Many birthdays carry with them their own special rites of passage -- getting your driver's license at 16, or having your first drink at 21. Sadly, getting older often means that these rites of passage become less pleasant. If you've recently hit a milestone birthday and need to schedule your first colonoscopy, you may be wondering what to expect -- especially if you have diabetes and are concerned about your ability to sufficiently prepare for your procedure. Read on to learn more about how diabetics can successfully navigate a colonoscopy.
Why can colonoscopies be problematic for diabetics?
In order for the doctor to get a clear view of the sides of your colon, your intestines must be relatively clear during this procedure. The most efficient way to accomplish this is for the patient to fast for several hours before the procedure and take a laxative or enema to help clean out the intestines. This can be a recipe for disaster for those who have insulin-dependent diabetes or other blood sugar problems that require frequent, small meals, or whose kidneys have been weakened by diabetes and aren't likely to react well to stimulant laxatives.
What can you do to keep your blood sugar stable while preparing for this procedure?
Although the physician performing your colonoscopy should have a copy of your medical history (including information about your diabetes), it's always a good idea to bring your condition up with your doctor before your appointment. He or she may have some recommendations that have worked well for other patients and can provide you with some advice based on your specific medical history.
There are a few things to keep in mind while preparing for a colonoscopy. Although eating food during your fasting period is generally ill-advised (as the resulting intestinal obstruction could interfere with the test results or even require you to have a subsequent colonoscopy), you should be able to drink orange juice or other beverages that can help keep your blood sugar in check while not eating.
You'll also want to carefully review the labels of any prescribed laxatives to ensure that they are safe for those with kidney problems. Even if your diabetes hasn't yet impacted your kidneys, laxatives can be hard on them, and you'll want to minimize their use to preserve your kidneys' health in the future. An enema may be a healthier way to flush out any excess waste before your colonoscopy.
For more information, contact Lincoln Surgical Group PC or a similar organization.
I was badly injured a year ago, and it took a long time to get back to my normal level of ability. One of the things that helped more than anything was the time that I spent in physical therapy. I didn’t always love going to physical therapy – in fact, sometimes, I really didn’t enjoy it at all. But ultimately, the therapists and other patients I worked with helped inspire me to get better, and the exercises facilitated my healing process. I started this blog to talk about all of the things I learned about physical therapy and healing during my recovery time. I hope my blog reaches other accident victims. I want to offer encouragement, hope, and information for people who are in the same boat that I was in.