A colonoscopy is a medical procedure doctors use to check the health of your large intestines. During a colonoscopy procedure, your gastroenterologist may administer anesthesia to prevent you from feeling pain. Then, your doctor inserts a colonoscope, a tube with a small video camera, into your colon. This may reveal problems like polyps in your alimentary system. Also, your doctor may take tissue samples from your colon's lining and perform further tests to show diseases such as colon cancer. But when is the right time to book your colonoscopy appointment? Here are the signs. 

Family History with Colon Issues

When your family history reveals colon issues in your family members, you need to get a colonoscopy procedure. That's because diseases like colon cancer may be hereditary. Timely identification of such conditions can help you start treatment early and save your life. Likewise, even if your gastroenterologist establishes that your colon is healthy, they may provide lifestyle advice for maintaining good colon health. This may include healthy diets and exercise. You may also need to quit smoking or reduce your alcohol intake to lower the risk of cancer development.

Old Age

As you age, your body's immune system may weaken, increasing the risks of diseases. Hence, you may be at risk of developing gastric conditions like irritable bowel syndrome. The condition occurs when the colon's muscles contract abnormally. This may cause pressure buildup in the colon, possibly resulting in bloating, abdominal cramps, and constipation. In severe cases, you may experience diarrhea, which may cause dehydration of your body. Also, colon cancer is common among the elderly. A colonoscopy procedure can help you determine your colon's health and take appropriate steps. For instance, if your doctor identifies abnormalities, they may provide appropriate treatments.

Bloody Diarrhea

Colon bleeding may be risky since you may not spot the bleeding quickly. The bleeding may occur due to diverticular disease. Colonic diverticula are tiny sacs, usually in the sigmoid colon, that occur when the large bowel exerts high pressure on the colon's wall. When the sacs block, bleeding may occur, resulting in bloody diarrhea. Also, internal colon bleeding may cause other severe symptoms like general body weakness, dizziness, or blood in the urine. A colonoscopy can help reveal internal colon bleeding quickly. In such cases, your doctor may recommend surgery to remove the sacs and stop the bleeding.

The signs that you need a colonoscopy procedure include old age, bloody diarrhea, and colon-related problems in your family history. Consider booking a colonoscopy appointment when you see these signs.