Colonoscopies. So many of you have been asking. So let’s talk. These procedures, like many, are sold to the masses as a necessary, and safe, preventative measure. But, once again, the advertising does not line up with the facts.

It is recommended by the AMA for men and women beginning at age 50, continuing every 5-10 years, but in my experience, both professionally and personally, I’ve seen it recommended far more often, at much younger ages. The procedure often includes the patient undergoing moderate to deep sedation or anesthesia, so it can be done quickly, and is performed by inserting a small camera attached to a flexible tubelike instrument (scope) through the rectum into the colon.

As you can imagine, inserting a foreign object into the rectum and colon can introduce the risk of infection from knicks and gashes created by the instrument and the speed of the procedure making the area susceptible to pathogens, like the possible contaminants on the instrument itself. What kind of contaminants, you ask. Well, debris from previous procedures. These instruments are reusable and often used on a dozen or more patients each day. Cleaned in a solution similar to formaldehyde that disinfects and PRESERVES tissue. Yep. Preserves. Studies have shown that scopes of all types are often contaminated even after being cleaned. So the solution may kill some of the bacteria, but it leaves behind, and even preserves, tissue, potentially oncogenic tissue.

Consideration should also be given to the prep involved in these procedures. Patients are typically instructed to cleanse their intestines by consuming a “white diet” consisting of “white rice, pasta, and bread, mashed potatoes (no skins), canned fruits and veggies, clear fruit juices, Jell-o ( no red, blue, or purple coloring), clear soft drinks (like Sierra Mist or 7-up), coffee and tea (no milk or creamer), broth { white diet=carcinogen central} for several days, followed by a clear liquid diet the day prior to the procedure, and, of course, a prescribed liquid laxative, such as GoLytely or MiraLAX+Gatorade. These laxatives are petroleum derived drugs created from polyethelene glycol and carry their own separate risks from the procedural risks, such as nausea, vomiting, dizziness, seizures, electrolyte imbalances, rectal bleeding, allergic reactions, confusion, the more prolonged the use of these drugs, the more severe adverse effects present, including neuropsychiatric issues and cancer.

Then you’ve got the concern of biopsies within the colon if the doc finds something “suspicious”. What happens when you poke a hole in a balloon? All the air or water on the inside comes outside, right? What do you think happens if you have a mass in the body and you poke a hole in it? Do you think the mass stays whole? Or do you think there is a possibility the mass would “leak” those cells inside to the outside, ie the rest of your body?

All the testing, poking, prodding, slicing, dicing, it creates more disease. The body creates responses and protective mechanisms to heal itself and we let bozos in lab coats tell us that they know better and let them intervene and play God and often it ends up with the patient declining much more rapidly than they would have otherwise. These tests are sold as preventative and tout how many lives they save, but the evidence to back up these claims just isn’t there. It’s circle talk, no actual evidence. Do colonoscopies have a place? Maybe so, but it’s not as a first line preventative that every 50+ human being should be undergoing. Most GI docs are more focused on prescriptions and procedures than they are on nutrition and absorption. Every aspect of the care you’re offered is steeped in more toxicity and disease. I often say the system is broken, but the reality is it isn’t broken, it’s working exactly as it’s designed. But you have a choice whether or not you participate.

A few resources:

Complications are ten times more likely in colonoscopies than in any other commonly used cancer screening test

For every 1,000 people who suffer perforations during colonoscopy, 52 of them die

Dr. Harlan Krumholz, director of the Yale Center for Outcomes Research and Evaluation, says that 1.6 percent of low-risk, healthy patients who get a colonoscopy suffer a complication requiring hospitalization within seven days…/generalgastroenter…/56204

GoLytely Package Insert…/2013/019011s025lbl.pdf