Wanda Smith

Longtime V-103 Morning Show co-host Wanda Smith was recently hospitalized with diverticulitis, a painful inflammatory infection of the intestines.

If you are an Atlanta resident who listens to V-103 you may recall the days when Wanda and Frank Ski promoted colonic cleansing. This is when the colon is flushed with gallons of water to supposedly flush out the bad toxins.

As a result of all the free promotion, numerous colonic cleansing clinics sprouted around Atlanta like weeds. Unscrupulous clinic owners took advantage of uninformed consumers who believed the pitch that colonic cleansers were healthy.

Most of the clinics were quietly shut down after patients suffered gastrointestinal ailments as a result of the unsanitary clinics introducing a cesspool of bacteria into their GI tracts.

I’m not saying this is what happened to Ms. Wanda.

Rodney Ho of the AJC’s Radio & TV Talk blog, Ms. Wanda is recuperating at home after spending a week in the hospital. She is expected to be back on the radio on May 26.

Diverticulitis is a painful inflammatory condition caused by pus-filled pouches that line the walls of the large intestine or colon.

Sufferers complain of sharp pain in the lower left part of the abdomen. They will present in the emergency room with fever, abdominal tenderness, diarrhea, constipation or nausea and vomiting.

Doctors treat diverticulitis with antibiotics. Surgery typically is not required unless the patient develops a hole in the intestine (fistula) that causes bacteria and stool to leak into the abdominal cavity which causes a serious systemic infection (sepsis).

Doctors aren’t sure what causes diverticulitis. They theorize the condition is caused by eating a low fiber diet of junk food that is high in carbohydrates and fat. Similar to the fad diet that Beyonce has been pushing lately.

Once a patient is diagnosed with diverticulitis, it is usually a recurrent condition.

Doctors caution diverticulitis sufferers from getting colonics or so-called colon cleansers.

There is little health benefits to gain from a colon cleanse. In fact, colon cleansers cause more harm than good.

That is because the intestine is teeming with “good bacteria” that prevents infections, helps us to digest our food, and keeps us from getting seriously ill.

When you introduce too much water, or laxatives, or herbal teas, etc., into the intestine you upset the normal healthy balance of bacteria (gut flora).

This can lead to serious intestinal infections, diarrhea, constipation, abdominal pain and bloating.

The reality is colonic cleansers don’t reach high enough into the intestine to cause any serious disruption of bacteria. But it is still troublesome to people like Ms. Wanda who probably don’t know they have gastrointestinal diseases.

Drink colon cleansing concoctions puts you more at risk for GI problems than the occasion colonic cleanser.

To summarize: colonic-cleansing is not safe! Neither is drinking colon-cleansing concoctions.

Save your money and eat a well-balanced diet that is high in fiber. Always consult with your doctor, nurse practitioner or physician’s assistant before you switch to a low or high fiber diet.

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