Colonoscopy is a colon exam that checks what is inside of the colon and the intestine.

Is it really a precautionary colon test?

You want to make sure that your colorectal exam goes well, right?

How to prevent yourself from colonoscopy risks?

What is a colon exam?

It is a procedure in which the inside of the large intestine (colon and rectum) is evaluated by a doctor (usually your gastroenterologist) to view the lining of the colon.

Why is a colon test done and do you really need it?

This test is usually performed to investigate rectal bleeding, obstruction or unexplained abdominal pain, etc.

But sometimes the colon test is ordered as a preventative measure or as a colon screening measure for certain patients with previous history of polyps or colon cancer. It is also ordered for patients with a family history of cancers or other colon diseases on a periodic basis, for example, yearly.

There were a few large studies in respectable medical journals like The New England Journal Of Medicine and Scandinavian Journal Of Gastroenterology which studied the results of this procedure in helping to prevent colon cancer. The studies compared patients that did and patients that did not undergo the procedure. The results suggest an insignificant difference between both groups in preventing colon cancer. The colon exam, itself, may have its own risks like bleeding, coma, etc. What does it all mean? It means that you should start questioning if your next scheduled colonoscopy is really necessary, especially if it’s for preventative measures.

If this procedure was ordered for other reasons like onset of intestinal bleeding, acute diarrhea, abnormality on the X-ray or CT scan, etc., there should not be any doubt that it is necessary.

Katie Couric Colon Test. You can learn more about Katie Couric's advocacy for colorectal cancer awareness.

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Colonoscopy Risks. Many patients are very concerned about all the risks associated with this colon test procedure.

Colonoscopy Procedure. Colon test procedure is not as simple as many may think.

What to do before the procedure?

It’s very important to tell your doctor about ALL the medications you are taking and all your medical conditions and allergies.

Most medications should be continued as usual, but some can interfere with the procedure. Blood thinners like Coumadin (warfarin), aspirin products, iron tablets, insulin are just examples of medications that can interfere with this procedure. If you require antibiotics prior to your dental visits because of your heart condition, make sure to tell your gastroenterologist because you may need antibiotics in this case as well.

Follow the instructions given by your doctor very carefully and ask questions when you don’t understand something.

Diet Before Colon Test Bowel Preparation. It's very important to speak to your doctor about what you can eat before colonoscopy. You need to know what type of foods to avoid before colonoscopy. You need a really clean colon before colon test.

View A Colon Exam Many patients want to learn more and view the colon test procedure.

Bowel Preparation (Bowel Prep). For the smoothest possible procedure it pays to be prepared. Learn how to have a safe colonoscopy preparation.

5 Things To Expect After Colonoscopy Procedure!

  • Expect to stay in a recovery room for 2-5 hrs until you are ready to be discharged.

  • You may experience some cramping that should go away very soon. But my cramping and my pains lasted over 24 hours. You may want to prevent this kind of experience with a prescription pain medication and prescription antispasmodic like Bentyl, for example. Consider asking your doctor before the procedure for these prescriptions.

  • Have somebody drive you home - the sedatives make you drowsy.

  • Avoid alcohol for at least 24 hours.

  • You can come back to your favorite food (unless your doctor specifies otherwise).

-Your doctor will probably recommend to avoid aspirin or medications containing aspirin, or anti-inflammatory drugs(like ibuprofen, indomethacin, or naproxen) for 2 weeks after this test if polyps were removed or a biopsy was done.

-Double check with your doctor when it’s safe to resume blood thinners like aspirin, Coumadin (warfarin), Plavix or Ticlid.

-Light rectal bleeding may be noticed if a biopsy was done but large amounts of bleeding or abdominal pain should be immediately reported to your gastroenterologist.

I would definitely consider taking healthy snacks with me to this colon test. Many gastroenterology offices offer sugary snacks, donuts and cookies after colon exam.

You can even take your own water with you. The ice cold water offered in the doctor's office may not be comfortable nor soothing to your irritated colon.

I wish you all to have a safe procedure!

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