March is National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month
WHY COLON HEALTH IS CRITICAL
The digestive system is one of the your body’s most integral systems. Your colon is not only responsible for helping to digest food, but it is crucial for eliminating chemical and physical waste along with toxins and preservatives. Your kidneys and liver also help alongside your colon to eliminate these harmful toxins.
Your colon can be affected by all different conditions such as ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease, irritable bowel syndrome, or worst case, colon cancer. Diet and lifestyle modifications can help in many cases, but special medications and procedures are needed for others.
THE WEIGHT CONNECTION
According to the National Cancer Institute and the American Cancer Society, the link between diet, weight, exercise, and colorectal cancer are some of the strongest for any type of cancer. Estimates are that 50-75 percent of colorectal cancer can be prevented through lifestyle and dietary changes, specifically healthy eating. Fewer than 10 percent of all colorectal cancers are hereditary, which is why good nutrition is a critical aspect of good colon health.
DIET DO’S AND DON’TS
1. Limit red meat and steer clear of processed meats.
2. Stay away from simple sugars. Studies have shown that people with Crohn’s and colitis fare better on low or no-sugar diets.
3. Increase your fiber intake.
4. Drink milk. Calcium and vitamin D may be associated with a decreased risk of colorectal cancer. Other sources of calcium include leafy greens like spinach, kale, and collard greens.
5. Eat whole grains like barley, quinoa, whole wheat flour, wild and brown rice, and oatmeal.
MAKE COLON SCREENING A PRIORITY
The most important way to prevent colon cancer is with a screening colonoscopy. When detected early, up to 95 percent of colorectal cancers are completely curable. Colorectal cancer is the second-leading cause of cancer death among men and women combined. If you are 50 or older, schedule your colonoscopy today! It can save your life…
Dr. Paul Bierman, who is nationally recognized and Board Certified, has been practicing gastroenterology for over 20 years. GI Specialists Foundation, Inc. • ColonScreening.com • (901) 201-6200