When a Colonoscopy is Needed
As the saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, so it’s important to get screened for certain issues even if you feel like you’re in good health. A colonoscopy is an effective form of early detection as well as a diagnostic tool for several kinds of health issues related to your gut and digestion.
How do you know if you need a colonoscopy? Here are two reasons why your gastroenterologist may recommend one.
If you’re having issues with your digestion
Abdominal pain, constipation, diarrhea, and other intestinal problems are common, but it’s not always simple to find their source. If a physical exam and standard tests don’t turn up the culprit, then a colonoscopy is often the next step your doctor will take to figure out what’s happening inside your body.
If it’s time to be screened for colorectal cancer
Colorectal cancer can develop silently for several years without ever showing symptoms, which is why your gastroenterologist may recommend a colonoscopy as a preventative screening measure.
People who are over 50 years of age and otherwise in good health are generally advised to have a colonoscopy once every 10 years. More frequent screenings may be recommended if you have other risk factors for colorectal cancer, such as:
- A family history of colorectal cancer
- Previous incidences of colon polyps
- A lifestyle that includes tobacco and alcohol
- A diet that includes significant amounts of fats and processed foods
- A sedentary lifestyle
What happens if my colonoscopy indicates that I have polyps?
If your doctor finds polyps, they will remove them immediately. This is because the presence of polyps increases your risk of developing colorectal cancer. They are simple to remove and this can be performed during a routine colonoscopy. Your doctor will also likely recommend that you get screened more frequently to prevent them from coming back.
Schedule a consultation with a gastroenterologist in the Beverly Hills and Los Angeles areas
Stay on top of your health by scheduling a consultation with a gastroenterologist today. Dr. Davidson can determine if a colonoscopy is an appropriate next step to resolve your digestive issues and as a preventative screening measure. Contact our office to schedule your appointment today.