Is colonic irrigation the same as TAI (Transanal Irrigation)?

July 29 2020

The short answer? No, not at all.
Colonic irrrigation is a “therapy” with little scientific evidence of any health benefits. On the other hand, TAI or transanal irrigation can be a game-changer for people looking to manage their bowel disorders and enjoy a normal life.

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Of course, colonic irrigation and transanal irrigation sound very similar. Both involve water but that’s where the similarities end. With colonic irrigation, or colonic hydrotherapy as it is sometimes called, around 60 liters of water are passed through the colon to supposedly flush out waste and toxins. However, the colon is self-regulating and self-cleaning so all this does is disturb the colon and disrupt the activity it is uniquely designed for. In 2011, researchers reviewed 20 separate studies and found
little evidence of any health benefits. In fact, quite the opposite: Using so much water to irrigate the colon can lead to nausea, abdominal pain, dehydration and low blood levels of important minerals such as potassium. Not to mention the risk of kidney and liver failure*.

TAI – a proven therapy that helps lives

TAI is something else entirely. Using just half a liter of water, it is a well-established therapy with a simple goal: To help people with bowel disorders manage their condition and live as normal a life as possible. Often this is through quick and convenient self-treatment, which can give users a newfound independence that transforms their lives.

The simple solution for functional bowel disorders?

Because of this simple convenience, TAI may be particularly interesting for those trying to deal with a functional bowel disorder or FBD, where something is wrong with how the bowels or stomach work but all the organs are normal. Symptoms include pain, bloating, constipation, incomplete emptying or fecal incontinence, any of which can force people to have a much more restricted life than they would like. Not only that, but because their organs appear normal, FBD patients often have to wait a lot longer for their diagnosis while undergoing a whole range of examinations and tests to rule out underlying

Helping people manage their bowels – and daily life

For them, TAI can provide a simpler and earlier solution to their bowel management issues. The insertion of lukewarm water creates a mass movement from the ascending colon, which prevents constipation. What’s more, regular irrigation empties the colon and rectum so effectively that it stays empty until the next irrigation. This not only prevents fecal incontinence, but also gives the individual full control over the time and place of defecation.

Interested to find out more?

For more detailed information about functional bowel disorders and how they can be managed through TAI therapy, please take a look here. And don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any further questions.

* Mishori et al. The Journal of Family Practice, august 2011, Vol 60, no 8

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Topics: Transanal irrigation (TAI), Bowel dysfunction, functional bowel