Colonoscopy or Sigmoidoscopy for IBS
Both a colonoscopy and sigmoidoscopy allow the doctor to
look inside of your large intestine through the use of a tube
that has a small camera at the end. This tube is inserted in
the anus and threaded up into the colon and large intestine.
The difference between the two is determined by whether
the doctor will examine the full large bowel or only part of
Getting a colonoscopy or sigmoidoscopy in order to find out
whether you have IBS is a common procedure that many doctors
The doctors will be able to see why there are changes
in the bowel movement. They will do this by being able to move
into parts of your intestine and see abnormalities that may be
occurring. These procedures are used to determine bowel health
and are often done as a prescreening for colon cancer.
There are several determinations that can be made by either
of these tests.
A doctor will be able to tell whether you have IBS. He may
also determine that the problem with your changes in bowel
movement is related to a different type of problem, such as
tissue damage, abnormal growth or ulcers. Cancer may also be
found through this type of test. A doctor will also be able to
find parasites or bacteria that are in this area that are not
directly linked to IBS, but are causing irritation and
irregular bowel movements.
Before you get either of these exams, you will be asked to
clean out your colon area. This will allow for easier
examination of the area. You will do this by eating and
drinking food and fluids that do not have food colorings in
them. You will be asked to fast for a number of hours before
The doctor will recommend certain fluids that you should be
taking in, such as water, broth and tea. If you have any
medical conditions, you will also want to let the doctor
A colonoscopy or sigmoidoscopy will usually take between
thirty to sixty minutes. You will be given sedatives before in
order to ease pain. There may be side effects after the
procedure, such as cramping. This usually does not last more
than an hour or two. If you feel like you are having
complications from this procedure, you can talk to your doctor
to find possible solutions.
You will need to have someone else drive you home after the
If you are having the symptoms for IBS, it is important to
talk to your doctor about the problems as well as the possible
solutions. If they are unable to diagnose you through the
beginning tests, such as blood tests, then it will be important
to get one of these other exams.