Friday, September 3, 2010

Drink Water: Your Colon Will Thank You

This weekend may mark the end of summer. But warmer weather this weekend mean you should be sure to pack lots of water for the park, beach or car.

"Water is the most important part of a balanced diet," says Sinai Hospital gastroenterologist John Rabine, M.D.

While there is no direct correlation between gastrointestinal troubles, such as diarrhea, constipation and nausea, and high heat, Dr. Rabine says those who have Irritable Bowel Syndrome can find that heat is a trigger. Other elements, including lack of sleep and stress, can cause the evil IBS to flare, resulting in diarrhea, abdominal pain or upset stomach.

Additionally, the elderly are at risk for chronic colitis when it's hot out, Dr. Rabine says.

"As folks get older, the colon gets by day in and day out," he says. But not enough water can lead the colon to struggle in staying regular. The symptoms of dehydration include dizziness, feeling light headed, loss of appetite, and darkening of the urine.

Those who develop acute colitis may find themselves in the hospital to cope with dehydration. Symptoms of colitis include rectal bleeding and acute diarrhea. "It's not subtle," Dr. Rabine says.

The bottom line? Stay hydrated this weekend.

To learn more or to schedule an appointment with a gastroenterologist, call 410-601-WELL (9355) .

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