Q: Should I be doing colon cleanses? — Angela Rhodes, Santa Ana, California
A: Some colon cleanses involve taking laxatives at home; in other cases, a therapist performs an irrigation using a device inserted into the rectum. In either case, cleanses are not only unnecessary but potentially dangerous. Your colon is designed to clear out waste every 24 to 48 hours or so, and eating lots of fiber (whole grains, fresh produce) helps speed things along. In addition, doing regular colon cleanses can lead to dehydration and an electrolyte imbalance, resulting in dizziness, fatigue, vomiting, and cramps.