Cullman Internal Medicine
Internal Medicine & Acupuncture located in Cullman, AL
When you’re having recurrent gastrointestinal problems, your doctor may order an endoscopy or colonoscopy. The medical team at Cullman Internal Medicine in Cullman, Alabama, offers both of these valuable tests to help determine the cause of your problems, and screen for gastrointestinal health conditions. For a consultation with an endoscopy and colonoscopy specialist, call the office or book an appointment online today.
Endoscopy Q & A
What is an endoscopy?
An endoscopy, or esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD), is a test that uses a flexible camera placed down your throat. This is used to visualize the structures of the upper part of your digestive system, including your esophagus, stomach, and the upper part of your small intestine.
Your doctor may order this test to investigate problems such as:
- Stomach pain
- Swallowing problems
- Unexplained weight loss
- Vomiting blood
- Unexplained nausea or vomiting
- Digestion problems
- Persistent heartburn
An endoscopy can identify problems, such as ulcers, esophageal or stomach cancer, hiatal hernia, or strictures. Your doctor can utilize this valuable information to create a specialized plan to treat your gastrointestinal symptoms.
Your doctor may also use your endoscopy to take samples of tissue, remove growths, or treat certain conditions.
What is a colonoscopy?
A colonoscopy is a test that uses a flexible camera that is placed in your rectum. It’s used to visualize the lower part of your digestive tract and is able to visualize your rectum and colon.
Your doctor may order a colonoscopy if you’re having symptoms such as:
- Rectal bleeding
- Recurrent or constant diarrhea
- Changes in bowel habits
- Unexplained abdominal pain
- Unexplained weight loss
A colonoscopy can help diagnose a number of conditions, such as irritated and swollen intestines, ulcers, colon polyps, and ulcerative colitis. A colonoscopy may also be used preventively to screen for colon and rectal cancer.
Who should be screened for colorectal cancer?
Your doctor likely recommends that you be screened for colon and rectal cancer, also called colorectal cancer, starting at the age of 50. If you have more risk factors, they may recommend you start screenings earlier.
You’re at a higher risk for having colorectal cancer if you:
- Are African American
- Are a man
- Are a smoker
- Are obese
- Have a family history of colorectal cancer
- Have a history of colon polyps
- Have an inflammatory bowel disease
Endoscopy and colonoscopy can be valuable tools in explaining your gastrointestinal symptoms or for early detection of serious health conditions.
If you have unexplained digestive symptoms or would like to be screened for colorectal cancer, call the office or book an appointment with Cullman Internal Medicine.