The procedure is called a colonoscopy, and it can be used to check out your large intestine. Regardless of what it does or why your doctor has ordered one, you should have this procedure done. It can detect the following medical conditions and confirm which one is causing your lower gastrointestinal issues.

Colorectal Cancer

Masses in your colon or rectum could signal cancer. Thankfully, given the position of the colon and rectum, biopsies are relatively simple to complete. Your doctor can take biopsies at the same time that you have your colonoscopy. There are also benign masses that are the direct result from straining to defecate, but the masses are often very distinct in appearance from potentially malignant masses.


Diverticulitis is an inflammation of the intestines that affects the diverticula. The diverticula are the pockets and projections that line the walls of the intestines. The inflammation of these structures causes diarrhea and constant pain. It is a treatable condition, but until a colonoscopy can confirm it, it is not a good idea to just treat the patient for this condition and assume that the problem is solved.

Inflamed and Infected Hemorrhoids 

Some symptoms of hemorrhoids may tip you off that this is a problem you have. However, it does help that a colonoscopy can confirm the presence of inflamed and/or infected hemorrhoids, which are varicose veins of the rectum, anus, and lower colon. When these veins tear, they are in a place where so much bacteria passes out of the body that it is nearly impossible for the hemorrhoids not to get infected. A really bad infection of a hemorrhoid requires that a doctor first incise it (cut it to bleed and drain), and then prescribe a round of antibiotics to eliminate the infection. 

Crohn's Disease

Crohn's disease is an autoimmune disorder where your intestines' cells attack each other in an attempt to deal with an intolerance to certain foods. It is incredibly painful and very difficult to manage. However, there are several things you can do to treat it.

After a colonoscopy confirms that you have Crohn's, you can take medication and alter your diet completely to alleviate symptoms. It will be difficult at first, considering that many patients with Crohn's are unable to consume acidic foods and/or foods that contain gluten and yeast, but weighing a bland diet against constant pain often results in patients opting for the bland diet.

To learn more about colonoscopies, contact a medical center like Lincoln Surgical Group PC.