What Is An Endoscope?
An endoscope is a small tube with a light inside it that’s used to look inside your body. It helps doctors diagnose problems and make treatments easier. For example, if there are cancerous cells in the stomach or intestines, an endoscopic examination could reveal them. If you have diabetes, your doctor may need to check how well your blood sugar levels are controlled by checking your blood glucose level through an endoscopy procedure.
How To Prepare For An Endoscopy?
The first thing you need to do is decide whether you want to go ahead with an endoscopy. There are many reasons why you might want to undergo an endoscopy:
You have a medical condition that requires further testing. You’re worried about getting cancer, for instance.
Your doctor wants to perform tests such as colonoscopies and mammograms, but they don’t usually involve an endoscope. You’ve had a bad reaction after eating something that caused pain during the meal. You can’t talk and you have trouble breathing. You’ve been suffering from nausea or vomiting for a long time, which has not gone away despite medication. You’re at high risk of colon cancer and your doctor wants to examine you.
Regardless of why you are getting an endoscopy, there is only one way to prepare: drink a lot of clear liquids before the procedure. This is very important.
Your doctor will provide you with a list of liquids that you may drink, which can range from water and apple juice to carbonated beverages and sports drinks. Most people like to use Gatorade (which is very popular among athletes), but anything works as long as it’s clear and has no solid chunks. If you’re worried about having an upset stomach or vomiting during the procedure, you may also take a pill called Nexium (generic name: esomeprazole) before the procedure. You may also take antidiarrheal medicine in an attempt to decrease the chances of diarrhea during the procedure. No solid foods should be eaten before the procedure (and not after, either).
Why You Should Drink Lots Of Clear Liquids Before An Endoscopy
The reason why you need to drink clear liquids before an endoscopy is because these drinks can leave you dehydrated during and after the procedure. Your body cannot hold the large volume of liquid that you drink, so most of it goes straight through your digestive system and out the other end.
In other words, you’ll be going to the bathroom a lot during and after the procedure. Drinking water or any other type of beverage that isn’t on your doctor’s list can lead to serious complications during and after the procedure. This is why it’s important to only drink liquids that are on your doctor’s list.
What Happens During An Endoscopy?
An endoscopy is a relatively quick and painless procedure if you follow your doctor’s guidelines and instructions. If you’re not in good general health or if you have an unhealthy lifestyle (such as smoking), your doctor may suggest that you undergo a preparation procedure before the actual endoscopy. The first thing that will happen is that you’ll be given a sedative to help you calm down and relax. Depending on your symptoms, medication may also be prescribed in order to address these concerns. You may also need to be cleared by a cardiologist before the procedure (this is especially common if you suffer from heart problems or other serious conditions).
Most endoscopies involve the testing of the upper GI track, which is the throat, esophagus and the beginning of the stomach. Your doctor will start by spraying water on the back of your throat to see if you suffer from any inflammation or irritation.
You may also have a biopsy, in which a small sample of tissue is taken from your throat. This procedure can be very uncomfortable for some people. If you suffer from heartburn or acid reflux, this test will be a lot more painful than it is for people who don’t have these conditions. If you suffer from asthma or some other type of respiratory disease, you may experience shortness of breath while under the influence of the sedative. This can become very serious, so be sure to tell your doctor if you have problems breathing while under the effects of the medication.
If you have problems swallowing, you may be asked to drink a thick liquid called barium. This substance will make it easier for the doctor to see whether anything is blocking the way food goes through your throat and into your esophagus.
You will also be given an injection of a radio opaque dye ( this is a substance that allows your doctor to see more details on the x-ray). Once these two substances have been administered, you will be asked to wait for anywhere between fifteen minutes and an hour before you’re ready to take the x-rays. During this waiting period, you may experience some minor discomfort as the thick liquid makes its way down your throat and into your stomach.
Even though an endoscopy is a relatively short procedure, it can take up to an hour before it’s finished. You should make sure that you arrange for someone to pick you up after the procedure is all said and done.
You will probably be asked not to drive yourself anywhere for at least twenty-four hours after the procedure. Although the sedative will make you tired, it is very easy to become drowsy while under the effects of this drug.
You should also take a look at your diet before the procedure. Your doctor may ask you to avoid certain foods such as carbonated drinks, chocolate and other items that might interfere with the test results.
Be sure to follow these recommendations if you want your doctor to get accurate information.
Once the endoscopy is finished, you may or may not need to follow up with your doctor. If you experience severe pain, you may be asked to take prescription strength antacids in order to alleviate the pain until it subsides.
An endoscopy can be a very useful tool in diagnosing a wide range of conditions. If you suffer from ongoing GI problems, this is something you may want to look into.
An endoscopy can save you a lot of time by identifying the problem quickly. If you do decide to go through with this procedure, make sure you follow all of your doctor’s instructions concerning preparation for and recovery from the procedure. This will increase the likelihood that you will get accurate results and that the test comes back with good news.
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