Enema kits have been used for hundreds of years or more to treat constipation, chronic and otherwise. They are probably one of the oldest fluid emulsions still in use even today. Constipation is a fairly common phenomenon. Everyone experiences it from time to time. 

It is a condition which slows down natural stool movement and makes it hard, dry and painful to excrete. For some people, it becomes a chronic condition which requires regular intake of laxatives or administration of an enema to enable stool passage. 

The build-up of stool in the colon tends to make a person feel fatigued, get depressed and irritated, suffer from headaches and allergies etc. Thus the administration of enema provides relief.

Enema types

There are two types of enema kits available. They are:

  • Cleansing enema: They are water-based and need to be held back in the colon for a short duration after injection so that the colon gets flushed. Then they get automatically ejected from the body along with impacted stool and any other loose matter. Some of the common cleansing enemas available are water or saline, Epsom salt, sodium phosphate lemon juice, soap suds etc. 
  • Retention enema: They need to be held back in the colon for a longer duration of approximately 15minutes before release. These are generally oil or water-based and soften the stool to enable easy ejection. Some of the common types of retention enema are coffee, mineral oil, probiotic etc. 

Benefits of enema

Many people need to keep an enema bag kit at home. These are people who suffer from chronic constipation. Enema is beneficial for the general health of a person. Some of the benefits are:

  • It helps treat constipation and offers an easy way to clear the bowels,
  • Enema also helps to support weight loss and is thus beneficial for people suffering from obesity.
  • Other benefits of enema include detoxification of the body as it helps to flush out toxins, heavy metals and other unwanted residues,
  • It has a positive effect on the skin and also helps to bring down blood pressure, increase energy levels and body immunity etc.

While enema is best administered in a hospital or other medical settings, some people keep the enema bag kit at home and self-administer the same. However, there are certain risks involved in self-administration of enema and should be generally avoided. 

Side effects of enema

There are certain side effects which people administering enema should know about. They include:

  • May cause electrolyte imbalance,
  • Can result in severe dehydration of the body,
  • Physical harm to the bowels,
  • Use of dirty tools can result in infection,
  • Improper administration of enema can cause physical damage to the rectum, colon and the anus.

These side-effects can be minimized by ensuring a sterile setting when enema is being administered. The use of enema should also be regulated so that it does not cause changes in the gut bacteria. Intake of water and electrolyte solutions can also help reduce the risk of electrolyte imbalance.