Medical horrors: the tale of the self-administered hot coffee enema

Before continuing, please bear in mind that:

"The opinions or assertions contained herein are the private views of the authors and are not to be construed as official or as reflecting the views of the US Department of the Army, the US Department of Defense, the Department of the Navy or naval services at large."

The caveat refers to a case note in the medical journal Endoscopy, regarding the pros and cons of self administered coffee enemas – specifically, hot ones. The article, which is co-authored by practitioners from the Department of Gastroenterology, National Naval Medical Center, Bethesda, Maryland, and the Gastroenterology Service, Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Washington, DC, gives details of accidental (self-inflicted) internal injuries caused to a 47 year old female patient who had decided to give herself a hot-coffee enema.

Thankfully, she made a full, though initially uncomfortable, recovery.

"By 6 weeks after initial presentation, the rectal mucosa was normal and the patient had recovered well without any complications such as rectal stricture."

Leaving aside the somewhat contentious issue of whether coffee enemas are of any medical value (the current establishment viewpoint is that they aren't) the authors present a cautionary and highly practical recommendation for those contemplating similar self-treatment :

"When coffee is used in an enema, care must be taken to ensure that the coffee is cooled prior to use …"

Rectal burn induced by hot coffee enema is published in the medical journal Endoscopy 2010; 42: E26 UCTN (Unusual cases and technical notes). Non-squeamish readers may examine it in full here.

BONUS: S.A. Wilson's Therapy Blend Enema Coffee

BONUS: A Downside of Coffee Enemas

BONUS: What's Up With Max Gerson?

Image via Nate Steiner. This post originally appeared on Improbable Research.