Answers For YOUR Health

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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 it.

Getting a colonoscopy or sigmoidoscopy in order to find out whether you have IBS is a common procedure that many doctors will use.

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 test.

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 know.

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 test.

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.  



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