rest prescribed various supplements for such diagnoses as "high blood pressure," "imbalance of energy," and "hypoglycemia." "One salesgirl was stumped by my symptoms," Faucher reported, "so she called up her mother (the store owner) who prescribed vitamin E without ever seeing me!" [1]In 1980, Sheldon S. Stoffer, M.D., and three associates from the Northland Thyroid Laboratory in Southfield, Michigan, described what happened when several of their employees consulted a supervisor or "nutritionist" at ten health-food stores. The investigators stated that their goiter was being treated with thyroid hormone and asked whether any of the store's products would help. All ten retailers said yes. Two advised stopping the hormone treatment, six advised kelp, two advised iodine tablets, two advised a raw-gland preparation containing thyroid, parathyroid, pituitary and adrenal gland extracts, and one advised a raw thyroid preparation. (Health-food-store products made from animal glandular tissues are not legally permitted to contain potent amounts of hormones. Some do, however, as noted in Appendix C, but they are not reliable because the dosage is variable.) Other phony remedies included turnip tops, parsnips, parsley, malt tablets, and vitamin and mineral supplements [2].In 1981, Julian DeVries, 76-year-old medical editor of the Arizona Star, visited a health-food store complaining of weight loss, loss of appetite, insomnia, leg cramps at night and psoriasis (a skin disorder). "Two young clerks sold me an assortment of vitamins for $124.34 that, according to a doctor, easily could have worsened the conditions I told them I had," DeVries reported. Instead of being referred to a physician for diagnosis of his possibly serious symptoms, he was sold megadoses of several vitamins; a product containing ginseng and an adrenal substance; digestive enzyme tablets; an iron-and-molasses compound; tryptophan tablets; skin cream containing vitamin E and PABA; and a book that suggested a nutritional cure for almost every ailment known to humans. The clerks said that their recommendations were authoritative because they had taken a three-week course in vitamin nutrition in which the book was used [3].In 1983, researchers from the Columbus Monthly contacted nine health-food stores in central Ohio, by phone or in person, posing as women suffering from an undiagnosed eye condition, a mother-to-be seeking nutrition information for her pregnancy, a recent heart attack victim, and a would-be weightlifter seeking to build muscles. They concluded that although the store clerks appeared to be sincere, their advice was "like flipping a coin." [4]In 1983, three investigators from the American Council on Science and Health made 105 inquiries by phone or in person at stores in New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut. Asked about eye symptoms characteristic of glaucoma, 12 retailers attempted to diagnose the problem (all incorrectly) and seventeen out of 24 suggested a wide variety of products for the investigator's "mother." None recognized that urgent medical care was needed. Asked over the telephone about sudden, unexplained 15-pound weight loss in one month's time, 9 out of 17 recommended products sold in their store; only seven suggested medical evaluation. Seven out of ten stores carried "starch blockers" (bogus diet pills) despite an FDA ban. Nine out of ten recommended bone meal and dolomite, products considered hazardous because of contamination with lead. Nine retailers made false claims of effectiveness for bee pollen, and ten did so for RNA. The investigators concluded that most health-food store clerks give advice that is irrational, unsafe, and illegal [5].In 1986, Claire Aigner, R.D. posed five similar questions to ten health-food store proprietors in eastern Pennsylvania and concluded that only 46% of the answers were correct [6].In 1989, volunteers of the Consumer Health Education Council telephoned 41 Houston-area health-food stores and asked to speak with the person who provided nutritional advice. The callers explained that they had a brother with AIDS who was seeking an effective alternative treatment for HIV. The callers also explained that the brother's wife was still having sex with her husband and was seeking products that would reduce her risk of being infected, or make it impossible. All 41 retailers offered products they said could benefit the brother's immune system, improve the woman's immunity, and protect her against harm from HIV. The recommended products included vitamins (41 stores), vitamin C (38 stores), "immune boosters" (38 stores), coenzyme Q10 (26 stores), germanium (26 stores), lecithin (19 stores), ornithine and/or arginine (9 stores), gamma-linolenic acid (7 stores), "raw glandulars" (7 stores), hydrogen peroxide (5 stores), homeopathic cell salts (5 stores), Bach flower remedies (4 stores), blue-green algae (4 stores), cysteine (3 stores), and herbal baths (2 stores). Thirty