Colonic Irrigation on the NHS


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The NHS refers to colonic irrigation as an “alternative” and “complementary” therapy. They have written about it in terms of irritable bowel syndrome relief and ensure that you are aware that the treatment is not supported by any real medical evidence.

The NHS do understand that the colonic irrigation procedure is safe and can help many people, however this does not provide them with enough evidence to support that the treatment is medically significant. They are also aware that the treatment is useful in removing dried faeces, dead tissue, worms and parasites from the bowel. Despite this, they remain resistant to offering colonic irrigation out as an NHS procedure.

Advice given by the NHS about colonic irrigation

On the NHS website, they have described colonic irrigation as a safe procedure. They also supply some information that they deem important for you to understand before undergoing the treatment.

They suggest that prior to colonic irrigation, you should avoid eating a large amount of food or drinking a lot. The NHS also advises that you tell your therapist about your medical history and lifestyle in as much detail as you can.

The NHS also explain that after having colonic irrigation, you could possibly be administered some probiotics. These contain friendly bacteria to aid the health of the digestive system and to replenish the stock of beneficial bacteria that were lost during the colonic irrigation procedure. They also state that these probiotics are either to be taken orally (as a tablet) or inserted up into the rectum. It is vital that you are fully clear as to which probiotic you have been given.

Is colonic irrigation available on the NHS?

The NHS (National Health Service) is known to offer many treatments to people so they do not have to pay the fees charged by private clinicians. However, for them to cover the cost of the treatment, it must be proven that that treatment will be beneficial to the person’s life. Generally, for a treatment to be approved for payment by the NHS you must visit you GP and they will then decide whether you are eligible and will consequently refer you to a specialist if you are entitled to the “free” treatment.

As the effectiveness of colonic irrigation has not been medically or scientifically proven, it is not yet available on the NHS. Therefore, if you wish to undergo the colonic irrigation procedure, you must be prepared to pay the fees charged by private clinics.


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