7 Things You Should Know About A Colonoscopy & Colon Health

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has stated that the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in America is colon cancer. This is why it is important to do tests for prevention of this type of cancer. According to  stats collected by the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) Program of the National Cancer Institute over 50,000 people are estimated to die in 2017 from colon cancer. If you are have any symptoms related to the disease, you should be screened by your doctor right away.

Now, keep reading to find out some more information about colonoscopies, colon cancer, and what you should say to your doctor before a colonoscopy.

Before we get started on what you should ask your doctor before having a colonoscopy, let’s talk about the different types of screening options there are for colon cancer. 

Colon Cancer Screening

There are many different kinds of screening and prevention options to check for colon cancer. While a colonoscopy is the most thorough examination to take, the U.S. Preventive Task Force recommends that people who are not at high risk for the disease to not begin regular screening until after the age 50. According to a study done by researcher Kristin Sheffield, an assistant professor of surgery at the University of Texas, “more than 30 percent of colonoscopies” performed in Texas via Medicare claims were “potentially inappropriate to screening guidelines.”

Other screening options for prevention of colon cancer include a fecal occult blood test and flexible sigmoidoscopy. The University of Texas study suggests that performing a colonoscopy on patients where it would be inappropriate based on the screening guidelines may expose people to the risks associated with a colonoscopy without evidence that it will benefit them.

Wondering how you can cleanse your colon? Well, keep reading til the end for some tips on how you can remove waste from your colon.

Side-Effects Associated With A Colonoscopy

According to the Canadian Cancer Society, potential risks of a colonoscopy include: small amounts of blood in stool for 1-2 days (if a biopsy was done and/or a polyp was removed); nausea, vomiting, bloating or irritation of the rectum due to substances used to cleanse the colon and the air used to inflate it.

If your doctor does not recommend a colonoscopy right away, they may offer a sigmoidoscopy. This procedure is similar to a colonoscopy in that they both use a thin, flexible tube with a camera at the end to examine the colon. But the sigmoidoscopy examines only the lower third of the colon. A colonoscopy examines the entire colon.

A fecal occult blood test will be recommended by doctors to check for blood in a patient’s stool. If blood is present, the doctor will most likely recommend a sigmoidoscopy or a colonoscopy.

Uncommon But Serious Colonoscopy Complications

According to the Canadian Cancer Society, uncommon, but serious complications from a colonoscopy may include: bowel perforation, heavy bleeding, or an allergic reaction to the medication used for sedation.

 

Are Inappropriate Colonoscopes Harmful?

According to the study performed by the University of Texas mentioned earlier in this story, no, inappropriate colonoscopies are not harmful to patients, they simply offer no benefit and are a bad waste of valuable hospital resources and time.

 

What Should You Say To Your Doctor If You Are Getting A Colonoscopy?

According to the Canadian Cancer Society, the best thing to do is to ask as many questions about how you should prepare. You should ask what the procedure is like, how long it will take, and how you should prepare for it. 

You should also ask what you should and shouldn’t eat before the procedure. If you’re getting a colonoscopy, your doctor will advise you what you need to do to prepare for it. The Canadian Cancer Society says that they most likely recommend you skip dinner and breakfast before the procedure. They may also say to try to consume between 2 to 4 liters of liquid that contains laxatives and electrolytes. Now that you know some more information about colonoscopies, here are some tips on how you can remove waste from your colon.

A Detox

Aside from taking good bacteria and probiotics such as yogurt, kefir and kombucha, you can also participate in a detox. A detox is a method used to decipher which types of foods cause digestive issues. Foods are initially severely restricted and then gradually food groups will be added back in one by one in order to determine what the cause of the digestive issue is. For instance, if you suspect that seafood is the reason for your digestive issues, then remove them from your diet for a week. If no issues arise within that week, maybe add in one specific type of seafood after for a couple of days. Keep adding in different types of seafood until you are able to differentiate which food is triggering these digestive issues.

Juice Cleanse

Another effective method is to engage in a juice cleanse. Warm up a glass of water and then add in sea salt and stir. Then add a bit of apple juice, ginger juice, and fresh lemon juice. Drink this concoction first thing in the morning on an empty stomach and then once again just before a light lunch. Consume it one more time sometime in the afternoon.

Before partaking in these cleanses or detoxes, make sure that you are properly hydrated on a daily basis and that your diet has a healthy combination of fats, proteins, and carbs. And don’t forget your fiber!

The colon is an integral part of the human body. It not only processes food and discharges the waste but it also ensures that all the toxins, chemicals, and bad bacteria get funneled out of the body. Furthermore, they ensure that the healthy nutrients and vitamins from foods get absorbed by the body.

If the digestive tract or the colon isn’t functioning properly then that could cause a lot of deleterious effects on the human body. These unhealthy toxins will not be excreted from the body and thus will sit stagnant in the gut. Some symptoms that indicate that your colon isn’t working optimally and efficiently include: bloating, gas, diarrhea, indigestion, frequent loose stools, fatigue and irregular bowel movements or less than one poop a day. If you have more than one of these symptoms then it could be an indication of colon or digestive issues. 

So if you are preparing for a colonoscopy, take some of the things from this video into consideration! The Canadian Cancer Society states that most colonoscopies only take about 30-45 minutes to perform, but they can sometimes take a little bit longer. After the test, the patient is monitored for 1-2 hours. Despite studies showing that colonoscopies might not always be necessary, it’s still the most reliable way for the doctors to check for colon cancer.

 

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