How Can a Colonoscopy Improve My Health?

You’ve turned 45, and your primary care doctor has recommended that you start getting routine colonoscopies. You’ve heard of the hassle of prep and the slight discomfort following the procedure. You feel just fine, so why should you follow their advice and contact us at GastroDoxs to schedule your colonoscopy?

Well, a colonoscopy is a critical preventive health measure for people who have an average risk of colorectal cancer. “Average risk” means you have no personal or family history of colorectal cancer, no inflammatory bowel disease, and no genetic markers or past radiation treatment that puts you at risk for colon cancer.

As a side note, if you have a higher risk of colon cancer, colonoscopies are non-negotiable parts of your preventive health care and may be scheduled sooner and more frequently than they are for the average risk person.

Our gastroenterologist, Dr. Bharat Pothuri, explains all the ways a colonoscopy can help your health. 

Colonoscopies can help with diagnosis

If you have unusual digestive symptoms without a clear cause, a colonoscopy gives Dr. Pothuri a close-up look at your large intestine. This helps him diagnose the reason you’re suffering from problems such as:

A colonoscopy means you get a more accurate diagnosis, a targeted treatment plan, and relief from unpleasant symptoms.

Colonoscopies screen for polyps and cancer

Routine colonoscopies can help reduce death from colon cancer

A colonoscopy can identify polyps, which are growths in your colon that have the potential to turn into cancer or that are in the first stages of cancer. The number and size of your polyps tend to correlate to your chances of developing colorectal cancer.

When polyps or cancer is found at an early stage, treatment is far more effective, and you have a far greater chance of a cure. Research suggests that colonoscopies reduce the chance of death from colon cancer by 65%. 

Colonoscopies may find diverticulosis

Diverticulosis is a condition in which small pouches have developed along the walls of your colon. The condition is benign, but if the pouches become inflamed -- it turns into diverticulitis. Then you develop symptoms like severe abdominal pain, fever, nausea, and a marked change in your bowel habits.

Diverticulitis flare-ups are also related to colon cancer. If this condition is found, Dr. Pothuri may recommend more frequent colonoscopies to keep tabs on your bowel health. 

Colonoscopies may find melanosis coli

The condition of melanosis coli describes when your colon lining turns brown or black. It may develop due to routine laxative use. Though the condition is likely harmless and not related to colorectal cancer, Dr. Pothuri may want to keep tabs on your bowel health to be cautious. 

When you come in for an appointment, Dr. Pothuri explains the entire colonoscopy procedure and what to expect beforehand and afterward. This helps make your colonoscopy go smoothly and causes minimal disruption to your daily schedule. 

Dr. Pothuri can also give you important advice as to how you can greatly reduce your risk of colorectal cancer. This includes quitting smoking and eating more fiber from fresh fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. 

If you’re ready to schedule a colonoscopy, call GastroDoxs or use this online tool to request an appointment. 

You Might Also Enjoy...

Who's at Risk for Colon Cancer?

More than 100,000 people in the United States will be diagnosed with colon cancer this year. Will you be among them? Find out your risk and how to get screened. Early diagnosis makes treatment easier and reduces complications.

Potential Complications of IBD

Irritable bowel disease (IBD) doesn’t just cause flare-ups of uncomfortable inflammation. IBD can cause complications that affect your long-term health. Learn more about the impact IBD can have on you, especially if it’s unmanaged.

Exercises That Can Help Your Dysphagia

Difficulty swallowing can make it hard for you to get the nourishment you need and can lead to serious medical problems. Certain exercises can help train your swallowing mechanisms to work more efficiently. Here are some to try.

Rectal Bleeding: What's Behind Your Symptoms?

If you notice blood in your stool or on the toilet paper after you wipe, it’s understandably concerning. Rectal bleeding can be a sign of several different conditions, some of which are serious. Here’s how to interpret your rectal bleeding.

4 Digestive Causes of Abdominal Pain

Abdominal pain results from a variety of causes, including issues like endometriosis that don’t really involve your digestive system. But, if you’re experiencing cramps, bloating, and other discomfort, they may have digestive causes.

How Does GERD Affect Sleep?

Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) can ruin a perfectly good night’s sleep. Here’s what you can do to find relief from the chronic acid reflux so you get better rest and improved quality of life.