Virtual Imaging: Early Detection Saves Lives. Imagery of two elderly couples jogging outside and smiling.

4 Tips for Holiday Colon Care

You have put up the seasonal decorations, wrapped the gifts, prepared the meal and invited the guests, but have you decided how you will take care of your colon during the holidays?

A number of conditions can affect your colon, which is the final part of the large intestine. These conditions include Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, constipation, irritable bowel syndrome, and polyps. Cancer is the most serious problem affecting the colon. Colorectal cancer, which affects the colon and rectum, is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Lifestyle choices can reduce your risk of colorectal cancer and decrease the occurrence of symptoms from other colon problems. Maintaining good lifestyle choices can be rough during the holidays; eating rich foods associated with the season can even make symptoms worse. Here are a few tips to help you with your holiday colon care.

4 Ways to Take Care of Your Colon during the Holidays

  1. Stick to your healthy diet as much as possible

    While the CDC says that medical experts do not agree on the role of food in the prevention of colon cancer, the agency does recommend a diet that is rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains and low in animal fats. Instead of taking a large portion of Aunt Millie’s homemade breakfast sausages, for example, opt for a bowl of oatmeal topped with fresh fruit. Pass over the cookie and reach for a celery stalk instead.

  2. Limit alcohol consumption and tobacco use

    There is a link between alcohol use and a higher risk of cancer of the colon. Smokers have a higher risk of developing colon cancer and they face a greater risk of dying from the disease.

  3. Exercise

    Physical activity stimulates bowel movements so cancer-causing agents pass through the bowels more quickly. Research shows that people who engage in the most physical activity can cut their risk of colon cancer by as much as 25 percent.

  4. Undergo a colon scan

    Make colon screening a priority this holiday season. A virtual colonoscopy using the EBT C300 scanner creates multiple, thin X-ray sections of the colon. Preparation is easier for virtual colonoscopy than for traditional colonoscopy in that it is non-invasive and no sedation is needed; you can return to your holiday festivities immediately after the procedure. Make an appointment with Virtual Imaging, Inc. Imaging Center at 770-730-0119.

This holiday season, give yourself the gift of colon health that will last a lifetime.