Are you the kind of person who never wants to worry about colon cancer-related health problems? Are you interested in taking an easy step that could potentially save your life? If so, then a colonoscopy might be just what the doctor ordered! Everyone needs to create good habits when it comes to their own health, and this is one exam that can help ensure that any potential issues with your digestive system are caught before they become serious.
So if there’s ever been a time to take control of your future well-being, now is definitely it. Keep reading, and we’ll explain exactly how a colonoscopy works – plus why it should absolutely be part of your preventive health plan.
What is a Colonoscopy, and Why Should I Have One?
Colonoscopies are a screening procedure to detect Colon Cancer, the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States. Colonoscopy is a specialized test used to examine the entire large intestine, from the rectum to the colon. Not only is Colonoscopy an important preventative measure in diagnosing Colon Cancer early, but it also aids doctors in evaluating changes found within the lower digestive tract.
Regular screenings should be scheduled every five to ten years, depending on your risk factors and health. As a medical practitioner, I understand your concern when undergoing such a procedure. I recommend staying aware of your health and getting regular colonoscopies to aid in detecting any potential issues so that you can promptly get treatment if needed.
Risk Factors for Colon Cancer and Signs to Look Out For
It is essential for individuals to understand their risk factors and to be aware of potential signs that could indicate an issue. Studies have shown that a family history of colon cancer can increase your risk, as can certain lifestyle choices such as smoking or poor diet. It is especially important to get regularly screened at age 45 or earlier if there is a familial origin or other risk factors.
As far as signs, look out for bloody stool, unexplained weight loss, constant abdominal pain, or constipation/diarrhea that won’t disappear after a few weeks. If any of these occur, it is essential to visit your doctor immediately and inform them of what you are experiencing.
Making an Appointment for Your First Colonoscopy – What to Expect
Making an appointment to have your first colonoscopy can be a daunting experience. The good news is that having your first colonoscopy should provide reassurance and puts you in control of understanding any risk factors that affect your health. When making the appointment, ask questions regarding what you should expect during the procedure.
Take note of healthcare practitioners’ instructions on preparing for the examination; instructions may include dietary restrictions and medications. Discuss any worries or concerns with a healthcare professional, who will inform and reassure you before the appointment. Don’t hesitate to schedule an appointment with a healthcare partner if it would make you feel more comfortable.
Preparing for Your Colonoscopy – How to Cleanse Your Bowel Properly.
To ensure a successful procedure, it is important to take the necessary steps to cleanse your bowel properly so that any abnormalities can be identified quickly and easily. This includes cleansing the colon of feces and other materials by drinking a prescribed amount of a specially formulated solution containing sodium phosphate, magnesium citrate, and potassium phosphate, among others.
Additionally, you may need to cut down on solid foods for up to 24 hours before the procedure and follow a liquid-only diet 1-2 days before the examination. Lastly, refrain from caffeine or smoking for at least three days before your appointment. Cleanse your bowel appropriately to enjoy optimal health benefits from your colonoscopy experience!
During the Procedure – Tips on Relaxation & Comfort
Patients often feel anxious about colon health procedures. Breathing and focusing on relaxation while undergoing the procedure are essential to maximizing health outcomes. You can help yourself remain comfortable during the procedure by focusing on breathing. Take deep breaths in and out, as this will help you to relax both mentally and physically.
Additionally, if there is pain or discomfort during the process, let your health professional know immediately so they can make adjustments to minimize health risks. Overall, relaxation and comfort are two of the most important aspects of any health-related procedure; don’t be afraid to ask for help if tension does arise throughout the process!
After the Procedure – When to Expect Results & Follow-Up Care
It’s important to remember that health is the priority after a colon procedure. A key point to consider is when you can expect to receive results concerning the outcome of your health screening. Your healthcare provider should be able to advise you on when the expected timeframe for receiving these results is, as well as provide any additional follow-up care if required.
You must keep your healthcare provider in the loop and discuss any symptoms or changes you may experience in order to determine if further investigation is necessary. Taking preventative steps and monitoring every aspect of your health can ensure peace of mind and overall health benefits.
We understand that the thought of having a colonoscopy can be very daunting. We encourage you to engage your healthcare provider as soon as possible or set up an appointment with Gastro Florida for further questions or concerns.