The health of your colon can affect many aspects of your health, from digestion to the heart. The colon is where our body gets water, vitamins, minerals, and other vital nutrients. It also is designed to get rid of the excess waste that our food produces and acts as a natural way to detoxify the system.
Ways to Maintain Good Colon Health
One of the best things for your colon is to eat plenty of fiber. Fiber is known for keeping food moving efficiently through the body. Whole grains such as brown rice, legumes, fruits, and vegetables are great sources. Oats are another good source – just be sure to read the labels of prepackaged brands which can be filled with salt, sugar, and additives.
Try eating as “close to nature” as you can. Keep in mind that when we eat processed, fatty and/or sugary foods, the colon gets an extra hard workout, and regularly eating these foods can lead to a variety of health issues.
Regular exercise can give the digestive system a good boost. You don’t have to be an exercise nut or even join a gym. A half-hour of walking on most days of the week will not only benefit your colon health but also the well-being of your heart, lungs, and muscles.
One of the best things you can do for great colon health is drink eight glasses of water each day. Drinking plenty of water is the key to the health of the whole body. People often wait to drink until they become thirsty, but if you wait until then, it’s a sign that you’re already dehydrated. Thirst is the body’s warning system, so keep drinking water throughout the day.
Alcohol consumption has been associated with an increased risk of colorectal cancer, so remember to drink in moderation.
A study conducted by the American Cancer Society found that among men who smoked, 31 percent were more likely to die from colorectal cancer than nonsmokers. Female smokers were 41 percent more likely than nonsmokers to die from the disease. The risk of death rose with the number of years smoked and the amount smoked per day over the years. The risk was even higher in those who smoked at a young age.
The good news is that there was a big benefit from quitting. Twenty years after quitting, men’s risk of death from the disease returned to normal, and women who stopped 10 or more years earlier had the same risk as nonsmokers. So if you smoke, stop. If you don’t smoke, don’t start.
We’re Here to Help
You are only a phone call away to schedule your colonoscopy. Call Norwalk Hospital’s Digestive Diseases Center at (866) NHB-WELL to schedule yours today.
Should you need cancer treatment, you can rest assured you’ll be in good hands at Western CT Health Network. We’re proud to be the only center of excellence for colorectal cancer care in New England. In fact, we are one of only five cancer centers in the nation to receive this designation. It means that you’ll receive the highest-quality cancer care and treatment available in a safe, comfortable environment, administered by some of the top physicians and specialty staff in the nation.
We provide a uniquely high level of support to patients and their families in a compassionate, sensitive manner to meet the many challenges presented by cancer – from diagnosis to recovery.
Feeling Well: Digestive Health