Tag Archives: screening saves

More reasons to get a colonoscopy

Image result for get screenedEveryone over the age of 40 is aware of the “dreaded” colonoscopy. But really – we promise – it’s not that scary. Most folks say that the prep is the hardest part while the procedure is a breeze. If you’re still not convinced, having a colonoscopy is the single most effective way of detecting and preventing colon cancer, which is in the top three cancers in the United States. So just do it!

Here’s a bit more info about the procedure and why you should take the plunge.

Get screened if…

Most medical professionals agree that screening should start somewhere between the ages of 40 and 50 (check with your doctor to learn what they recommend), but if you have any symptoms, family history, or are of African descent, the sooner you’re screened, the better.

What are the symptoms?

If you’ve had any changes in your bowels, or experience regular diarrhea, constipation, or bleeding, you could be at a higher risk. Abdominal pain, weakness, weight loss and fatigue are also commonly associated with polyps and colon cancer.

Genetic testing

Most insurance companies will cover genetic testing to better determine your risk level. The Colon Cancer Alliance offers this super fast quiz to see where you stand.

Colonoscopy prep tips

Some medical professionals say that certain dietary tweaks, such as avoiding meat in the week before, can really help with your entire prep experience. Also chill the beverage to ease the flavor and use a straw to help it flow. And if you enjoy grape soda, don’t choose grape flavored prep – that could ruin your beloved pop after the procedure.

Still not convinced?

If the idea of a colonoscopy is just too much for you to handle, your doctor might be able to recommend other screening options. However, if you fall into the high-risk category, a colonoscopy is probably going to be your best line of defense.

The bottom line

Tell your doctor if anything has changed in your bowels – and don’t be embarrassed. Colon cancer is 100% preventable if you’re screened early and often.


Gut check: How’s your tummy?

Your tummy your health.

When you take steps toward a healthier lifestyle, your tummy will benefit.

Now that 2016 is off to a start, we wanted to check in on your digestive health. When you make a resolution to get healthy – drink more water, exercise more, eat better – that will definitely help any tummy troubles you might have.

Dairy Days

Dairy can be a culprit when you have stomach problems. More than half of adults deal with some degree of lactose intolerance. If you’re phasing out the dairy, both your waist line and your digestion will benefit.

Last year, we talked to Dr. Abadir about dairy and digestion. “Lactose,” says Dr. Abadir, “unlike other sugars like glucose, cannot be absorbed by our intestines in its original form.” Which can lead to all sorts of problems like gas, bloating and diarrhea. Cutting out dairy and finding your calcium from plant-based sources like broccoli, almonds and oranges, can lead to better digestion and possibly a few fewer pounds!

The Right Stuff

You really are what you eat. Getting the right nutrients through lots of plant-based sources of a variety of colors is so important. When we looked around for some recipes that ease digestion, we found some really common stuff like pears and salad can make a difference. Then we went on a hunt for some easy recipes that can help your tummy and came up with beans, blueberries and sweet potatoes. These foods don’t have to be complicated or made precisely like the recipes says. We give tips for each!

Then, there’s our favorite digestive food superstar, ginger. This knobby root has been used to ease stomach issues for centuries, and it’s especially great for folks who avoid medications or supplements. It’s versatile enough to put in soup, stir fry and dressing.

Screening Saves

Beyond doing your best to eat well and exercise, getting screened is the most important thing you can do. March is Colon Cancer Awareness each year, when the Colon Cancer Alliance pushes for people to get screened.

Colon cancer is common in both men and women, especially when you have family history. If you’re over 40, shoot for 2016 as your time for a screening.

Tell Me More

Do you have a tip or a trick that you do you do that really helps your digestion? Share it with us! We’d love to hear what really works for you.


Celebrate the survivor in your family!

National Cancer Survivors Day

On Sunday, June 7, we celebrate survivors and the people who got them there.

Sunday, June 7 is National Cancer Survivors Day. This day commemorates all the fighters and their support systems and recognizes their courage. Survivors Day “is a celebration for those who have survived, an inspiration for those recently diagnosed, a gathering of support for families, and an outreach to the community,” says the website.

Now in its 28th year, National Cancer Survivors Day aims to support fundraisers and other events in an effort to raise awareness and funds for research. They offer a detailed, seven-step process to help you get your event off the ground. After you register your even with NCSD, they work with you to get sponsors, a location and pick a theme like “Casino Royale” or “A Day of Pampering.” The site can also help you land a keynote speaker to help gain publicity for your event.

A recent blog on the site explains this day of recognition.

We want everyone to share the message that there is life after cancer – and that’s something to celebrate – but we can still do more to lessen the burdens of cancer survivorship.

We salute you, survivors. Not just on this day of recognition, but every day. The courage and strength it takes to fight cancer is unparalleled. Thank you for being an inspiration to us all.


The fastest-growing cancer in the country: Esophageal

Esophageal Cancer Awareness month is April each year.

ECA is the fastest-growing cancer in the U.S.

Cases of esophageal cancer are growing rapidly in the U.S. The disease can be easily disregarded as something less serious, since the risk factors and symptoms are so common.

Risk factors and symptoms

Dr. Anezi Bakken, MD MS in Internal Medicine and Gastroenterology, says that white men over 50 who drink, smoke or are overweight are at the highest risk. Chronic heartburn also increases the risk, since the acid produced can lead to erosion of your esophageal tissue.

The symptoms are easy to shrug off. Regular burping or belching, hoarseness, indigestion, chest pain, sore throat and even throat clearing can all be indicators of esophageal cancer.

People with GERD could actually end up with Barrett’s esophagus – a more serious condition that can eventually lead to esophageal cancer. Barrett’s esophagus is a condition in which the lining of the lower esophagus has been damaged by repeated exposure to stomach acid.

If you’re chronically on PPIs for GERD, you may be at a higher risk.