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Sigmoidoscopy and Colonoscopy as Viable Tests for Constipation

ConstipationEven though the frequency of bowel movements varies considerably for every individual, if over three days pass with no bowel movement, the contents within the intestines may harden and make it hard (if not debilitating) to pass. Straining during bowel movements or the sensation of incomplete emptying also can be considered constipation.

Various Causes for Constipation

Constipation is really a symptom, not a disease, and could be due to several variables. The most common are poor diet and too little exercise. Other causes include IBS, maternity, laxative misuse, travel, specific disorders, hormonal disturbances, reduction of body salts, and nerve injury. Many different medicines can also cause constipation and these include pain medicines (particularly narcotics), antacids which contain aluminum, antispasmodic drugs, antidepressant drugs, tranquilizers, iron supplements, anti-convulsants for epilepsy, anti-parkinsonism drugs, and anti-hypertensive calcium-channel blockers.

Each person may experience symptoms of constipation in a different manner. It’s also possible to experience various amounts of stomach bloating, cramps, or belly discomfort. Your own physician will ask about your medical history, perform a physical examination, and order routine blood, urine, and stool tests. Other diagnostic tests used to produce a diagnosis of constipation include sigmoidoscopy and colonoscopy.

Sigmoidoscopy

For a sigmoidoscopy the physician uses an unique device called a colonoscope, which is a long, flexible tube that’s about as thick as your own index finger and has a miniature video camera and light attached at the end. This is used to test your rectum and the lower section of your colon. During the process everything is going to be done to allow you to be as comfortable as possible. Your blood pressure, heartbeat, and the oxygen amount in your blood will probably be cautiously monitored.

Your doctor is going to perform a rectal examination with a gloved, lubricated finger; then the lubricated colonoscope will be gently inserted. While the tube is slowly and carefully passed, you might feel like you must move your bowels, and since air is released to help improve the scope, you might feel some cramping or fullness. Usually, however, there’s minimum distress.

Occasionally, some stomach pressure, which might be supplied by your nurse, or perhaps a change in location might be necessary to prevent looping of the colonoscope inside the abdominal cavity. Your doctor will continue to advance the tube until he or she’s analyzed the left side of the colon.

Afterwards, the tube is then carefully removed while an exhaustive examination of the colon is conducted. At this time within the exam, your doctor will utilize the colonoscope to look carefully for any polyps or other difficulties which may need assessment, analysis, or treatment. The process generally requires between ten to fifteen minutes.

Colonoscopy

A colonoscopy is utilized to assess symptoms like stomach malady, bloody bowel movements, altered bowel habits  (constipation or diarrhea), and sudden extreme weight reduction. This test resembles sigmoidoscopy, but the doctor looks at the whole colon, instead of only the left side. The word “colonoscopy” means looking within the colon. Colonoscopy is a process done by a gastroenterologist, who a well-trained specialized physician.

A colonoscopy is also done using a colonoscope, that long, flexible tube that’s about as thick as your own index finger and has a miniature video camera and light on the end, to test your rectum and lower section of your colon. During the process, everything is going to be carried out to allow you to be as comfortable as possible. Your blood pressure, pulse, and the oxygen amount in your blood will probably be cautiously supervised.

ColonoscopyBy modifying the many controls to the colonoscope, the gastroenterologist may safely steer the tool to thoroughly examine the inside lining of the colon from the rectum to the cecum. The colonoscope includes a channel which allows instruments to be passed so as to bring tissue or stool samples, remove polyps, and supply other treatment. The high resolution picture from the colonoscope, which will be shown on a television monitor, supplies a clear, comprehensive view of the colon. It offers an even more exact assessment than X-ray studies.

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