The list of medical problems facing those who have diabetes can seem endless. If you are diabetic, you already know the complications that can arise. Not long ago, yet another issue was added to the list of concerns. Recent studies suggest that those with diabetes have a higher risk of developing colorectal cancer. But it is not all bad news. If you have diabetes, colorectal cancer that is caught early is often curable. Colorectal cancers are the second most common cause of cancer deaths in the United States.
Diabetes itself is not listed as a risk factor for colorectal cancer, but age is. People should begin screening for the disease at the age of 50 or sooner. This is especially true if you have a family history of colon cancer, or have had irritable bowel syndrome.
Irritable bowel syndrome is consists of prolonged diarrhea or constant constipation, either of which are often increased with high levels of stress. People with a history of IBS should understand that they may be a higher risk for colorectal cancer.
But you can protect yourself from this disease. Diets of fresh fruits, vegetables, and less red meat helps prevent colorectal cancer. Maintaining the proper weight and getting plenty of exercise is also beneficial. In addition, you should start to have colorectal screening when you turn 50. Early screening is imperative for the early detection and treatment of colorectal cancer.
Screenings are conducted in private rooms done by qualified technicians who are sensitive to your privacy. Most patients will either have a colonoscopy or a sigmoidosocopy. These are relatively painless and are conducted as an outpatient. Patients are often given a light sedative, before and after the testing.
It is important for diabetics to understand that they may have a problem while preparing for the exam. The day before the procedure, patients must follow a liquid diet and this could cause problems for some diabetics. In addition, patients are given a strong laxative which can cause dehydration, fainting, dizziness, and low-blood glucose.
Diabetics preparing for a colonoscopy procedure should test their blood sugar level more often the day before the test in order to keep track of the glucose levels. Increased testing should continue for a few days after the testing. If you are diabetic, your doctor should try to schedule the test for as early in the morning as possible. You will fast from midnight the day before until after your test is completed.
Laxatives can be hard to swallow, but one trick is to refrigerate the liquid laxative overnight before taking it, and drink it as quickly as possible to avoid the bitter taste. If you are taking insulin to control your diabetes, you will need to speak to your doctor to see if you should reduce your dosage prior to the test and for on the day of the test.
Diabetics, as everyone else, can help protect themselves from colorectal cancer by eating foods high in fiber, fresh fruit, and vegetables. Decrease red meats and exercise as well are important.