An annual physical checkup is a necessity for the whole family, but it is especially beneficial if you are fifty years of age or older and your family has a history of colon cancer. Having a parent or sibling who has had colon cancer puts you at higher risk of having the disease. One of the most important tests that your doctor should perform in order to check on your colon health is a sigmoidoscopy.
How do you prepare for a sigmoidoscopy?
Before you take the test you will need to have an enema to empty your bowels. The enema is usually performed at least one hour before the sigmoidoscopy is done. Your doctor or nurse will tell you how to do one at home before you arrive or they will assist you in doing one at the doctor's office.
How is a sigmoidoscopy done?
The test is performed while you are lying on your side. Your knees will be drawn up to your chest, and your doctor will put on gloves and lubricate one finger. This finger will be placed in your rectum in order to check for blockages and to enlarge the anus. After this initial examination is complete, a sigmoidoscope will be placed into your anus. The scope will then be guided into the colon to allow your doctor to see inside your colon clearly.
What are the signs of colon trouble?
Having a family history of colon cancer means that you should be aware of the most important signs of colon trouble. The major ones are:
- diarrhea that lasts for nearly a week
- continuous vomiting
- pain whenever you have a bowel movement
- stool that is black and tarry.
What are some natural ways to keep the colon healthy?
There are several things you can do to protect your colon health. The major ones are listed below.
- Drink a lot of water. This will help to flush toxins out of your colon.
- Eat a balanced diet that is high in fiber, so that your bowel movements will be regular and your colon cleansed regularly.
- Reduce your intake of fatty foods. Eating too much fatty foods can cause more bile acids to go into the colon in order to digest the fat. Excess bile has the potential to change the bacterial composition of the colon, which can lead to the growth of tumors. Eating lean meats and products that are low-fat are a good choice if you are at risk for colon cancer.
Taking care of your colon by getting regular checkups at a clinic like Choice Medical Group and eating right is one of the most important choices you can make, in order to prevent colon cancer.