With your digestive system covering a huge array of your vital organs, doctors may need to perform a few procedures such as a sigmoidoscopy to single out the root of the problem. A sigmoidoscopy is where a doctor would manually inspect your lower intestines using tools such as Hallmark Surgical‘s sigmoidoscopes and bellows set. They use cameras attached to thin tubes to identify the problem. It is less invasive than a colonoscopy and is also used to screen for cancer.
Your doctor may order such a procedure if they notice the following symptoms:
1. Change in Bowel Habits or Frequency
Certain foods can irritate the colon and cause episodes of diarrhoea or constipation. These episodes usually end after a few hours but when your diarrhoea or constipation persists for more than a day or two, it is time to see your doctor. Viruses, bacteria, and intestinal obstructions are the usual causes of these symptoms.
2. Abdominal Pain
Abdominal pain is a general symptom of many gastro-intestinal problems. Depending on the location of your pain, your doctor may resort to doing a sigmoidoscopy to check your colon for ulcers, tears, or polyps.
3. Rectal Bleeding
Bleeding from your anus can be a terrifying experience as it isn’t easy to determine the cause without the help of a doctor. Doctors can identify the general location of the source of the bleeding based on the colour of the blood. Bright red blood usually means the problem lies in either the rectum or the lower intestines. Hemorrhoids, tears, and infections are common causes of rectal bleeding.
Before undergoing a sigmoidoscopy, it is important to follow your doctor’s instructions. Your doctor may order you to keep to a clear liquid diet for a few days before the procedure. Your physician may also prescribe laxatives or enemas to clear your colon. It is also a good idea to avoid consuming anything that has red or purple dye as it might be mistaken for blood.