Our Gastroenterology Blog

Posts for: December, 2021

Summary: Undergoing colonoscopy tests help detect and deter colorectal cancer. See whether a screening or diagnostic colonoscopy could be right for you.

Colorectal cancer threatens the health of millions of adults on an annual basis. When detected early, colorectal cancer can often be treated successfully, resulting in a high rate of survivability. Routine colon cancer testing enables medical professionals to screen for precancerous or abnormal tissues in the large intestine (colon) and rectum, and monitor for any further concerns should a person’s likelihood of developing the condition end up being higher.

Even though a large percentage of adults have an idea of what a colonoscopy is, not as many realize the difference between a screening colonoscopy and a diagnostic colonoscopy test. At Hinsdale Gastroenterology Associates, our experienced gastrointestinal (GI) specialists routinely complete screening and diagnostic colonoscopies for Hinsdale, IL patients. Read on to discover important details about these distinct types of colonoscopy procedures, when they could be needed, and how they might help maintain your digestive health and general wellness.

Who should have a screening colonoscopy?

Our gastrointestinal physicians at Hinsdale Gastroenterology Associates generally advise having a screening colonoscopy to check for tissue abnormalities in the colon or rectum, polyps (growths), or other indications that colorectal cancer is likely to arise. A screening colonoscopy, also referred to as a preventive colonoscopy, is usually advised on a ten-year basis for those 45 years of age and over who show no signs or symptoms and who carry an average risk for colorectal cancer. These tests also serve as fundamental data to which any and all subsequent colonoscopies can be compared.

Candidates for a preventive colonoscopy commonly include individuals having:

  • No signs or symptoms of GI health issues
  • No personal history of colon or rectal cancer
  • No family history of colorectal cancer
  • No history of polyps or other abnormalities in the large intestine
  • No current or previous GI health diagnoses

When is a diagnostic colonoscopy recommended?

Should any indications of premalignant or malignant growths be detected, our Hinsdale, IL gastrointestinal specialists will often recommend a diagnostic colonoscopy exam. These indications may include having past concerns (like colon polyps) or receiving positive results from a noninvasive colon cancer screening, like Cologuard®, which is an at-home testing product. Diagnostic colonoscopies, also known as follow-up or surveillance colonoscopies, are different from screening colonoscopies, as they are performed when there is a greater chance that cancer might develop or in the event there are indications that colon or rectal cancer may exist.

Ideal candidates for a diagnostic colonoscopy procedure are frequently patients with:

  • A history of GI concerns
  • Positive colorectal cancer screening outcomes
  • A history of colon polyps or other tissue irregularities
  • Current or previous GI health symptoms
  • A personal history of colorectal cancer

What are other important details concerning screening vs. diagnostic colonoscopies?

Colonoscopy procedures are incredibly important for catching and preventing the development of colon cancer. While a screening colonoscopy and a surveillance colonoscopy are often conducted in the same manner, the tests are performed for separate reasons. Insurance coverage for screening vs. diagnostic testing commonly varies. As a result, it is important to review your insurance policy and speak with your insurance company to learn more about your particular coverage and benefits as they relate to colonoscopies.

Speak with a colonoscopy doctor in Hinsdale, IL

Undergoing colonoscopies as suggested by a GI physician is critical to safeguarding your colon health and general wellness. Our Hinsdale, IL colonoscopy doctors maintain a patient-focused approach to care and work one-on-one with each patient to help make sure their digestive health concerns are addressed. Contact our caring team today for additional information or to arrange for a colonoscopy consultation at Hinsdale Gastroenterology Associates.

Summary: Enhance your digestive health this New Year by establishing healthy habits, such as quitting smoking, getting regular exercise, and eating more fiber.

A common tradition of ringing in the New Year is establishing New Year’s resolutions. To a number of people in the United States, that entails setting goals to promote a healthier way of living. Throughout your efforts to search for ways to optimize an ideal diet and a healthy lifestyle, make sure to take steps to boost your digestive health. Your digestive system conducts a number of important functions that help preserve your overall health. We encourage you to make plans now to take proper care of your gastrointestinal (GI) health and ring in the New Year with a healthy start.

Hinsdale Gastroenterology Associates is thrilled to be your partner in protecting your health and wellness against gastrointestinal concerns. Patients wanting more tips on how they can enhance their GI wellness or who are noticing any symptoms of potential digestive health issues are invited to contact our facility in Hinsdale, IL to talk to an experienced and compassionate gastrointestinal specialist.

What foods can I eat to improve digestive health?

Begin the New Year by choosing to follow some healthy dietary habits. Included among the most significant steps you can take to bolster your digestive health is to consume an abundance of foods high in fiber. This helps keep your digestive tract processing properly and could inhibit concerns, like diverticulitis, hemorrhoids, and constipation. Nutritional foods to add to your dietary intake that contain a high amount of fiber are items like:

  • Apples
  • Whole grains
  • Green peas
  • Lentils
  • Beans
  • Artichokes
  • Chickpeas
  • Broccoli

Along with foods high in fiber, you can additionally consider integrating probiotics into your nutritional intake. Your GI tract relies on a proper proportion of helpful bacteria to work properly. If you increase the consumption of good flora, you could potentially support a healthy balance of bacteria in your digestive tract. Probiotics can be consumed as supplements or incorporated into your diet in the form of fermented foods and drinks.

What are other tips to boost my gastrointestinal health?

The foods you eat are only a portion of the battle. Some other activities that may help improve your digestive health include an exercise regimen. Remaining physically active might help inhibit and relieve constipation as well as help you develop stronger muscles. The next thing you can consider to help bolster your GI wellness is to manage stress effectively. Unchecked stress and tension might possibly lead to symptoms, such as nausea, vomiting, and constipation. Consider minimizing stress by practicing meditation, making sure to get a proper amount of sleep, and strengthening meaningful bonds with others. Considering that tobacco has a harmful impact on every portion of the body, one last way you can aid your gut health is to stop smoking and using tobacco.

When should I visit a GI doctor?

Though maintaining nutritious dietary habits and establishing an active lifestyle can considerably support your gastrointestinal health, there could be instances in which you should consult a gastrointestinal doctor for more troubling issues. Common signs that you might have a GI condition or disease are as follows:

  • Unintentional weight loss
  • Constipation
  • Loose stools
  • Blood in your stool
  • Incontinence
  • Abdominal pain
  • Recurring heartburn
  • Vomiting and queasiness

If you experience any of these signs and symptoms, get in touch with Hinsdale Gastroenterology Associates as soon as possible. You can set up a consultation with a seasoned gastrointestinal doctor in Hinsdale, IL who can detect and address GI conditions that lead to these bothersome issues.

When should I set up a colon cancer screening?

Promoting good gut health also means remaining current on your preventive care. Colorectal cancer is the third leading form of cancer for both women and men; however, the good news is that an early diagnosis can greatly improve prognoses. Medical experts recommend that individuals begin undergoing routine colonoscopy procedures when they are 45 years old. If the colonoscopy outcome reveals no abnormalities, then another will not be needed for about ten years. Patients can arrange to have a colonoscopy at Hinsdale Gastroenterology Associates.

Meet with a GI doctor in Hinsdale, IL

Why wait for the start of the year to begin taking care of your digestive health? Move forward with the new and improved you right now. By partnering with the skilled physicians of Hinsdale Gastroenterology Associates, you can start the New Year off with a healthy gut. Our Hinsdale, IL gastroenterologists are some of the most skilled professionals in the industry. To reserve an appointment or find out more, contact Hinsdale Gastroenterology Associates today.