Colonoscopies are not only effective in the early detection of colorectal cancer but also other abnormalities.
You’ve probably heard that you will need a colonoscopy once you hit the age of 50. However, the number of people younger than 50 getting diagnosed with colorectal cancer is growing.
Here are some signs that you may need to discuss getting a colonoscopy with your doctor.
What Are The Signs You Need A Colonoscopy?
Colorectal cancer has various symptoms. Many of these indicate less serious issues, but it’s always better to be safe than sorry. You might want to ask your doctor if a colonoscopy is right for you if you’re experiencing the following:
While bloody stools might indicate other problems such as anal tears, ulcerative colitis, and hemorrhoids, they shouldn’t be overlooked. If you notice blood in your stool, see your doctor to rule out any serious condition.
Bleeding in your rectum may occur simply due to constipation or hemorrhoids. However, if it becomes profuse, consult with your doctor.
Abdominal Cramps Or Pain
If you’re experiencing chronic pain in your abdomen, it is worthwhile to check with your doctor about possible reasons.
Change In Bowel Movements
Such changes may come in the form of:
- Chronic constipation or diarrhea
- Narrower stools
- Feeling that your bowel isn’t emptying properly
- Bowel incontinence
Sudden Weight Loss
There are many serious reasons why you would experience unexplained weight loss, in addition to being a symptom of colorectal cancer. Unexplained weight loss warrants a trip to your doctor.
Fatigue Or Tiredness (Anemia)
Anemia is a condition involving a shortage of red blood cells. It’s most often characterized by shortness of breath and feeling sluggish even with rest.
If any of these symptoms persist over a long period, it’s time to schedule a meeting with your doctor. If you have a personal or a family history of colorectal polyps, cancer, or inflammatory bowel disease, then all the more reason to consult with your doctor about getting a colonoscopy procedure.
What Is A Colonoscopy?
Colonoscopy is an outpatient procedure where the physician uses a colonoscope to examine the large intestine. This device (a tiny camera attached to a long, flexible tube) enables them to remove tissue. It also allows them to irrigate, suction, inject air into, and access the bowel with surgical tools. It’s usually performed to identify colon problems, such as:
- Colorectal cancer
- Inflamed tissue
What Happens During And After A Colonoscopy?
Your doctor will insert the colonoscope into the rectum and colon. You may feel mild pressure or cramps, though the anesthesia will eliminate any discomfort you feel. They will then take tissue samples or search for other abnormalities.
After the procedure, you’ll be observed in the recovery room for a certain amount of time before getting discharged. You may also be given dietary instructions. Since sedation takes time to wear off, you’ll need someone to drive you home.
Rare complications might include bleeding, cramping, or bloating. Consider colonoscopy alternatives with your doctor, who can determine if you are at risk for these complications. Other tests, such as CT colonography and stool tests, can also detect colorectal cancer and polyps.
If you suffer from severe rectal bleeding or abdominal pain and high fever after a colonoscopy, don’t wait. Head to your local emergency room or contact your doctor.
How Do You Prepare For A Colonoscopy?
Once they determine that a colonoscopy is necessary and appropriate for you, your physician will explain the process. This is the perfect time to ask any questions and clear up any confusion or fears you may have.
Before performing a colonoscopy procedure, your doctor will go over details about your health. They’ll ask whether or not you have diabetes or allergies and are taking any medications. If you’re taking any blood thinners, you’ll need to adjust the dosage or stop taking them temporarily.
Pre colonoscopy, make sure to follow your doctor’s dietary instructions. The night before the procedure, you’ll be required to drink a bowel-cleansing liquid. This “bowel prep” is necessary to ensure that your colon is empty, so the physician can see clearly inside your colon.
Top-Notch Colonoscopy Procedure In California
Testing is the key to prevention, and treatments are more likely to succeed when you catch disease in its early stages. Don’t hesitate to contact your doctor if you’re experiencing any of the symptoms listed above or if you’re concerned about your colon health.
At inSite Digestive Health Care, we take pride in being equipped to provide patients with the highest quality of care for gastrointestinal issues. With our advanced techniques, skilled professionals, and compassionate staff, we give nothing less than the best and most effective treatments possible.
If you have any questions or want to set up an appointment, you may call the inSite location nearest you or fill out our online form. We look forward to serving you!