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Recovering from Addiction to Prescription Medications

I never thought of myself as an addict, but I did end up addicted to anti-anxiety medication after developing Generalized Anxiety Disorder. At some point, the medicine stopped being a way to deal with the nervousness and panic attacks, and became something my body craved. I knew that I needed help fast. Fortunately, a local drug rehab program includes support for people like me. They helped me wean off the medication, use methods like massage therapy to help my nerves heal, and even provided ongoing counseling for our family. I don't know how I would have made it without their help. If you suspect that your medication has crossed the line from being helpful to hurtful, take heart. Let me tell you about my journey out of addiction and back to wholeness.

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Recovering from Addiction to Prescription Medications

Everything You Need To Know About Colonoscopy Procedures

by Valerie Stevens

With any cancer, early detection is your best defense. While colon cancer may be uncomfortable, if not embarrassing, to talk about, early detection is still essential. Here's what you need to know about colonoscopy procedures.

What is a colonoscopy procedure?

A colonoscopy is a medical procedure that allows your doctor to examine the lining of your large intestine (colon) and rectum.

Why is a colonoscopy performed?

A colonoscopy may be performed to investigate symptoms such as rectal bleeding, abdominal pain, or a change in bowel habits. It can also be used to screen for colorectal cancer or to remove polyps (growths) from the colon.

Why are colonoscopy procedures important?

Colonoscopy procedures are important because they can help detect problems in the colon, such as cancer or polyps, which can be removed before they become cancer.

At what age and how often do you need to get a colonoscopy?

You should talk to your doctor about getting a colonoscopy if you are 45 years of age or older or have a family history of colorectal cancer. Your doctor may also recommend a colonoscopy if you have certain risk factors for colorectal cancer, such as a history of smoking or inflammatory bowel disease. Most people will need to get a colonoscopy every ten years.

What happens during a colonoscopy procedure?

During a colonoscopy, you will lie on your side on a table. A nurse will insert a tube into your rectum and inflate your colon with air, allowing your doctor to see the lining of your colon and rectum. If anything looks unusual, your doctor may also take biopsies or samples of tissue during the procedure.

After the procedure, you will be asked to wait for a short time so the sedative can wear off, and you may experience cramping, bloating, or gas.

What are the risks of a colonoscopy procedure?

The risks of colonoscopy procedures are low, but they may include bleeding, infection, or perforation (a hole in the wall of the intestine).

Are there alternatives to colonoscopy procedures?

There are alternatives to colonoscopy procedures, but they are not as effective in detecting problems in the colon. These alternatives include:

  • CT colonography. This is a type of X-ray that can be used to detect problems in the colon.
  • Sigmoidoscopy. A sigmoidoscopy, sometimes called a flexible sigmoidoscopy, is a procedure that uses a flexible, lighted tube to examine the lower part of the colon.
  • Fecal test. A fecal test also called a fecal occult blood test or an FOBT is a test that can be used to detect blood in the stool, which may be a sign of colon cancer.

If you are considering a colonoscopy procedure, you should talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of the procedure.