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Don’t Put Off Having A Colonoscopy, Here’s Why…

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If you’re 50+, chances are your doctor has let you know it’s time…for a routine colonoscopy.

A colonoscopy finds and removes polyps and detects potentially deadly colorectal cancer and pancreatic lesions. Despite its proven effectiveness, the idea of it invokes a lot of anxiety, and too many people avoid the procedure.

I know that’s how I felt. 

One of the things I dreaded most about turning 50 was the idea of a colonoscopy. 

It bothered me enough that I postponed it for six years. Finally, my doctor insisted, and I reluctantly scheduled mine.

If I had only known then what I know now, I would have scheduled my colonoscopy much sooner.

Why and When You Need a Colonoscopy

Colorectal cancer is very common. In fact, it’s the third most common cancer in the U.S. In 2022 alone, over 150,000 new cases will be diagnosed, with 85% of these patients having no family history of the disease. (1)

And in the past 30 years, the rate of colorectal cancer has surged – more than doubling in people younger than 50. For these reasons, it’s important to follow colon cancer screening guidelines. Your doctor may recommend a colonoscopy if you have certain symptoms, including:

Bleeding or blood in your stool
Unexplained abdominal pain and cramping
Unexplained weight loss
Changes in bowel habits such as constipation and diarrhea

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends that adults without symptoms with average risk get their first colonoscopy at 50, with follow-up screenings depending on the results. (2)

Suppose you have a family history of colon cancer or have an inflammatory bowel disease such as Crohn’s disease, your doctor might suggest screening at an earlier age and more often than average.  

Screening with a colonoscopy is critical because many people don’t experience symptoms of colorectal cancer until it has spread. Spotting it early dramatically increases the likelihood you will have a positive outcome. Additionally, your doctor might prevent colon cancer entirely by removing polyps during the procedure.

My Colonoscopy

Understandably, no one looks forward to downing enough laxatives to squeeze out a kiddie pool amount of waste or spend hours in the bathroom. Another icky thought is having a long flexible tube inserted through the rectum and snaked through the intestinal tract while a camera looks for suspicious growths. 

Believe it or not, experiencing it isn’t nearly as terrible as it sounds. 

Reflecting on my first gastroenterologist appointment, the comment that made the biggest impression was, “you need to be completely cleaned out.” No joke, the doctor must have said those words at least ten times.

My prep sheet had lots of dos and don’ts. The biggest was don’t eat for 24 hours before the procedure. Honestly, that was the hardest part. 

The big do – take a lot of laxatives (provided with a prescription) and drink lots of water to avoid dehydration. My laxative concoction included one bottle of magnesium citrate, 8 Dulcolax pills, and 64 ounces of Miralax beginning two days before. I spent the next 48 hours in or near the bathroom.

At one point, I thought, “how could there be anything left?” The amount of waste expelled from my body during “the purge” was simply astonishing.

My insurance – Blue of CA – would not cover the cost of anesthesia. I could either have the procedure awake and very aware or pay $300 for an anesthesiologist. My doctor insisted I spend the money. I had read enough about “awake” colonoscopies to know that he was right. 

At 9 am, I arrived at the surgical center. The intake was easy enough. The medical staff was extremely professional. 

I put on a surgical gown and climbed into a gurney waiting outside the operating room. The prick to my left hand where sedatives would drip into my body was more than a little painful. 

I was rolled into the operating room and swiftly fell asleep once the drugs started flowing.

I woke up to a very nice older man looking down at me and asking,” how do you feel.”

Besides feeling groggy, I felt perfectly fine – down there.

Then he said, “Your doctor told me to tell you, you have the colon of a teenager. He doesn’t need to see you again for another ten years.”

Music to my ears. 😊

Probiotics Help Keep Your Colon Clean

Evidence suggests that regularly taking a quality probiotic can boost your colon health.

Probiotics help treat digestive issues by feeding your gut microbiome and keeping it balanced. Probiotics help move waste through your body. They are a very important part of cleaning your colon and detoxifying.

A robust population of probiotics in your gastrointestinal system does more than clean your colon and relieve digestive issues. You can expect help with skin conditions like eczema; they help prevent urinary tract and vaginal infections, improve your immunity against viral and bacterial illnesses, and increase your energy levels.

Stonehenge Health Dynamic Biotics promote optimal digestion and balance of your gut microbiome for better overall health and gastrointestinal comfort.

Talk to your doctor about when it’s the right time for you to have a colonoscopy. Please don’t put off checking the health of your colon. It’s a very important and not as scary as you may have thought.


1. “Facts And Statistics About Colorectal Cancer”. 2022. Colorectal Cancer Alliance. |

2. “Recommendation: Colorectal Cancer: Screening | United States Preventive Services Taskforce”. 2022. Uspreventiveservicestaskforce.Org. |

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