Maintaining Intestinal Health: Tips from a Gastroenterology Specialist

2023-09-04 04:00:00


Writer: Xu Yun Photography: Zhong Hanping

Colorectal cancer is one of the most common cancers in Hong Kong. The large intestine is about 1.5 meters long. It takes about 16 hours for food to be digested in the large intestine. During the process, the water in the food and the remaining absorbable nutrients are all absorbed, and then the residue is passed through Intestinal movement is sent to the rectum and then excreted from the body. Colorectal cancer often originates from large intestinal polyps, and large intestinal polyps are the proliferation of cells on the epidermis of the intestinal wall. Lu Zhenggang, a specialist in gastroenterology and liver, teaches everyone how to maintain intestinal health in daily life.

Guest host:

Are probiotics good for the colon?

The large intestine of a normal human body is full of many kinds of bacteria. In some cases, some of them can cause illness and make people uncomfortable, but most of them are beneficial to the human body. These are what we call probiotics, but can the probiotics we take every day be able to There is not enough evidence to prove the benefits of probiotics in the large intestine. Based on personal experience, many people believe that eating certain types of probiotics is helpful for intestinal discomfort, such as improving constipation and diarrhea. The real situation is not clear, so even if they think it is effective, which one should they eat? how to eat How much or how long to eat, etc., these questions need more research to confirm.

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Do anti-inflammatory drugs and antibiotics affect the large intestine?

There are both good and bad effects. Taking the anti-inflammatory drug aspirin as an example, in some cases it can cause some intestinal problems, such as stomach pain, duodenal ulcer, and even bleeding complications, but on the other hand There is evidence that aspirin can reduce the occurrence of colorectal cancer; as for antibiotics, which are generally used to destroy bacteria, sometimes the side effects can affect the large intestine, causing diarrhea, abdominal pain, and severe “Clostridium difficile” colitis, perhaps due to The microecology is out of balance, causing bad bacteria to take the opportunity to attack, so these two types of drugs should be prescribed when patients need them.

Dr. Lu believes that eating less cured meat will help the intestinal health to a certain extent.

Are colorectal polyps affected by diet?

Research on colorectal cancer in the medical field shows that among people who eat more red meat or refined meat, the number of colorectal polyps and bowel cancer is relatively high. In addition to diet, other factors include age, diabetes, obesity, Smoking and drinking, etc., will increase the risk.

Why is more vegetables and less meat good for the health of the large intestine?

Studies have pointed out that diet is related to colorectal cancer. These studies were carried out in different regions, and the results are similar. However, in addition to paying attention to diet, other factors such as genetic factors should not be ignored. If close relatives have more bowel cancer, the risk of personal bowel cancer will also increase. improve.

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What should I eat to support gut health?

There is no definite answer to this question, but eating more fresh fruits and vegetables, and eating less preserved and refined meat, such as ham and sausage, is a general guideline for a healthy diet. Although a healthy diet does not necessarily mean a healthy body, if you add Colorectal cancer screening can achieve the goal of early prevention.

Polyps in the large intestine may develop into bowel cancer.

Does frequent constipation increase the risk of colorectal cancer?

Constipation will not cause colorectal cancer, but one of the symptoms of colorectal cancer is constipation. If this happens suddenly, apart from dietary problems, it is recommended to see a doctor for related examinations.

Are men over 50 at high risk for colorectal cancer?

The risk of people over the age of 50 is higher than that of younger people, but not only men are high-risk people, but also women. It is recommended to start colorectal cancer screening at the age of 50. If there are other risk factors such as family history, it should be more Screen earlier and more frequently.

Host Ou Xinxi is most concerned about whether colorectal cancer screening is really effective

Does colorectal cancer screening work?

Colorectal cancer screening is to test the stool and the large intestine, because polyps or intestinal cancer may cause bleeding in the large intestine, and the occult blood that is difficult to detect with the naked eye can be identified in time. The new method will also test other substances in the stool, such as the genes of abnormal cells etc.; the other is to do endoscopy to directly examine the large intestine, hoping to find polyps and remove them, because colorectal cancer mainly comes from polyp lesions, and polyps have a chance to evolve into cancer cells after many years, so early removal is the most effective prevention method.

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Why is central obesity a risk factor?

The direct link between obesity and bowel cancer is not yet clear, but research figures show that central obesity not only increases the risk of bowel cancer, but also increases the risk of other cancers. One possible reason is that obese people have higher levels of insulin, which stimulates the growth of cancer cells .

Doctor profile
Lu Zhenggang——Specialist in Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery of the University of Hong Kong, Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians, Fellow of the Hong Kong College of Physicians, Fellow of the Hong Kong Academy of Medicine (Internal Medicine), Honorary Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh, UK Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians, London.

Hair: Chris Cheng@AVEDA IL COLPO
Makeup: Chan So Kit

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