While you may have never had a colonoscopy before, chances are good that you have at least heard about them. A minimally invasive nonsurgical procedure, colonoscopies allow our gastroenterologists in Miami, Coral Gables, Kendall, and Pembroke Pines, FL, to thoroughly examine and inspect the lining of the colon/rectum to look for potential issues. Here are some of the top reasons our medical team may recommend getting a colonoscopy,
Screen for Colorectal Cancer
A colonoscopy is still the very best and most effective tool for detecting the early signs of colorectal cancer. To date, there is no better procedure that can be performed to check for this type of cancer. Therefore, it’s highly advised that both men and women visit one of our offices in Miami, Coral Gables, Kendall, or Pembroke Pines, FL, for a routine colonoscopy by the time they reach 50 years old.
You Are Experiencing Certain Digestive Issues
Sometimes certain symptoms can also point towards the necessity of a colonoscopy. These symptoms include,
- Bowel changes (e.g. diarrhea or constipation)
- Blood in the stool
- Abdominal pain
- Feeling as if the bowels don’t fully empty
- Very thin stool
- Unexplained and sudden weight loss
You Have Risk Factors for Colorectal Cancer
Perhaps you have a family history of colorectal cancer or polyps, or perhaps you’ve had colon polyps in the past. If this is the case, then your gastroenterologist may recommend getting a routine colonoscopy before the age of 50. Risk factors for colorectal cancer include,
- Leading a sedentary lifestyle
- A low-fiber, high-fat diet or a diet high in processed foods
- Being overweight or obese
- Tobacco use
- Heavy alcohol consumption
- Having inflammatory bowel disease (e.g. Crohn’s disease; ulcerative colitis)
- Certain rare genetic disorders such as familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP)
If you have any of these risk factors, particularly if you have a family or personal history of colorectal cancer, you’ll want to talk with us about whether or not you should get screened earlier and more regularly.
If you are experiencing digestive problems that you can’t seem to get under control, it’s important that you find out what’s going on. Call the team at Digestive Medicine Associates today at (305) 822-4107 to schedule an appointment. We have locations Miami, Coral Gables, Kendall, and Pembroke Pines, FL.