Colon cancer has become the deadliest cancer in the United States. This is an especially striking phenomenon because proper colon health is something we can all practice and is neither expensive or time consuming. These are some of the most common diseases of the colon.
Diseases of the colon include colitis, colon cancer, constipation, diverticulosis diarrhea, and dysbiosis.
Colitis is a chronic digestive disease which is characterized by an inflammation of the colon affecting the tissues that line the gastrointestinal system. Treatment can include antibiotics, or other drugs to lower the inflammation. Extreme cases require surgical removal of the colon and bowel leaving a 'pouch' with part of the small intestine which performs the functions of the colon.
Colon cancer has become one of the largest killers in the US surpassing lung cancer and breast cancer in fatalities per year. It can take years to develop and early detection greatly improves chances of recovery. If caught early enough, cancerous polyps can simply be removed, the more advanced the tumors are, the more invasive and dangerous the procedures.
Constipation is responsible for at least $ 500 million dollar in sales of laxatives in the US Simply increasing the amount of fiber consumed on a regular basis has proven to be an effective treatment for chronic constipation.
Diverticular disease relates to the diverticula which are small sacs formed by areas of weakness on the colon wall. Only about 20% of people with diverticulosis (the presence of diverticula) develop diverticulitis, a condition of inflamed, perforated or impacted diverticula. As with constipation, a high fiber diet is recommended. Antibiotics may be needed in severe cases.
Diarrhea is sometimes considered a laughing matter but it can be extremely serious. It is often a symptom of a more serious disease like dysentery, cholera, botulism and Crohn's disease. For most cases, however, consuming adequate water to replace that which is lost (in addition to some electrolytes to replace salts and nutrients) will treat the condition. However, diarrhea in infants and children or if blood is present, medical supervision is required. Also, dangerous are cases that last over 48 hours or are associated with abdominal pain, weight loss or fever.
Dysbiosis refers to the dysfunction of the bacterial flora in the gastrointestinal tract. There are almost ten times as many bacteria in the human gut as there are cells in the rest of the body. If one or more of them begin acting in a parasitic manner, severe problems can erupt in the digestive tract. Major causes of dysbiosis include dietary stresses, malabsorption, increased general stress, intestinal infections and altered pH.