In the game “Six Degrees to Kevin Bacon” you try to connect an actor to Kevin Bacon with six movies or less. It is actually pretty easy. That guy is in everything. Well, the same can be done with your health by connecting risk factors to health conditions. Heart disease - high cholesterol - obesity - diabetes - colon cancer. Wait, heart disease to colon cancer? The truth is that many of the things that put you at a greater risk for heart disease also increase your risks of colon cancer. February is American Heart Month, so let’s discuss keeping your heart healthy and in turn, keeping your colon healthy!

What's the Connection?

So many risk factors for chronic health conditions are related to lifestyle choices and often overlap to many different illnesses. For example, smoking is not only terrible for your lungs but also increases your risks of heart disease and many types of cancers. Being overweight is a huge risk factor for heart disease and colon cancer, especially if your weight is primarily around your middle. If you are overweight you are more likely to have high cholesterol and diabetes which are more risk factors. Having a sedentary lifestyle without exercise and eating an unhealthy diet will raise your risks higher. Making lifestyle changes and healthier choices may decrease your risks of developing heart disease and colon cancer.

What Should You Do?

Family history and genetics may play a role in your personal health and could increase your risks of developing heart disease or colon cancer. It is important to know your risks and talk with your doctor about the state of your health. There are heart health screenings as well as colon health screenings that could help diagnosis a problem in its early stages when treatment is easier. Don't delay making lifestyle changes or talking with your doctor about your health and risk factors for developing chronic conditions. Screenings and taking control of your health could save your life. The doctors at Asheville Gastro are here to help keep you healthy. If you have any concerns, make an appointment with us today!