Tag Archives: quit smoking

It’s time to quit smoking for your colon health

Image result for quit smokingWe all know smoking is bad for us. We also know how much it sucks to try to quit. And while you’ve probably heard all of the advice in the world and all of the complications it can cause, now, there’s another reason to quit: Colon cancer recovery.

A new study suggests that folks who smoke aren’t as likely to survive the fight against colon cancer as former smokers or those who never smoked.

And to make matters worse, upon diagnoses, smokers were more likely to be in an emergency situation or need immediate surgery.

“People are generally deniers especially when it comes to pleasurable habits or when a life style change is recommended for their health,” said Dr. Sidney Winawer of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York.

So what can you do?

The most effective way to quit is to work with your doctor to create a plan or to join a support group. Any time you’re looking to kick a bad habit, having support from a community or partner creates a level of accountability that is difficult to replicate on your own.

“Your doctor can be a key resource as you’re trying to quit smoking. He or she can talk to you about medications to help you quit and put you in contact with local resources,” says The American Lung Association.

The ALA has all sorts of other resources to help you make sense of what to expect and how to be successful at quitting. Check out their I Want To Quit Smoking page for reasons, facts, frequently asked questions and support you can get from the ALA itself.

Smoking is the worst thing you can voluntarily do to your health. Make an appointment with your doctor and commit to making yourself healthier.

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Dr. John Weber exclusive: Tobacco and digestion on World No Tobacco Day

Dr. John Weber talks to us about digestive issues and tobacco use.Today marks World No Tobacco Day, a worldwide initiative to eliminate tobacco use. Since there are so many connections between tobacco use and chronic digestive issues, we wanted to get an expert opinion.

Dr. John Weber, MD, at Troy Gastroenterology, sat down to give us some insight into how tobacco negatively affects your digestive system.

Tobacco and Gastro Risks

“Tobacco and smoking have significant effects throughout the gastrointestinal tract,” says Dr. Weber. Heartburn, GERD, peptic ulcers and other issues can either be caused by or made worse from tobacco use.

And the negative effects of tobacco don’t stop with common digestive issues.

“Patients who smoke also have a higher risk of developing Crohn’s disease,” says Dr. Weber. “And smokers with Crohn’s have more severe symptoms and complications from their disease.”

Tobacco and Colon Cancer

What’s even worse about the relationship between tobacco use and digestive problems, is that it’s linked to an increased risk of cancer.

“Smoking can contribute to increased risk of cancer throughout the GI tract,” says Dr. Weber. “Focusing on colon cancer, cigarette smoking increases the risk of developing pre-cancerous adenomatous and polyps.”

The increased risk of cancer isn’t the only problem.

“The risk of dying from colon cancer is also increased among smokers,” says Dr. Weber.

You’re not just more likely to get colon cancer if you smoke, but you’re less likely to make it through.

Tobacco and You

There are always things you can do to improve your health and prevent disease. Even though there are exceptions.

“Many diseases that people acquire are beyond their control,” says Dr. Weber. “The risk of developing certain diseases, however, can be decreased by lifestyle choices including diet, exercise and nutrition.”

Treatment and prevention of certain digestive issues are almost always easier when tobacco is out of the picture.

“Many GI problems that I see on a daily basis could be more easily treated or prevented if patients stopped smoking,” says Dr. Weber.

The Bottom Line

At the end of the day, Dr. Weber says that educating folks on the dangers and risks of tobacco use would potentially help lead to more quitting.

“I think if patients understood the true financial and health costs associated with their tobacco use,” says Dr. Weber, “then they might be willing to quit – or, even better, not start smoking.”

The doctors at Troy Gastroenterology want all of their patients to stop smoking. They can help you get started if you’re not sure where to go.

As Dr. Weber says: “It’s not easy, but there are now many successful strategies available to help patients quit smoking.”

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Take back your 2015! Dedicate yourself to your New Year’s resolution

It's easy to brush off your resolution once February hits. Don't let it!

It’s never too late to get back to your New Year’s resolution.

The only thing more cliche than a New Year’s resolution is one that you don’t follow much past January. But don’t fret just yet. If you got off track, you’re only about a month into your resolution. Which means that time is on your side for 2015.

Back to smoking?

The Center for Disease Control estimates that about 70% of smokers want to quit. Yet it’s one of the most difficult habits to kick. QuitSmoking.com thinks “that most people just don’t know how to go about quitting.”

Here’s some of their best advice.

1. Believe that you have it in you to quit.

“Believing you can quit is so important because your belief will guide everything you do in your attempt to quit. The way you think, the research you do, the steps you take, the people you talk to, the help you seek—all these will be influenced by the belief you have in your ability to give up cigarettes.”

2. Set a date – and don’t go cold turkey!

“Quitting on a specific date is preferable to slowly reducing the number of cigarettes that you smoke. By going “cold turkey” you won’t have to keep track of how many cigarettes you smoked yesterday and how many you will smoke today. You will also remove the temptation to cheat and smoke too many.”

3. Don’t quit quitting!

“Many smokers who have successfully given up cigarettes have made several attempts to quit before they finally kicked the habit. You should know going in that quitting may be a lengthy, or even life-long, process.”

Off your diet plan?

Food is arguably one of the most difficult habits to quit. You have to have it to live, so you can’t just walk away from it. Plus bad food is so accessible and much easier to prepare than whole foods. That’s why so many people struggle with overeating and weight problems.

But like smoking, you shouldn’t throw in the towel just because you fell off the wagon (so many adages!). And also like smoking, eating right has to be a lifelong commitment. You will always need to eat; doing so properly in the age of convenience food is what’s difficult.

“If you want to improve on something, you need to track your progress, and the behaviors that cause progress,” says Evidence Mag. To improve health or lose weight, it’s vital that you understand your current behaviors. Sure, we hear, “lose weight and eat more vegetables” from every healthy lifestyle source. But shouldn’t you have more success if you understand why you eat, when you eat, and why you eat what you eat?

Tracking your food isn’t the end-all of weight loss, but it’s one of the most effective methods. When you put what you eat in words, you hold yourself accountable. That one bite of chocolate is a secret if no one sees it. When you put it on paper, it becomes real.

Weight Watchers is perhaps the most famous of all tracking programs. It also gives you point values for your food and a limit of the number you can eat each day. My Fitness Pal is another site that works to help you understand and track your food and exercise.

Feeling defeated?

Regardless of your resolution – saving more, learning something new, watching less TV – it’s never too late to hop back to it. It’s also important to remember that you’re not the only person who has faced this. There are support groups for everything, even online ones. It’s so helpful to recognize that you’re going to have setbacks, there are other people who have too, and that the only way you lose is if you quit trying.

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