Published on February 18th, 2013 | by DrKaayla


Death and Other Known Risks from Colonoscopy

I’m guest posting over at The Healthy Home Economist today, and I hope you’ll be frisky enough to follow me there.    Sarah Pope and I consider the topic of colon health to be very timely with National Colon Awareness Month coming up next month.    Given that the pressure will soon be on for each of us to get a “preventive colonoscopy, ” it’s a good time to share some reasons why that might not be such a good idea.

For starters, did you know  that the rate of serious complications from colonoscopy screening is ten times higher than any other commonly used cancer-screening test?

I didn’t either, but according to Konstantin Monastyrky, the author of Fiber Menace, “the odds of being killed or injured by the side effects of colonoscopy may exceed your odds of getting colorectal cancer in the first place.”

He further points out that the procedure is far from infallible.  It not often fails to catch colorectal cancer in many cases, but can also cause, contribute to or accelerate the growth of colorectal and other cancers.

How so?

  • Dysbiosis. Intestinal flora are disrupted because the procedure requires a thorough washing out of the large intestine with large doses of synthetic laxatives, followed by bowel irrigation with polyethylene glycol and hypertonic electrolytes. Both substances kill bacteria, both good and bad. Dysbiosis contributes to irregularity, constipation, IBS, Crohn’s and other diseases known to increase colon cancer risk. Dysbiosis also contributes to a wide range of other health problems.
  • A Worsening of Stool Patterns: Those already affected by hemorrhoids, chronic constipation, IBS or diverticulosis may find these conditions become worse after colonoscopy.
For more, including possible complications from the procedure, the increased risk of heart attack and stroke, infections and other dangers, please head on over to

And if you are still thinking you’ll do that colonoscopy, Monastysky also has a few words there about how to increase the level of safety and accuracy should you choose that option.


To read this entire article at The Healthy Home Economist:

To learn more from Konstantin Monastyrsky about colonoscopies and other gut health issues:

Colonoscopy: Is It Worth The Risk:

Side Effects of Screening Colonoscopies:

Colorectal Cancer Risk Factors (to consider before having colonoscopy):

To buy his book  Fiber Menace:


PAID ENDORSEMENT DISCLOSURE: In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog.



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6 Responses to Death and Other Known Risks from Colonoscopy

  1. Matthew Strazzula says:

    I live in a rest home in Boston at MASS GENERAL HOSPITAL, a few days ago one of the rsidents here had a colonoscopy. During it her heart stopped, they were able to shock her back. Never heard of it before. Near death, or death from a colonoscopy. Lots of screening tests do not seen to be worth the risk. Thinking colonoscopy may be one of them. have had many in my life. I have had HIV for over 30 yrs now AIDS. There really needs to be studies of expensive tests, are they really worth the risks? Also i have noticed that colonoscopies, make your bowels messed up for a long time. As a person with aspergers,(we often have leaky guts), that standard medical care, may not be good for you. They should always tell the the percentage of complications and or death.

  2. Cynthia says:

    My grandmother had her colon punctured during the standard test and consequently had to have a colostomy for an entire year for it to heal. Then to reverse the colostomy she had to have another surgery. Yes she was “normal” after that but who wants to undergo two surgeries due to a mistake from a screening test? Plus the agony of dealing with a colostomy for a year? She was in her late 70’s when this happened. Ridiculous.

    • DrKaayla says:

      Thank you so much for sharing. Over the past couple years I’ve gotten a lot of angry comments from people who believe colonoscopies are safe, necessary and life saving. Sadly, there are very real risks.

  3. JoeInMidwest says:

    A risk of NOT having a colonoscopy is also that a gastroenterologist will be VERY upset if he cannot get that special Mercedes car that he’s been eyeing.

  4. Ronald Harris says:

    Didn’t realize that a colonoscopy was as dangerous as it is, sort of sounds like playing the lottery.

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