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#1 WestCoast1


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Posted 13 September 2007 - 06:14 AM

Hi Friends,
Well as it goes, the doctor called and recommended a colonoscopy. I think that one more test might push me over the edge. It has been discussed in the past, but we always seem to find an alternative route or treatment.

The doctor and I talk about what percent of a chance that he could find something that is causing the recurring anemia. In our last discussion it was only about 5%. Now he says that its time for the colonoscopy!

How many of you have had this done? Was it worth the time, discomfort and money? How useful is it really in relieving some of our symptoms if you DO find polyps, bleeding or what ever it is that they are looking for?


#2 miocean


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Posted 13 September 2007 - 06:53 AM

I have had two colonoscopies. The worst parts for me are the prep the night before and the getting the needle in my arm for the anesthesia. The first time I was semi-awake and watched it on the t.v. viewer. It was surreal to see the inside of my colon and to watch the instrument take a biopsy and not feel a thing! I did have a polyp but it was benign. The second time we were looking for a source of bleeding but didn't find anything. I think it is worth it to have one and make sure you know what is going on.
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#3 oddone


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Posted 13 September 2007 - 07:03 AM

I have had a routine colonoscopy (when I was 35).
The worst part was the preparation (drinking stuff that cleans you right out for the procedure) and fasting.
The actual colonoscopy wasn't a big deal, as you are given a sedative.
While I do not have scleroderma, I believe that this test is DEFINATELY a great tool especially if polyps are in question, or bleeding.
I did not have any polyps , but my brother (39) did, and they were taken during the colonoscopy, so no additional appt necessary. The same thing with bleeding, they can cautaurize (sp) the tissue to stop the bleeding at the same time.
This test, while many are scared/turned off by it is becoming a very important tool. It definately finds things before there is a problem (ie cancer) and I think that any doctor that recommends one is definately looking out for your best interests, even if they are just doing precautionary measures.
Oddone - Spouse - 38 yr old Husband diagnosed October 2006, Diffuse Systemic Scleroderma
Normal PFT(July 06), ECG(Nov/06)

#4 Sheryl


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Posted 13 September 2007 - 07:24 AM

If you aren't having issues with Diverticular Disease or Bowel Disease or Intestinal problems then the doctors may not find much going on except maybe hemroids. If you don't have insurance then I wouldn't wish to have it done if I were you. If you have insurance and the doctor hopes to find something it is just an agrevation drinking the Colytely and going in for the test. It takes all of about 40 minutes and then you are free to go. Some people have discomfort. Others do not. If you are thinking of getting esophagus tested then it is good to have them done at the same time. It will save you a trip. They can find out if you are having reflux problems and to what degree. They can find ulcers and narrowing of your esophagus and little vessels narrowing. They can take samples into your small intestine. I have had both done on two different occasions. My insurance company had everyone over 50 do the Colonoscopy. Mandatory! Yeap no options. Do it or no coverage for that contract peroid. Go figure. I need my insurance so I grinned and bared it. Sheryl
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#5 nan


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Posted 13 September 2007 - 07:38 AM

I have had 3! The preparation is awful, but the test is no problem at all. If you have slow motility like most of us you might need more stuff to clean you out. For my last colonoscopy I started the prep in the afternoon the day before the procedure. I was supposed to have it at 9 the next morning. I hadn't even started any bowel movements at 9 the next morning. For a normal person with a normal GI system they usually are totally cleaned out by that time. I called in and I got scheduled for the next day because I finally started going. I had to take a little more stuff the morning of. Have you had the upper endoscopy? That's when they discovered my bleeding source, watermelon stomach. If you don't know why you are anemic it might be a good thing to have it done. Your health insurance should cover it.
Take Care!

#6 WestCoast1


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Posted 13 September 2007 - 08:42 AM

Thanks for the reassurance. It sounds like the worst part of the procedure is the cleansing part... :blink: !

Nan~ yes I have had the upper GI and endoscope and barrium swallow with x-ray for motility. It showed mild reflux gastro...something and hernia. They didn't find evidence of any bleeding however. I guess that my numbers keep going down so the doctor says that we should look elsewhere. I have done the occult tests and they were negative so I guess I have to leave this one up the the doctors discression.


#7 betty32506


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Posted 13 September 2007 - 10:41 AM

In my are area routine colonoscopies are recomended every 5 years as a precautionary check. Colon cancers that are discovered early have a good survival rate and the others are poor. The worst part is the preparation. The test itself is nothing as you are asleep...at least that's how it is around here. They can be expensive if that is a consideration.

#8 Piper


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Posted 13 September 2007 - 11:52 AM

Hi Erin, If your Dr. is recommending it then I would definitely have the test. I have had 2 of them. The first one in my early 40's because I was having bowel problems and they were checking for colitis and then the second one five years later. I am so thankful that I had that one when I did because they found 2 polyps. One was okay but the other was a sessile adenoma ( the kind that becomes cancer) and they removed it. They recommended that I have another in 2 years to make sure there aren't any more polyps that they may have missed.
It's a very easy test as the others have said as you are sedated.The prep is a little rough but I found that drinking warm clear broth helped with hunger.
Take care,
Hugs, Piper

#9 summer


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Posted 13 September 2007 - 12:08 PM

Hi Erin,
I am due to have a Colonoscopy in December. Both my mother and grand mother died of Colon Cancer, I need to have one done every three years.
Better to be safe than sorry, so they say!

Take care
Celia :rolleyes:

#10 reese


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Posted 13 September 2007 - 02:25 PM

I am curious as to what your iron/rbc levels are currently. My rheumatologist has always said anemia is very common with autoimmune diseases and doesn't necessarily mean you are 'bleeding out' somewhere in your body.

I have been anemic for over 10 years but my numbers aren't at a dangerous level to suggest a bigger problem. Are you getting weak and dizzy from it? I am just wondering what type of results would make a doctor want to explore more options.


#11 WestCoast1


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Posted 13 September 2007 - 05:18 PM

I may be getting dizzy from the anemia and we have learned that the major fatigue is not from the anemia by trying different levels of Iron supplements and tracking the numbers. If these numbers are just the autoimmune issue, than I don't want the colonoscopy...I really don't, but I will if it's necessary.

What were your labs? Did he have you go on iron supplements?

My labs for anemia are as follows:
TIBC: high 486 (normal is 261-478)
% SAT: low 15.4 (norm. 20.0-55.0)
Transferrin: high 388 (norm. 200-360)
Ferritin: low 7 (norm. 13-150)

Ced, I am so sorry to hear that colon cancer runs in your family. You are so smart to catch these things early if you can. My mother has had polyps removed in the last few years....makes me think twice about shying away from preventative measures....thanks for the remider.