When Should You Start Having Colonoscopies?
The gastrointestinal tract is a complex and very important system in your body. It is responsible for helping you digest your food properly, get necessary nutrients, and ultimately eliminate waste. A colonoscopy test allows your gastroenterologist to ensure that it is healthy. Understand the process of getting a colonoscopy at Gastrointestinal Specialists in Bala Cynwyd, Bucks and Torresdale, PA and learn when you should start having this test.
What Does a Colonoscopy Check For?
During a colonoscopy, your doctor will insert a flexible tool called a colonoscope into the rectum. This tool has the ability to take images of the interior lining of the digestive tract. The colonoscopy checks for abnormalities, ulcers, polyps, and other unusual growths in the colon. When an abnormality is identified, like a polyp, it can be removed with a similar procedure. A biopsy can be taken of abnormal growths. Colonoscopies are a key step to preventing cases of colon cancer.
When Should You Have This Test?
Your Bala Cynwyd, Bucks and Torresdale-based gastroenterologist will suggest that you have this test if any of the following are true:
- You have reached your 50th birthday.
- You are experiencing persistent pain and discomfort in your bowels, stomach or abdomen.
- There is a personal or familial history of colon cancer.
- There’s a personal history of bowel disease.
Preparing for a Colonoscopy
Before you have a colonoscopy, you must follow strict instructions from the doctor’s office. The preparation process includes the following:
- Eat fiber-rich foods and fruits the week in advance to ensure consistent bowel movement.
- Enjoy a clear liquid diet the day before the appointment.
- Take the laxative provided by your doctor as prescribed to clear your colon of waste.
- Do not eat or drink anything two hours before the procedure (you may be asked to avoid consuming anything at all from the night before).
- Drink the barium prep provided by your doctor exactly as prescribed.
Is It Time to Schedule a Test?
If you believe that it’s time you have a colonoscopy, schedule one with the Gastrointestinal Specialists located in Bala Cynwyd, Bucks and Torresdale, PA. Call today to make an appointment with a qualified gastroenterologist.