What are the colonoscopy risks?

Colonoscopy risks.

Best ways to protect yourself from negative after effects of a colonoscopy.

There are more risks associated with colonoscopy than you ever thought.

If you are going through with colonoscopy, you need to be aware of the risks.

It’s better to be prepared. You don’t want surprises.

Colonoscopy Risks That Become Potential Colonoscopy Complications:

  1. Severe dehydration. When you are preparing for colonoscopy and loose all this water using laxatives - your body gets dehydrated. Most patients know to drink lots of fluids to prevent dehydration but a lot of them get week or nauseous. This prevents them from drinking more. Loss of electrolytes or dehydration is potential risk that can even get deadly.

  2. During colonoscopy preparation some patients may develop kidney damage or renal dysfunction from the laxatives and/or from dehydration.

  3. Colonoscopy preparation and colonoscopy procedure can cause inflammation of the bowels, diarrhea, bowel obstruction and even diverticulitis.

  4. Colonoscopy sedation can increase the risk of heart failure.

  5. Colonoscopy increases risk of internal bleeding, rectal bleeding because this is an invasive procedure.

  6. Coma associated with anesthesia is one of the colonoscopy risks.

  7. Anesthesia is one of colonoscopy risks. It increases the risk of developing pneumonia, especially in the elderly.

  8. Anesthesia can increase the risk of developing blood clots and lead to pulmonary embolism or deep venous thrombosis (DVT).

  9. There’s always a risk associated with colon injury.

  10. One of the colonoscopy risks is associated with radiation exposure from virtual colonoscopy. And any risk associated with radiation could potentially become cancerous.

Now that you know all these colonoscopy procedure risks why don’t you ask yourself a question if you really need it done?

Colonoscopy Risks And Some Interesting Details:

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Most of the polyps that were taken out during colonoscopy procedure are non-cancerous.

• There are a high percentage of polyps that are still undetected during this procedure.

• The benefit of colonoscopy as a measure for colon cancer prevention is really questionable. In other words, it’s not yet proven if colonoscopy helps decrease the number of deaths from colorectal cancer.

• There were studies that even suggested that mortality rate could be higher among screened with colonoscopy patients than with those who did not do screened colonoscopy.

In some cases a colonoscopy absolutely needs to be done. A colonoscopy is usually performed to investigate rectal bleeding, bowel obstruction and unexplained abdominal pain. But when this test is ordered as a preventative measure or for screening purposes for certain patients with previous history of polyps or colon cancer - that’s where you should think twice.

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The most frightening fact to me as a person and as a Crohn's disease patient (and Crohn's disease patients go through a lot of colonoscopies) is that despite all the awareness about screened colonoscopy in the past decade the number of colorectal cancers keeps on increasing….

There were a few large studies in very respectable medical journals like The New England Journal of Medicine and Scandinavian Journal of Gastroenterology which evaluated the outcome of this procedure in helping to prevent colon cancer.

The studies compared patients that did and patients that did not undergo the colonoscopy procedure. And you know what? The results suggest an insignificant difference between both groups in preventing colon cancer.

5 Great Tips For Preventing Yourself From Negative After Effects Of Colonoscopy :

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  1. Tell your doctor about all the blood thinners – antiplatelet medications you take. (like Coumadin, Plavix, etc.) This can prevent colonoscopy risk of bleeding.
  2. Tell you doctor about ALL of the over the counter and maintenance medications that you are taking. This can prevent coma associated with colonoscopy.
  3. Get proper rest before the colonoscopy procedure.
  4. Don’t drink alcohol before colonoscopy. It may interfere with colonoscopy sedation.
  5. Consider re-scheduling when you have symptoms of flu or upper respiratory infections. This can prevent pneumonia associated with colonoscopy sedation.

This is YOUR body and having colonoscopy is your decision. Make a wise one. And for meantime, make sure you don’t have constipation. Constipation is the root of many problems with digestive disorders, including Crohn's disease, IBS, any IBD and even Celiac disease. Having less than one to two bowel movements daily is constipation. Did you know that? If you follow all the steps preventing constipation and follow a true healthy diet-you most likely won’t need a colonoscopy done and you won’t need to worry about colonoscopy risks.

I wish you great health!

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