Blood resulting from tears in the colon may not always be visible, but can be distinguished if the feces are unusually dark or have a red hue. Internal bleeding or rupture may leave the individual exposed to infections from intestinal bacteria. Administration by enema avoids having the medication pass through the entire gastrointestinal tract , therefore simplifying the delivery of the medication to the affected area and limiting the amount that is absorbed into the bloodstream. Thus, a salt water solution can be used when a longer period of retention is desired, such as to soften an impaction. These continue to be used, although rubber has been replaced by modern materials and the bags, at least in hospital use, as disposable. The first mention of the enema in medical literature is in the Ancient Egyptian Ebers Papyrus c. Bowel management Patients who have a bowel disability, a medical condition which impairs control of their defecation , e.
The enema is retained until there is a uncontrollable urge to defecate, at which time the recipient may expel any fecal matter loosened by the instilled solution together with the solution itself. Colon cleansing The same term is also used in alternative medicine where it may involve the use of substances mixed with water in order to detoxify the body. Transanal irrigation TAI, also termed retrograde irrigation, is designed to assist the evacuation of feces from the bowel by introducing water into the rectum and colon via the anus  as a treatment for persons with bowel dysfunction, including fecal incontinence or constipation , especially obstructed defecation. Water-based solutions[ edit ] Bowel stimulating enemas usually consist of water, which works primarily as a mechanical stimulant. Benefits include not needing to use sterile fluids. Later there came to be a device to allow gravity to infuse the solution into the recipient, consisting of a rubber bag or bucket connected to a hose with a nozzle at the other end to insert into the patient's anus, the bag or bucket being held or hung above the patient. Tobacco resuscitation kits consisting of a pair of bellows and a tube were provided by the Royal Humane Society of London and placed at various points along the Thames. The god Thoth , according to Egyptian mythology, invented the enema. After praying, it came to Thomas More: However, these occurrences are rare in healthy, sober adults. Practitioners believe the accumulation of fecal matter in the large intestine leads to ill health. As medical knowledge was fairly limited at the time, purgative clysters were used for a wide variety of ailments , the foremost of which were stomach aches and constipation. Beginning in the 17th century enema apperatus was chiefly designed for self-administration at home and many were French as enemas enjoyed wide usage in France. According to Claude de Rouvroy, duc de Saint-Simon , clysters were so popular at the court of King Louis XIV of France that the duchess of Burgundy had her servant give her a clyster in front of the King her modesty being preserved by an adequate posture before going to the comedy. Utopia, Thomas More 19th century satirical cartoon of a monkey rejecting an old style clyster for a new design, filled with marshmallow and opium In the 18th century tobacco smoke enemas were used to resuscitate drowned people. Clysters were administered for symptoms of constipation and, with more questionable effectiveness, stomach aches and other illnesses. Nutrient enemas were administered with the intent of providing nutrition when normal eating is not possible. Blood resulting from tears in the colon may not always be visible, but can be distinguished if the feces are unusually dark or have a red hue. Society and culture[ edit ] Alternative medicine[ edit ] The term "colonic irrigation" is commonly used in gastroenterology to refer to the practice of introducing water through a colostomy or a surgically constructed conduit as a treatment for constipation. However, he also mentions the astonishment of the King and Mme de Maintenon that she should take it before them. Glycerol is a specific bowel mucosa irritant and when introduced in very dilute solution serves to induce peristalsis. The latter avoided the need for a second party to attend an embarrassing procedure. Although this treatment is ancient, dating back at least to Galen , and commonly used in the Middle Ages,  and still a common technique in 19th century medicine,  Nutrient enemas have been superseded in modern medical care by tube feeding and intravenous feeding. Buffered sodium phosphate solution draws additional water from the bloodstream into the colon to increase the effectiveness of the enema, but can be rather irritating to the colon, causing intense cramping or "griping. Bowel management Patients who have a bowel disability, a medical condition which impairs control of their defecation , e. To relieve constipation ; To treat fecal impaction ; To empty the colon prior to a medical procedure such as a colonoscopy. Additionally, several anti-angiogenic agents, which work better without digestion, can be safely administered via a gentle enema.
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