Gastroscopy and colonoscopy as a safe method of diagnosis
Complaints in the gastrointestinal tract are among the most common health disorders. Not all gastrointestinal complaints immediately hide a serious disease. Not infrequently, the causes of disorders in the digestive tract also lie in the psychological sphere. Stress, physical and mental overload, anxiety situations, problems in private and professional life not infrequently strike in the truest sense of the word „on the stomach“. Not for nothing can the digestive system be called the „second brain“.
It reacts very sensitively to all influences on the entire nervous system and emotional shocks or insecurities. Complaints such as stomach pressure, nausea, but also mild diarrhea or constipation, can often occur before exams, before new professional demands or major changes in life.
Such complaints usually disappear with the overcoming of a situation, the overcoming of a problem. In everyday life, however, unhealthy eating habits can also lead to gastrointestinal complaints, and subsequently even to stomach disorders and intestinal diseases. Foods that are too difficult to digest, foods that are too high in fat and low in fiber, and hasty and irregular meals are very common triggers of digestive health problems.
Other causes are the well-known stimulants, such as alcohol and nicotine, which do not leave the gastrointestinal tract untouched.
A visit to the doctor is recommended if problems with the stomach or intestines persist over a long period of time. Serious warning signs that may indicate gastric disease are frequent stomach pain, recurrent heartburn, nausea, frequent pressure in the upper or lower abdomen.
Indications of intestinal diseases are permanent digestive disorders, such as diarrhea or constipation, persistent and recurring lower abdominal pain, discolored or extremely dark stools, blood in the stool. In such cases, the doctor will order gastroscopy and colonoscopy, respectively, in addition to the blood count and general examination, in order to make a reliable diagnosis.
Diagnostic methods in gastroscopy and colonoscopy
Gastroscopy (gastroscopy) and colonoscopy (colonoscopy) via endoscopic examination is a safe, fast and long-proven diagnostic procedure. Gastroscopy examines the esophagus, stomach and upper small intestine; colonoscopy examines the entire large intestine and, if necessary, the lower small intestine.
Endoscopy of the stomach takes about five minutes, of the intestine between 15 and 20 minutes. Through the introduced endoscope, even small changes inside the gastrointestinal tract can be seen. Small pathological findings can often be treated during the examination with gastroscopy or colonoscopy.
For example, it is often possible to remove polyps and at the same time take a mucosal sample for testing for Helicobacter (bacteria that are the cause of many stomach diseases) or to stop bleeding from stomach ulcers. Thus, this diagnostic method allows not only a painless and well-tolerated examination for the patient, but at the same time still possibility of integrated treatment of certain disease foci, without the need for a second operation.
Colonoscopy is also one of the most important screening tests for early detection of colorectal cancer. From 56. Lebensjahr is this precaution for insured ones of the health insurance free of charge. If the need for an endoscopic examination of the intestine or stomach is recognized, the costs are always covered.
Exam preparation and risks
The stomach or intestines must be emptied in preparation for the gastroscopy and colonoscopy. For this purpose, the doctor gives the patient appropriate instructions about the times without food intake, respectively. laxative medicines to prepare for colonoscopy. Before a gastroscopy, no more food should be taken in at least six hours beforehand.
Before the colonoscopy, a complete bowel evacuation must take place. In the run-up to the diagnostic procedure, blood-thinning medication must be discontinued. Before a colonoscopy, such drugs should not be taken for five to seven days before the examination.
Both procedures are usually painless. Upon request or medical advice, a sedative injection can be administered. Risks may include possible injury during the procedure, but this is very rare. For colonoscopy for cancer screening, a doctor must be able to demonstrate appropriate experience through at least 200 procedures.