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Getting Personal

I’ve noticed a pattern in the research I’ve done and the documentaries I have watched. They all emphasize one basic thing: Your outer body is a reflection of what you put into it.

What’s my point? Well, I’m going to give you a personal example, which also explains part of the reason why this topic is a passion of mine [and why I’ve started this blog].

A few years ago, when I was about 20 years old, I went in for my first Colonoscopy and Endoscopy. I had been having serious problems with my stomach and was encountering pain almost constantly. At this point, I didn’t have the BEST diet but still did not eat as bad as I used to in high school. In my teenage years I drank soda, ate fries, fried chicken, and LOTS of processed food. I played sports in high school and went to the gym quite a bit so I didn’t see an issue with the way I was eating. So when I went in for my Colonoscopy, they found a CANCEROUS polyp. At age 20, I had cancer in my stomach. Luckily, they found it in time and removed it.

According to both my doctor and the Cancer Center Website, the first stage [sign] of developing colon cancer are precancerous or cancerous polyps. I was blessed to have been checked when I did, because if I wasn’t checked in time, it would have progressed into something more serious. Colon cancer is very deadly and it could have become very life threatening and it scared me [and still scares me] to death.

Here’s a list of things that can contribute to colon cancer taken from the Cancer Center Website,

  • Dietary Habits: Our dietary habits play a significant role in our overall health and well-being. Diets high in fat and low in fiber are believed to be risk factors for colon cancer. Diets rich in fruits, vegetables and whole grains are recommended and may decrease chances for developing the disease. *
  • Physical Activity: Sedentary lifestyles are linked to the development of colon cancer. Regular physical activity is an important part of a balanced healthy lifestyle and may reduce your colon cancer risks.
  • Obesity: Obesity is a condition that may have many adverse effects on your overall health and well-being. It is also considered a risk factor for colon cancer. By effectively managing your weight, you may be able to reduce your chances of developing the disease. 
  • Smoking: There is evidence linking cigarette smoking to many types of cancer, including colon cancer. Smokers have been found to be at greater risk of developing colon cancer than non-smokers.
  • Alcohol: Heavy drinking may negatively impact your overall health in several ways. It is also a colon cancer risk factor that can be controlled – either on your own or with the help of a medical professional.

Most of these factors are closely related. What it comes down to is a healthy food and fitness lifestyle.

Since these test were done 3 years ago, I’ve made some changes. I discovered that I was allergic to most dairy products and also gluten. I have a very sensitive stomach which isn’t surprising since my genetics are working against me in that department. But you know what? I’m not upset that I can’t have breaded fried chicken, a tiramisu, bread rolls and ice cream. I eat a gluten free, dairy free [with the exception of SOME cheese] lifestyle which also includes organic veggies, and fruits and fish. I don’t drink soda, sweet tea or anything sugary for that matter. I don’t drink frapp’s or lattes at Starbucks [unless it is a plain soy latte] and I don’t drink much alcohol anymore. I had to make these changes to fix the problems that were happening in my digestive system. It was hard at first, but worth it in the end.

About a month ago, I had another round of tests. I had no redness, no acid reflux, and NO polyps. My intestines had completely transformed.

It was so scary to know that at such a young age, I could have gotten colon cancer. It’s not just a procedure or a pill that permanently fixes something like that. It is an over all lifestyle change. I want to share all of these food facts, tips and overall health encouragements with you because I DON’T want anyone encountering what I’ve gone through and more. There’s also heart disease, diabetes and other issues to contend with. Eating the wrong foods and not exercising can make your life miserable and can KILL your confidence.

If you’ve been experiencing any strange pains in your stomach, nausea, or overall discomforts in your digestive system, don’t hesitate to call your doctor. If you’re 20+ years old, get a baseline colonoscopy done…It’s better to be safe than sorry.

Thanks for reading xoxo

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