By Ghandi Dhruvil, M.D. Colon & Rectal Surgeon Tri-City Medical Center
The colon has the shape of a question mark and frames our abdomen. Its function is to convert liquid stool into solid stool and store it until defecation. The colon begins in the lower right side of our abdomen where it is joined to the small intestine and the appendix. In the pelvis our colon becomes the rectum and the very end is called the anal canal.
- The function of the colon is to convert liquid stool into solid stool and store it until defecation.
- The highest risk factor for colorectal cancer is age 50 or older, so get your screening colonoscopy at age 50.
- Sanitary wipes can be used on the anus for cleansing, but make sure to use alcohol free wipes. Alcohol tends to dry the perianal skin.
- Your colon needs 35g of fiber daily. A high fiber diet usually only has half the recommended daily amount of fiber, so taking a fiber supplement can make up this difference.
- Make sure to drink 5-6 glasses (8 oz.) of water daily in order to allow the fiber to work.
- All persistent anorectal bleeding needs to be investigated by a doctor.
- Hemorrhoids are a normal part of our anatomy. They are cushions in our anus that protect our sphincter muscle and help prevent incontinence.
- Most hemorrhoid symptoms can be treated without surgery under the care of a colorectal surgeon.
- Prolonged sitting on the toilet can promote hemorrhoid problems if the habits continue over a period of time.
- Prolonged use of laxatives, stimulants, and stool softeners can cause worsening colon dysfunction after years of use.
For more information on colon health visit tricitymed.org.