retailers said they carried products that would cure AIDS. Not one recommended abstinence or use of a condom [7].In 1991, Julia M. Haidet, a student at Kent State University, made 30 phone calls to ten stores in Central Ohio for advice about headaches, kidney stones, or abnormal thirst, dizziness, and fatigue. She received no appropriate advice [8].In 1993, armed with a hidden camera, "Inside Edition" visited four health-food stores in New York City to ask whether they carried anything for fatigue and headaches; blurred vision; arthritis; shortness of breath of a "grandmother who just had bypass surgery"; strengthening the immune system; improving memory; and/or "cleansing the blood." Products were recommended in response to every question. When asked for a product that could help people with AIDS, one GNC store manager recommended an amino acid product that he said was one of the store's top sellers. He also said the product was supposed to "help block the chemical inhibiting the growth of the virus" and did not have the toxic side effects of AZT. When confronted later, however, he denied recommending the product for AIDS.In 1993, "CBS Evening News" showed: (1) a GNC clerk recommending a vitamin product to prevent hair loss, (2) a Nature Food Centres clerk endorsing a fish-oil product as an arthritis cure, and (3) another retailer recommending "E, C, A, shark-oil capsules, all of these things help" for cancer. The program reported that CBS News had sent fifty vitamin and mineral products to independent laboratories for analysis to see whether they contained the amounts claimed on their labels. Many were found to contain too little or too much. Michael Jacobson, Ph.D., executive director of the Center for Science in the Public Interest, commented that going into a health-food store "is like being the victim of one hundred different snake oil salesmen." [9]In 1993, FDA agents visited local health-food stores throughout the United States, posing as prospective customers. The investigators asked, "What do you sell to help high blood pressure?" "Do you have anything to help fight infection or help my immune system?" and/or "Do you have anything that works on cancer?" Of 129 requests for information, 120 resulted in recommendations of specific dietary supplements [10].In 1994, Jennifer E. Pumphrey, a student at Kent State University, inquired about ephedra-containing products at 10 randomly chosen health-food stores in the Cleveland metropolitan area. In each store she found an "energy booster" containing ephedra and asked: "Do you think this works?" and "Is it safe? Does it have any side effects?" At two stores she was correctly told that the products were powerful and should not be taken by people with high blood pressure. At the rest she was told that the product had no side effects. Some said it was harmless because it was herbal, natural, or "not a drug." Ephedra contains a stimulant that is potentially dangerous for people with high blood pressure [11].John Renner, M.D., president of the Consumer Health Information and Research Institute and a board member of the National Council Against Health Fraud, has sought advice for health problems at more than a hundred health-food stores in twenty states and the District of Columbia. In all but two stores, he was advised to buy products. Renner also observed hundreds of customers shopping at these stores. More than half asked for advice about a health problem, and almost all questions led to inappropriate advice.The Bottom LineRemember that the vast majority of people who work at health-food stores have no formal training in nutrition or health care and are not qualified to give advice about health matters. If you have a health problem, see a qualified physician. For advice about your diet, a registered dietitian is usually the best choice.References1. Faucher, E. Beware of health food store salesmen. National Enquirer, May 23, 1976, p 9. 2. Stoffer SS and others. Advice from some health food stores. JAMA 244:2045-2046, 1980. 3. DeVries J. Health-store 'cures' win little respect from doctor. Arizona Republic March 8, 1981, pp A1-2. 4. Motil B: Advice from the health food stores: How healthy is it? Columbus Monthly 10:79 88, January 1984. 5. Meister KM. Do health food stores give sound nutrition advice? ACSH News and Views, May/June 1983. 6. Aigner C. Advice in health food stores. Nutrition Forum 5:1-4,1988. 7. Martin N. AIDS fraud rampant in Houston. Nutrition Forum 7:16, 1990. 8. Haidet JM. Poor advice plus doubletalk: A probe of "health food" stores in central Ohio. Nutrition Forum 9:6-7, 1992. 9. CBS Evening News, May 24, 1993, 6:30-7:00 PM. 10. Unsubstantiated Claims and Documented Health Hazards in the Dietary Supplement Marketplace. Rockville MD: Food and Drug Administration, June 1993. 11. Pumphrey JE. Marketing of ephedra produts in health food stores. Nutrition Forum 12:33-34, 1995. i know it is long but it makes good readingcharlie
 
