When performing an enema, fluid is passed into the intestine via the anus. As a rule, this is water, which contains e.g. Saline was mixed.
An enema is usually performed for diagnostic or therapeutic purposes, but sometimes acts as part of various sexual practices.
What is an enema??
The enema is a medical application while the fluid is passed over the anus into the intestine. As a rule, the liquid is water. The inlet can be done for example via an irrigator or a pear syringe, the equipment used usually have a capacity of 50 to 800ml.
The type of application differs from device to device. Some of them, for example, the enema, the patient can actively apply to himself. In the case of the irrigator, a tube is inserted into the anus. The tube is connected to a raised hanging container, the liquid flows through the anus into the intestine.
In an application for diagnostic purposes, the inflow fluid is sometimes provided with a contrast agent, which passes through the anus into the colon of the patient and spread there.
Another rinse is used to flush out superfluous contrast agent and the emptying of the intestine. Thereafter, air is blown into the intestine to stretch it. Now the colon can be displayed on an x-ray. In addition to the diagnostic and therapeutic indications for the application of an enema, there are other reasons why enemas and enemas are used. In connection with various sexual practices, for example, they are used before anal intercourse.
origin & development
Already the ancient Egyptians used enemas, whereby the water was directed into the intestine via the anus, usually with the help of the bladder of animals or the horns of cattle, which had a hole in the front. The background was the assumption that defecation, which remained in the intestine, could cause various diseases.
In the Aztecs, the water which was passed into the anus at the entrance was, among others. mixed with medicinal herbs and wine. This mixture has also been used to treat diseases such as worm infestation or fever. In addition, the inlet was an important part of the ritual cleaning. The enema has also been proven to be used by the Greeks.
Function, effect & aims
The enema fulfills various functions in medicine. First, it can act as a laxative for stubborn blockages. For this reason, it is also used, for example, in intestinal obstruction or before surgery. An enema can also be used to reduce fever. In addition, there are certain medications that should be administered from a medical point of view, better rectally, ie via the anus. This is related to the operation of enemas.
Medications that are administered orally, that is, via the mouth, must be u.a. the tongue with its sense of taste and the stomach with its stomach acid are passed. This can be problematic both in extremely bad-tasting medicine (especially in children) and acid-sensitive medicine. In addition, the active ingredient is always converted in the liver when taken orally.
execution & effect
Execution and mode of operation of the inlet
When using an inlet, liquid, usually water, is passed through the anus into the intestine. Usually pear syringes, irrigators or klysopumps are used.
The effect of the enema is based on the three different stimuli exerted on the intestine causing increased intestinal activity or movement, also known as intestinal peristalsis: the mechanical stimulus, the thermal stimulus and the chemical stimulus.
The mechanical stimulus is influenced by the foreign body itself, the pressure of the fluid entering the anus and the amount of rinsing fluid used. The stimulus may e.g. be reinforced by the amount of rinsing fluid used.
The thermal stimulus is set by the temperature of the rinsing liquid. A temperature of 30 to 35 degrees reduces temperature and creates a strong stimulus, but this is associated with the risk of convulsions.
A rinsing fluid temperature of 38 to 40 degrees has a temperature-increasing effect, but triggers only a weak stimulus and is therefore seldom used for this reason.
The chemical stimulus is set by means of substances added to the rinsing fluid. Glycerin causes e.g. a mucosal irritation, while milk makes the stool softer. Salt, on the other hand, binds the fluid due to its osmotic action and laxative effect.
reasons & advantages
- Persistent or acute constipation
- Diagnostic measures in the rectum area (e.g., rectoscopy or colonic contrast enema)
- Therapeutic measures (for example for administration of medicaments, for example lactulose enema in decompensated liver cirrhosis)
- lower fever
- Abdominal surgery
- Natural birth
- Relief and cleansing of the bowel before and during a fasting cure
- Sexual practices (e.g., BDSM or clinician’s tale)
As can be seen from the list, there are a number of medical reasons that make an enema beneficial or necessary. The purifying effect on the intestine, which is propagated for example by many natural herbalists, has not been scientifically proven.
Also, the enema before a natural birth is mainly used to soothe the women, because in most cases nonetheless involuntary defecation occurs during childbirth.
However, the intestinal activity enhanced by the enema can promote labor, which can be very beneficial especially in still ineffective labor. Nevertheless, the World Health Organization (WHO) recommendation states that there is no reason for a pre-natal feed-in.
In alternative medicine
In alternative medicine, the enema is better known as “colon cleansing”. Especially in connection with fasting cures this should have a detoxifying effect and lead to an “inner cleansing” in the old can be physically released. In addition, the colon cleansing is said to have a health-promoting effect.
In this way, up to 60 liters of fluid are flushed through the intestine in contrast to the classic enema, in which only little fluid is passed into the intestine.
With the evacuation of the intestine in the alternative medicine, diseases such. Arthritis, treated and induced a strengthening of the immune system. Another important aspect in the context of colon cleansing is in alternative medicine, the purification. It is believed that the intestine needs help because of the lifestyle of modern humans, in order to effectively rid of “slag” – or toxins.
Although many supporters of alternative medicine are convinced of the positive effect of colon cleansing, this has not yet been scientifically proven.
As stated in this article, the enema is part or preparation of some medical treatments. In these cases, the enema is usually performed by nurses or medical staff.
risks & side effects
- Scalds or cramps in the intestine due to high or low temperature of the rinsing fluid
- Injury to the intestinal wall or anus if used improperly, possibly combined with subsequent infections
- Irritation of the intestinal mucosa due to excessive alcohol or acidity of the rinsing fluid
- Anaphylactic shock due to additives, e.g. Chamomile tea, in asthmatics or allergic persons
- Damage to the intestinal flora due to frequent use
- Bloated abdomen or abdominal pain
- Nausea, possibly associated with vomiting
- Circulatory problems due to fluid loss to dehydration
The vast majority of side effects are secondary to overuse and / or improper use of the enema. In addition, the rinsing liquid is a risky factor, so it should be checked before use exactly on their compatibility with the person out.
Contraindications & hazards
- bowel obstruction
- Acute abdominal disease (e.g., peritonitis)
- Congenital malformations in the colon and rectum (e.g., anal atresia)
- Pregnancy (exception: right before natural birth)
- Chronic inflammatory bowel disease (e.g., Crohn’s disease)
- Bleeding in the gastrointestinal tract
- kidney disease
- heart disease
If, in spite of the above-mentioned contraindications, an enema should or must take place, this must be done with particular care. On the one hand, an exact observation is necessary. Should it come to pain during the enema, it must be interrupted immediately and the doctor be notified.
During pregnancy, the increased intestinal movement caused by an enema may be impaired. cause premature labor activity, which is why special care should be taken in this case.
After a recent intestinal surgery, no colon cleansing should be done for “detoxification”. In any case, prior to the use of an enema, the general practitioner should be consulted who can discuss any risk factors with the patient.
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