A colonoscopy is not one of those health subjects we talk about in polite company. Even so, it is a process that provides a very good analysis of the health of an individual. The intestines are the body’s factory. They process everything we take in, harvest the nutritional value and eliminate the waste. The last stage of waste elimination is through the colon. Over time, impurities can cling to the walls, creating polyps. These polyps can become problems.
A doctor will suggest a colonoscopy so he can look inside and discover if polyps are present and remove them.
The doctor can also recognize possible causes of abdominal pains, constipation, and chronic diarrhea. He can determine sources of rectal bleeding after discovering blood in stool, and identify potential cancerous cells.
When You May Need a Colonoscopy
While younger people generally do not get a colonoscopy, once a person is over 45 years old, it is a good idea.
This is especially true if any of the following factors exist:
- You or any member of your family have a history of colon polyps or cancer
- You have experienced an inflammatory bowel disease
- You have an unhealthy diet that includes fast foods and high carbs, high fats and sugars
- You are overweight or sedentary
How does the Doctor look inside?
A colonoscopy procedure is not simple or particularly pleasant. The intestine needs to be empty and clean. In the 24 hours prior to the exam, you will avoid solid food; clear liquids are OK, such as coffee, juice, water and broth. You will then empty your intestines using a prescribed laxative or by taking some enemas.
On the day of the inspection, you may be put under anesthesia. The doctor inserts an instrument with a tiny camera up your rectum to inspect and videotape the internal condition. If polyps are discovered, they will be snipped off.
Recovery is fast and easy. The discomfort goes away quickly once the patient can eat again.
Non Invasive Methods
There are new methods for determining colon health that do not involve an instrument going up your rectum.This involves collecting your stool for examination. Should you ever find blood in your stool, this would be a fast way to diagnose a problem. However, if a biopsy determines the presence of cancer, the doctors will still need to go in to remove the cancerous cells.