Hello; I am 38 and paleo since 1 year ago. My father and all his brothers and sisters have had polyps in colon, all benigns. Recently I have been checked for gluten intollerance (DNA test) that come positive and send me to GI. They made me a gastroscopy and found nothing wrong and now they propose me to do a colonoscopy due to my relatives history of polyps. I haven??t to pay for the colonoscopy but I am afraid of doing it (and beeing sedated I am very afraid of it) and I really don??t wan ??t to do it, so I think if may be the "attack" to my body is worthless.. Can anyone give me some advise?
asked bymara_2 (5)
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on June 09, 2013
at 12:34 PM
I'm 38 and just had a colonoscopy. Lots of polyps in my family, and both my maternal and paternal grandmothers died of colon cancer (one at the age of 60). With these risk factors, the recommended screening age is 40.
It was awesome. :) Well, as awesome as such a thing can be. First, I have terrible veins; they roll, they collapse, they refuse to bleed or take in fluids. They had an iv done first try, no problems (great professionals). The anesthesia was "twilight," not full, so it felt like I had just taken a nice nap. And I am a person who usually vomits for 3 days after anesthesia.
Also, you should know I am VERY distrustful of conventional medicine in general (I have had 3 home-births). Yet I would rank this procedure as my #1 most pleasant medical experience ever. Yeah, crazy right? Also, I was clear, so I don't have to come back for 10 years. That's a load off my mind for 10 years!
Just make sure you are working with a very professional clinic. If you don't feel right about it, find another place.
Now for the bad part: the prep. I was prepared for the fact that I would be drinking stuff to "clean out the pipes." But I wasn't prepared for the fact that, due to my paleo diet, I would have a severe response to ingesting that much sugar in a short time. I had to drink 64 oz of gatorade mixed with a laxative. About halfway through I started shaking and feeling incredibly dizzy from the sugar. After I drank the whole thing, I vomited it all back up. I had to call the doctor and ask for plan B. Which was nastier, but a smaller amount and I was able to tolerate it. So if you are truly paleo with no sugar, tell them that and ask what your options are!
on June 09, 2013
at 04:03 PM
Well, I have to come down on the side of having the procedure done, particularly as there is a family history. My own family history was remembering a rather vague and fleeting reference once that my Dad "had some polyps removed" in his 50's.
At age 58, I underwent my first colonoscopy, which was done in a dim, cold underground room at the HMO hospital complex. I was not given enough sedation to put me out, just enough so that I knew that I shouldn't operate any heavy machinery, if such a need should arise. I was told that this was so that I could inform them (the male doctor and male attendant - it would have helped if at least one of them was female, at least for me, as aside from the cold and excruciating pain of what seemed like a 20 minute ordeal, it was disturbing that there were 2 men at my nether region) of the pain, so as to help prevent perforation. The only distraction from the pain was that I was able to watch the entire procedure on the monitor, which I found interesting, although I have to say that I was searching frantically for something positive in the situation.
They found 2 polyps, neither of which were currently cancerous - however - I was informed later that these were the types that tended to become cancerous over time. (So, if and when they might say "benign", ask if that means permanently benign, or benign now, but possibly/probably cancerous down the road.)
I was so upset at the thought of having to go through this ordeal again after the recommended 5 years that I put it off for another 2 years beyond the recommended time. I mentioned putting it off to my oldest, dearest friend and she sharply replied, "That's stupid. It's the one cancer that they can cure if they get it early enough." I gritted my teeth and signed up for the second time around. I told the doctor, who was the same one who did the first procedure, about how I remembered the first one. He assured me that things would be different now and that they would give me enough sedation to make me comfortable. It was impossible for me to believe him, yet I steeled myself and moved forward.
It was the difference between Hell and Heaven! The new facility was light and comfortably warm, and they covered me with warm blankets while I went through the short prep. There was a female attendant on board, and after the first few seconds, I don't remember a thing. They found another polyp, so I'm glad that I followed through.
I have the suspicion that my very own husband may have been unwittingly instrumental in them reviewing and revising their colonoscopy protocol: he had gone in for the procedure a few years after me. (He's not the type to suffer pain and abuse without reacting strongly and instinctively.) When he came in to the waiting room where I was, he informed me that he had gotten off the table in the first stage of the procedure and refused to get back on, put his clothes back on and hightailed it out of there. That dear man certainly keeps me laughing. I doubt that anyone had had the nerve to react like that with them before. I wish that I had thought of that as a possibility during my first procedure, instead of my usual MO of being a compliant "good girl".
My younger sister, who drinks (alcohol, not water) a lot more than I do and who has a more flagrant "live for today" lifestyle than I do, had over 50 polyps removed when they did her first colonoscopy at age 55. So there's a great range of possibilities as to what might be found.
I hope that you have gotten a chuckle or two from this post. Laughter is, I believe, the best medicine. However, in the final analysis, even if I had to put up with the first procedure again, I personally would do it, as I suspect that colon cancer is a much longer and more painful ordeal to go through. One of the lessons I learned is to talk to the doctor about my fears beforehand.
God bless you, and good luck, whatever you decide.
on June 09, 2013
at 11:49 AM
I would get it done. However if you are afraid of sedation then you might want to find someplace that can do a colonoscopy without complete sedation, or choose to get something less invasive like a sigmoidoscopy. Check this out:
on June 09, 2013
at 10:06 AM
I get your fear; it's valid, the thought of not knowing would, at least in me, trump any fear, or discomfort I know I might experience, because Paleo is as much about your inside as outside, there's just some things we can't see, and having this done, especially because it seems to run in your family is a good idea!
Also, for the number of times most women get poked and prodded by some doctor looking for whatever it is they look for in ???the cave of wonders??????compared to men???we do have it pretty easy.
Good luck in whatever you choose.
on June 10, 2013
at 01:47 AM
I had an early colonoscopy because of family history.
The prep: I was instructed to drink a gallon of prep. After a half gallon, I knew I'd throw up if I had any more. I called the doctor at 10pm and he casually told me to drink as much as I could and not worry about it from there. So I left it at a half gallon. He afterwards said I was completely clean. By the way, that was pre-paleo. I'm guessing I'd be cleaner now.
The procedure: This was my entire experience. Dr: "Okay, count backwards from 100". Me: "100, 99, 98". Doctor: "Okay, we're done".
So it needn't be horrible. You and your doc have to sort out how frequently you need one, and you should certainly get informed about options, risks, alternatives, etc. But fear of the pain of the procedure itself is probably unnecessary. I've not known anybody who had a bad experience during the procedure itself. That can happen, as others have mentioned, but it's rare. The prep is another issue, and I'd definitely suggest (a) non-sugared prep and (b) finding out in advance if you really need to take the whole prep.
on June 09, 2013
at 11:41 AM
I have no educated opinion on this, but I have heard that a colonoscopy should be the later procedure not the first. That there are blood tests that should be completed before, but I suppose it depends on what they are looking for. From what I understand one of the risks of the procedure is perforation, and that polyps can come and go. I think it would be worth your while really asking your doctor if there is any indicators that can be tested for first before surgery.
on June 09, 2013
at 09:00 PM
are you have digestive symptoms right now or is it just the fear of polyps?
if it were me, i would NEVER have a colonoscopy unless i was experiencing problems. I've had 8 so far (i'm 23) and don't enjoy them one bit.
do you know what age your family had the polyps?