While it is important to get colonoscopies once every few years starting at age 50, there are other factors, notes William L. Matzner, MD
Healthcare Analytics, LLC (N/A:N/A)
SIMI VALLEY, CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES, January 8, 2019 /EINPresswire.com/ — Medical doctor and researcher Dr. William Matzner has published a new article on his blog, this time on the issue of colonoscopies. The complete article is available on Dr. Matzner's blog at https://drwilliammatzner.blogspot.com
The importance of colon health cannot be emphasized enough. A healthy colon and regular bowel movement is not only imperative for the elimination of waste from the body, but the health of the bowel and the digestive tract is a strong indicator of your overall health. Despite all of this, however, it’s unfortunate that colon health is neither talked about, nor given the amount of importance that it truly deserves.
Even in cases when people notice changes with their bowel habits, the possibility of problems of the colon, bowel, or digestive tract are just shot down to prevent tests and screenings. Needless to say, this is an extremely dangerous approach and can be the reason why you’re left in the dark regarding serious colon issues for longer than you should
Unless you get checked for colon problems, there’s really no way that you’ll be able to find out whether you’re suffering from any problems or issues in your digestive tract until it’s too late. Moreover, since your gut health is related to a number of different aspects of your overall health, getting a colonoscopy done regularly is essential to ensure that you’re in the clear.
Interested in learning more about colonoscopies, how they work, and when you should start seeing your doctor regularly for colonoscopies? Read on to find out everything you need to know about colonoscopies, the procedure, and how to prepare for your first colonoscopy.
What is a colonoscopy?
The major reason why most people opt out of getting regular colonoscopies is the fact that they do not know enough about the procedure. While it’s normal to be slightly intimidated if your doctor recommends a colonoscopy, it’s important to note that the procedure itself is far from terrible. In fact, there’s a high chance that you’ll be sedated and won’t even remember the procedure.
In a colonoscopy, your large intestine will be examined by a doctor to look for any abnormalities or causes of bleeding or pain in the abdomen, or changes in bowel habits. Through a colonoscopy, it will also be possible for your doctor to check for polyps and cancerous masses that can and should be treated before they are given the chance to aggravate. Since colon cancer is a common problem among adults and senior citizens, it is imperative to get a colonoscopy once every few years to ensure that your digestive tract is in perfect health and that there aren’t any problems with you and your organs.
What do I need to know before a colonoscopy?
While colonoscopies are generally extremely safe procedures, it’s important to note that your medication might have to be adjusted if you already have some conditions, illnesses, or diseases. That’s exactly why you should let your doctor know beforehand if you’re suffering from lung problems or heart conditions, or if you have any allergies.
Additionally, it is also important for you to let your doctor know if you’re pregnant or have diabetes since the doctor will have to provide you with a different type of medication to prevent blood clotting problems.
What must I do before a colonoscopy?
It is extremely important for you to have a clean colon before the doctor performs your colonoscopy. That’s why your doctor may ask you to fast from all solid foods at least 24 hours before your colonoscopy. Clear liquids such as broth, water, and sports drinks are generally allowed to prevent dehydration and weakness. You might also be provided with a laxative that can help you empty out your bowel completely. You might be requested to consume the laxative the night before your colonoscopy is scheduled to ensure that your bowel is completely empty when the doctor is performing the procedure. In some cases, patients might also be told to consume the laxative on the morning of the procedure or examination. Regardless of the time that your doctor asks you to consume the laxative, it is extremely important for you to follow their instructions to the T to prevent any problems or complications during the actual procedure.
Since you will be sedated for the colonoscopy, it is also recommended that you bring someone along who can drive you back home since the effects of the sedative are bound to last for up to 8 hours after the examination.
How are colonoscopies performed?
Your doctor or medical professional will ask you to lie down on your left side and provide you with IV sedatives. Once you are unconscious, the doctor will insert a long device called a colonoscope into your rectum. Colonoscopes have a light and camera attached to allow the doctor or medical professional to get a clear view of the colon to assess whether or not everything is normal.
The doctor might also inflate your colon to help get a better view of the colon in its entirety. Should the doctor find any polyps or irregular masses, a snare in the colonoscope can also be used to remove them efficiently and effectively during the colonoscopy procedure. The entire colonoscopy should not last more than half an hour should everything be normal.
When should I start getting colonoscopies?
Dr. Matzner notes that, while it is important for both males and females to get colonoscopies once every few years starting at age 50, there are certain factors that might want you to start investing in colonoscopies even earlier than that. In case you have one or multiple relatives who have suffered from colon problems or colon cancer, it is important to start getting colonoscopies once every 5 to 10 years starting at age 40 to ensure that you don’t have any undetected problems down the road. Moreover, if any relative of yours has experienced problems with their colon at an early age, you should preferably start getting tested around the age when your relative was diagnosed to prevent problems. Since a colonoscopy can help you get a clear picture of your colon health, it is not necessary for you to get the procedure done more than once every 5 to 10 years.
About William L. Matzner, M.D., PhD, FACP
Dr. William Lee Matzner works in the area of healthcare economics consulting at Healthcare Analytics, LLC, in California. He graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Stanford University. He received his M.D. with Honors from Baylor College of Medicine. In 1988, he was the Solomon Scholar for Resident Research at Cedar Sinai Medical Center. Dr. Matzner subsequently was awarded a PhD in Neuro Economics from Claremont Graduate University. He is board certified in Internal Medicine and Palliative Medicine. He has researched and published extensively on the issue of reproduction and immunology in medical literature. He has been in private practice since 1989, specializing in Reproductive Immunology and Internal medicine.
Consulting Website: http://healthcareanalytics.biz
CBS Evening News: New colon cancer test could be alternative to colonoscopy
Source: EIN Presswire