The Crusader Newspaper Group

Why you should gut check your digestive health

Colorectal cancer, also known as colon cancer, is the second most common cause of cancer-related deaths among adults in the U.S., according to the American Cancer Society.

While there are certainly risk factors you can’t control, like age and family history, there are ways to improve and support your gastrointestinal/digestive health and lower the risk of colorectal cancer.

“Physical inactivity and dietary choices can wreak havoc on your digestive health and are two major contributors to increasing colorectal cancer risk,” says Dr. Michael Strupp, a gastroenterologist at Aurora Health Care.

Dr. Strupp offers ways you can improve your diet for better gut health:

  • Increase your fiber intake to help prevent constipation and keep your digestive system functioning properly.
  • Incorporate fruits, vegetables and whole grains into your meals and snacks each day.
  • Limit your intake of red and processed meats, including hot dogs, bacon, beef, pork and lamb.
  • Consider how you prepare your food. When you eat fried or grilled foods, you are consuming unhealthy fats and carcinogens.
  • Cut back on your sugar consumption, as it can be a detriment to your gut health thanks to its ability to cause inflammation and harm the good bacteria in your body.

Colorectal cancer is only preventable when caught and treated. Colonoscopies are the “gold standard method” of detecting and removing pre-cancerous polyps in your colon. If you are at “average” risk of developing colorectal cancer, you should begin screenings at 45 years old. If you are at an increased risk, screening is recommended even earlier. Preventive cancer screenings can save your life.

Want to learn more about your risk for colorectal cancer? Take a free online quiz.

This article originally appeared on health enews.

Recent News

Scroll to Top