Some ages come with exciting milestones. In the United States, at age 18, you can start voting in the presidential elections. When you turn 21, you can taste your first legal beer. And at age 45 — you’re encouraged to get your first colonoscopy!
Ha! How was that for a weird introduction?
Well, last week I did it. I had my first colonoscopy and for those who are scared to get one, just get it scheduled. It’s really no big deal. The prep beforehand was unpleasant because you have to drink a terrible thing that liquefies everything in your intestines, and you are on a strict diet the day before the procedure. However, the actual procedure itself is easy. You’re under anesthesia so you don’t feel or remember a thing.
After my colonoscopy (which came out great — no tumors or issues!), I had a lovely chat with my gastroenterologist and her nurse about digestive health. It made me realize that a few of my usual practices are actually really helpful for my body, and specifically, my colon health, so I thought I’d share them here with you!
1. Eat your probiotics.
Your stomach needs good bacteria to work well. After my colonoscopy, I was starving and ready to get something in my tummy. My nurse was pleased to see that I brought with me some probiotic-rich cashew-milk-based yogurt. Probiotics are live bacteria and/or yeasts that can help eliminate bad bacteria in the body. You can also get probiotics by eating sauerkraut, kimchi, pickles and other fermented foods. I try to add a few bites of these to the side of my plate once a day.
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2. Drink and eat your prebiotics.
It’s no secret I’m an herbal tea drinker. I love to experiment with lots of different varieties and one of my favorite coffee substitutes (Teeccino) just happens to also be a good source of prebiotics! I had no idea until I looked a little closer at the package. Yahoo! Prebiotics are foods that the probiotics like to feed on, and are generally rich in fiber, such as old-fashioned oats, blueberries, flax seed, spinach and chia seeds.
3. Get some gentle exercise.
When I was diagnosed with mild gastroparesis (that’s a delayed emptying of the stomach contents into the intestines) I was advised to go for a short walk after each meal to help get things moving. I’ve always enjoyed going for walks, so I weave them into my day as much as possible and you know, it keeps everything moving, and is ultimately good for your digestive health! So, grab a bottle of water (stay hydrated!) and get those feet going! If the weather is yucky outside, I like to sneak in a few slow yoga poses.
That’s it! I know it’s not fun to talk about, but maintaining your digestive health and staying regular is important. And, when you have Celiac Disease, gastroparesis and a wacky immune system, it’s just helpful to keep everything running as smoothly (hahaha) as possible so you don’t have any more issues to deal with.
Until next time,
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