Friday, January 6, 2012

Get Your Fiber

A couple of good friends called me up to talk about a health fair they're hosting at the clinic they work at, the Laredo Digestive Health Center.  As you can tell by the name, our discussion revolved around the importance of eating a healthy diet, and getting screened for diseases of the digestive system.

We talked gastritis, diverticulitis, and reflux disease, but of great concern to them was the high incidence of polyps (adenomas) of the large intestine seen in people young and old.  These benign growths along the inner lining of the colon have the potential of becoming cancerous lesions, and oftentimes a person will present with no symptoms whatsoever.  But if these polyps are caught early and treated accordingly, a person can lead a normal life.  Routine follow-ups and dietary changes help decrease the chance of developing serious gastrointestinal diseases.

Now, talking about screening for colon cancer and actually doing it is something  entirely different.  Usually there is some apprehension on the part of the patient when undergoing any type of procedure that involves a sedative, not to mention the fact that a scope (camera) is going to go up into your colon.  But knowing that changes may be occurring in your large intestine with no tell tale signs whatsoever gives me incentive to undergo a colonoscopy.  And besides, most people get worked up for nothing.  I don't mean to downplay the experience, but people recover easily and without event after getting screened.  But don't take my word for it -- Listen to Dr. Elsa Canales as she explains the importance of getting screened for colon cancer.


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