As the name suggests, a coffee enema is a treatment that involves filling the bowel with black, room-temperature coffee. It is thought to enhance the removal of toxic bile from the liver through efficient caffeine stimulation, according to the I Need Coffee website. Because the veins of the anus are close to the surface of the tissue, they absorb caffeine quickly and in high concentrations. Consult your doctor before considering a coffee enema; it can produce several side effects.
Hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar, may result from using a coffee enema, according to Dr. Lawrence Wilson. If you have diabetes, this can be especially dangerous--tell your doctor before you administer a coffee enema. For most non-diabetics, this side effect can be avoided by having a small meal or a snack within 30 minutes of your enema.
According to the I Need Coffee website, the repeated use of any procedure designed to stimulate the nerves of the colon, such as colonics, enemas or suppository use, may limit bowel function over time. This can lead to the inability to have regular bowel movements or the inability to control them.
Coffee enemas may damage the tissues of the colon walls, notes Dr. Ralph W. Moss, contributor to the Cancer Chronicles. This damage may be caused by potassium loss, the absorption of chloride and sodium, and the excess retention of water.
Some doctors and researchers believe that the large amount of caffeine absorbed by the veins in the anal tissue can quickly lead to caffeine addiction. However, Dr. Moss and other medical professionals question the validity of this position, stating that there is insufficient data to establish a connection between coffee enemas and caffeine addiction.