How to Take Better Care of Your Colon: Understanding Colorectal Health - Southstar Drug

How to Take Better Care of Your Colon: Understanding Colorectal Health

Southstar Drug

Disclaimer: This article features medical and health topics for educational and informational purposes only. It is not intended to replace or serve as medical or professional advice for self-diagnosis, self-treatment, self-medication, or the like for any health-related condition or medical emergency. Make sure to consult a health care or medical professional for proper medical care, diagnosis, or treatment related to your situation.


Colorectal health is about the condition of the lower body. This is often related to and focuses on the abdomen, colon, and rectal health. Around the world, these are points of concern for a lot of people both young and old. 

Some people who might be feeling some discomfort or changes in their bowel habits would not give their findings a second thought. Thus, this article hopes to raise awareness and encourage diagnosis when it comes to maintaining good colorectal health. But before we talk about the issues one may encounter, let us first understand the colon.


Colorectal Health - Do not hesitate to consult with your doctor upon experiencing pain or discomfort | Southstar Drug


The colon or the large intestine is the part of our digestive system that is divided into segments with the rectum being the last segment before the anus. At face value, when spread out, its length can be compared to a queen-sized bed. Considering this, the whole length fits in your abdomen because it circles from up and across the right side and down to the left.

Technically, each segment has its dedicated function but basically, you can compare your colon to a plumbing system. This circuit is like a tube that works all day complementing the stomach and small intestine by doing the post processing of your meals—removing waste products in your body. It produces digestive fluids that allow for stool to pass out of the body. By this process, a person can maintain the fluid and electrolyte balance of the body. There are three main functions of the large intestine:

  • Absorbing of water and electrolytes. Contractions of the colon are stimulated with the presence of food residues. When these are carried from the small intestine over to get mixed in the large intestine, the remaining water is absorbed. Along with food are sodium and potassium ions that move and get released that allows for the absorption of electrolytes as well.
  • Formation and transport of fecal matter. Normally, it takes 3 days to clear most of just one meal and its complete exit from our body takes up to one week. Experts note that the urge to defecate normally comes as contractions occur. This mass movement made up of food residues, fiber, mucus and other substances happen at least three to four times each day and commonly almost after every meal. 
  • Chemical digestion of residue by gut microbes.  With the presence of colonic bacteria, remaining residues that were not excreted such as carbohydrates are broken down through fermentation which in turn, is finally released as gas containing hydrogen, carbon dioxide, and methane. Moreover, the colonic bacteria help process certain vitamins & minerals and protect the intestine from other harmful bacteria.


    An individual’s lifestyle is mainly the greatest factor linked to many of the health issues a person may suffer from. Generally, the weight, diet, drinking and daily habits of a person contributes to the state of our constitution. Here are some factors researchers have determined to watch out for considering colorectal health.

  • Age. This may be just a number but the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDCP) has observed that there’s almost 90% of cases of colorectal cancer for people that are 50 years old and beyond. That said, it was also noted that there’s a rapidly growing number of cases for younger people who are crippled by obesity, physical inactivity, and smoking.
  • Certain medical conditions. The risk is higher for those who had previously suffered from colorectal polyps or cancer and certain health conditions related to the intestines such as inflammatory bowel disease and type 2 diabetes. On the other hand, there’s also the potential risk relevant to gene mutations caused by other pre-existing health conditions such as breast cancer.
  • Family health history. Tendency to have colorectal cancer is also higher if other family members have suffered from colorectal cancer or polyps. Certain inherited genetic conditions also raise the probability of developing this type of cancer.
    1. Access to healthcare and quality life. People who are challenged or have no access to health insurance, healthy food, clean water, and a safe environment are likely to suffer from health issues such as colorectal diseases because of lack of detection and treatment. Early detection could help prevent or cure those who are afflicted.


    Ideally, a healthy colon is hydrated and clean. Aside from drinking lots of water, it is also important to avoid fatty foods, sweets and too much red meat. Keep the colon healthy and avoid complications by diligently observing these tips.

    1. Eat a high-fiber diet. These are foods that keep you full longer like whole grains, fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds. Since these are more difficult and take longer to chew, it helps you to eat slower, allowing you to savor the food and prevent overeating. Meals high in fiber also promote good bowel movement.
    2. Eat red meat and processed meat in moderation. This practice helps avoid health risks such as obesity, heart disease and even cancer. With less red and processed meat, your diet can lean more in favor of meals high in fiber, nutrients, and antioxidants, thus helping you maintain a healthy gut.
    3. Exercise daily. Its major advantage is allowing yourself to manage your weight better.  With regular exercise, you can lower blood cholesterol, lower blood pressure and lower risk of diseases like diabetes and some cancers. It helps you become stronger as it also improves memory and brain function.
    Colorectal Health - Do not hesitate to consult with your doctor upon experiencing pain or discomfort | Southstar Drug



    Considering the importance of colorectal health and the risk factors that may give it trouble, it is important to have consciousness and commitment. Avoid bad habits and activities that may contribute to the development of health issues of the colon. At the onset of any pain or discomfort, do not hesitate to go to a doctor to get professionally checked and diagnosed.