Things Your Colon Wants You to Know

March 30, 2017

Fiber should come from insoluble fiber, which promotes regular bowel movement and prevents constipation.

Help me move: Regular bowel habits are key to colon health. Keeping a regular unhurried time for having bowel movements can keep things regular. This helps to remove toxic waste through colon in less time. Studies show that that exercising on a regular basis along with eating unprocessed food and adequate water intake helps in having regular bowel movements.

Best time to have a bowel movement may be after a meal when colon activity peaks. 

Fiber is my friend
Current recommendations for fiber intake are:

Age 50 and below Above 50
Men 38/gm/day 30gm/day
Women 25/gm/day 21gm/day

 

Fiber should come from insoluble fiber, which promotes regular bowel movement and prevents constipation. It also helps to prevent colon cancer by keeping an optimal pH in intestines to prevent microbes from producing cancerous substances. Soluble fiber binds with fatty acids prolonging stomach emptying time so that sugar is released and absorbed more slowly. This lowers total cholesterol, reduces the risk of heart disease and regulates blood sugar for people with diabetes. For sources of fiber, click here.

Try to eat six helpings of fruits and vegetables daily. Aim to eat all the colors of the rainbow every day. Shop on the periphery of supermarkets. Watch out for whole grain impostors (chicory root in a lot of fiber bars).

When was the last time you tried something the first time? Seek new tastes and enjoy the variety that nature has provided us with. Eating better is more about opening our options rather than restricting them. Remember food is more than sum of its parts. The best source of super food is unprocessed whole food. Eat yogurt on regular basis. Keep it interesting by trying different types like greek yogurt (higher protein content) and adding berries, flax seed powder, fruits.

Assess your risk for colon cancer via this link: http://www.cancer.gov/colorectalcancerrisk/

Get a colon cancer screening done and keep up with the followup as recommended by your doctor.

Dr. Sodhi is a gastroenterologist with Affinity Medical Group, part of Ascension. In addition to his gastroenterology training, he has done a two year fellowship in integrative medicine with Dr. Andrew Weil from University of Arizona. Dr. Sodhi is board-certified in gastroenterology, internal medicine, integrative medicine and nutrition. He is available for gastroenterology consultation and endoscopic procedures at Midway Place in Menasha.