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A healthy diet can help protect against colon disorders

Just as diet can have a positive or negative impact on heart, brain and bone health, your colon’s overall health can be affected by what you eat.

The colon is a crucial part of the digestive system, and many different conditions can cause it to work improperly. Some of these include inflammatory bowel diseases, such as ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease; diverticular disease; irritable bowel syndrome; and colorectal cancer.

Treatment for these conditions includes diet and lifestyle modifications, medications and/or surgery.

Colorectal cancer is one of the most serious colon diseases. It’s the third most common cancer and the third deadliest cancer in the U.S. Risk factors for colon cancer include age (risk increases over age 50); race (blacks have the highest rates of colorectal cancer in the U.S.); family history; previous polyps; inflammatory bowel disease; smoking; and heavy alcohol use.

“There is also a strong correlation between obesity and having a higher risk of getting cancer in the colon,” says Joshua Melson, MD, MPH, a gastroenterologist who specializes in colorectal cancer at Rush University Medical Center. Read more…

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