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Charlie. Thanks for that advice. I know the people at the health food stores are always anxious to sell you something. Some more pushier than other. I have used Colon Green which did help my C problem but I still have the gas problem.I am glad you pointed out the dangers of Colonic irrigation. I never thought of passing on disease that way. If you wanted to try that you could take your own equipment; as have seeen those things advertised. Have never tried it and know for sure now that I won't.
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I like em all, hard to decide
 
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I agree that health food store asisstants are not qualified to hand out most of the advice they give.But colon cleanser is their equivalent of metamucil, without any additives. Also, fasting is very beneficial to the body, as long as you drink plenty of fluids. A 2 or 3 day fast allows your body to rid itself of toxins. This information was given to me by several medical doctors.When first diagnosed with spastic colon, I had read about colon cleanser. The article I read said that through the years, the mucous lining of the colon traps particles that ferment and cause gas. It reccomended a 3 day diet of clear liquids and colon cleanser. It said you would be surprised at just what yuck you passed.I tried it, taking about 2 tablespoons of the colon cleanser 4 or 5 times a day. I mix it a little and drink it fast. I cant drink it after it sets and gets gluey!As they said, the mucous and yuck that passed was disgusting and totally gross! But it worked! I then went on a high fiber diet and rarely had problems. At the first sign of a problem, I would use a little colon cleanser, and it would clear up! this kept it under control for 20 years!I think my current problems stem from that fact that for the last year, I have been under major stress and extreme financial difficulty. I have not eaten healthy, and frequently lived with friends for long periods of time who had a diet very different from what I am used to. The only vegetables they ate were corn and green beans. Never had salad or fresh fruit in the house. Baked cookies or cake 3 or 4 times a week. Tons of soda and cool-aid. When I bought juice, their teens would drink it all the first day. I will repeat the diet as soon as I am financially able to do so. Hopefully it will work this time, too.Shaedae
------------------Cast all you anxieties on Him for He cares about you! 1 Peter 5:7
 

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I guess if the colon cleansers worked for you, that's great. However, there is an interesting position paper posted by the National council Against Health fraud found athttp://www.ncahf.org/pos-pap/colonic.htmlthat advises against colon cleansers, and outlines some very serious risks. They end with:"Colonics has no real health benefits, butdoes have a number of serious hazards. Consumers should not use colonics, and should avoid patronizing practitioners whoemploy this procedure. Practitioners who use colonics are either too ignorant or misguided to be entrusted with delivering healthservices."Just FYI...
 
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I really need help. I am a young 22 year old woman, wife and mother of two. I am having problems that seem like IBS or a bowel blockage. The pain is severe like contractions. When I was two I had an operation for intercession? of the bowel. Then when I was six or seven had severe constipation and was rushed to the hospital. No surgery was needed but I can remember that pain like it was yesterday. I still have bowel problems I guess you would say. I have not got constipated and seem to have regular bms. But last summer I was hospitalized for severe abdominal pain. They didnt find a blockage at first but the second set of tests showed a partial. I stayed in the hospital 4days on demerol and then the pain stopped and they sent me home. well i got the same pain yesterday. I dont have insurance any longer so was in no rush to run to the hospital. After 18 hours of horrible pain I called the doctor and then it started going away. so here I am now. the doctor said if it is going away i dont have to come in. My stomach is very tender. I am having bowel movements but I feel a lot of pressure down there and i cant quite stand up straight yet. I havent eaten for 24 hours. My doctor said to stay on a liquid diet for the next 2 days or so. i feel overwhelmed and hope some one could direct me to some good educational information. I dont know what I have but i do know my life is certainly be affected my something awful. I am sorry this is so long it is my first time posting and i am not sure how it works but any help would be greatly appreciated.Oh i almost forgot my mother in law stopped by and said she would pay for colon cleaning i see that i had better do some research on that topic. doesnt seem like a good idea so far.
 
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