Do not try this at home

Jen Gunter is warning against bad “health advice” from Gwyneth Paltrow again. What is it this time? Injecting coffee into your colon. Say what? Yes, that’s the advice.

t seems January is Gwyneth Paltrow’s go-to month for promoting potentially dangerous things that should not go in or near an orifice. January 2015 brought us vagina steaming, January 2017 was jade eggs, and here we are in the early days of January 2018 and Goop.com is hawking coffee enemas and promoting colonic irrigation.

I suspect that GP and her pals at Goop.com believe people are especially vulnerable to buying quasi-medical items in the New Year as they have just released their latest detox and wellness guide complete with a multitude of products to help get you nowhere.

To help get you nowhere or worse.

Goop.com is not selling a coffee machine, it is selling a coffee enema-making machine. That, my friends, is a messed-up way to make money. I know the people at Goop will either ignore the inquiries from reporters or release a statement saying the article is “a conversation” not a promotion and that they included the advice of a board-certified doctor, Dr Alejandro Junger, but any time you lend someone else your platform their ideas are now your ideas. That is why I never let anyone write guest posts for my blog. And let’s be real, if you are selling the hardware to shoot coffee up your ass then you are promoting it as a therapy – especially as Goop actually called the $135 coffee enema-making machine “Dr Junger’s pick”. I mean come on.

Why would anyone decide a coffee enema is a good idea? A good enough idea to promote to other people and accept money for? Why stop at coffee? Why not 50-year-old brandy, turpentine, grapefruit juice, piss, water from the bottom of a stagnant pond? If it’s liquid, up the bum it goes? Bound to be beneficial in some way?

How are they pretending to justify it? By making up something called “mucoid plaque” that is unknown to science, and saying coffee is needed to get rid of it. I wish I were kidding.

Apparently, the term “mucoid plaque” was coined by Richard Anderson, who is a naturopath, not a gastroenterologist, so not a doctor who actually looks inside the colon. I looked “mucoid plaques” up in PubMed. Guess what? Nothing colon-related. There is not one study or even case-report describing this phenomenon. Apparently only doctors who sell cleanses and colonics can see them. I am fairly confident that if some gastroenterologist (actual colon doctor) found some crazy mucus that looked like drool from the alien queen that she or he would have taken pictures and written about it or discussed it at a conference.

So here are the facts. No one needs a cleanse. Ever. There are no waste products “left behind” in the colon that need removing “just because” or after a cleanse. If a cleanse did leave gross, adherent hunks of weird mucus then that would be a sign that the cleanse was damaging the colon. You know what creates excess, weird mucous? Irritation and inflammation.

There are serious risks to colonics such as bowel perforation, damaging the intestinal bacteria, abdominal pain, vomiting, electrolyte abnormalities and renal failure. There are also reports of serious infections, air embolisms, colitis, and rectal perforation. If you go to a spa and the equipment is not sterilised, infections can be transmitted via the tubing.

You know, Paltrow could perfectly well just market Luxury Bath Salts and similar with a big markup because it has her Name on it, just as Ivanka Trump does. Nothing says she has to go and invent weirdo mucous and quack remedies for the non-existent mucous to make $$$. There’s no need for her to tell people to shoot coffee up their asses, and it’s seriously bad advice, yet she does it. It’s kind of Trump-level awful.

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