There are a number of diseases or conditions that affect the lower digestive tract. Signs and symptoms rarely appear when they begin, so oftentimes an illness is bound to be discovered at an advanced state already. Getting the lower digestive tract checked regularly is recommended for adults over the age of 45. Younger people who have a high risk of developing diseases in this area of the body are encouraged to see a colon doctor in Singapore earlier to monitor the colon’s health.
A colorectal surgeon can help monitor the health of the lower digestive tract as well as provide management and treatment of diseases that affect it. They may also treat other internal organs close to this area, such as the liver and urinary tract. Colon doctors have completed the required number of years, courses, and training in medical school. They have received certification to practice in this specific field after passing written and oral examinations. Colon doctors in Singapore must also be registered with the Singapore Medical Council (SMC) which is under the governing body of the Ministry of Health (MOH) before starting their medical practice.
Colon doctors treat numerous conditions and diseases involving the colon, rectum, pelvic floor, and anus. If you have been experiencing any discomfort in these areas, your GP may recommend that you consult with a colorectal surgeon to get an accurate diagnosis.
What to expect during your consultation
It is understandable that you may feel anxious about the changes and discomfort that your body is experiencing in the lower the digestive tract. In addition to this, you may also feel nervous about your first visit to your colon doctor. Your doctor’s consultation is something that you should worry less about. Here are some insights about what you can expect during your initial check up:
- You will undergo a general physical check up and be asked about your medical history.
Your doctor will ask questions about your personal medical history as well as your family’s medical history. To be prepared for this, you may want to check with your family members about the diseases that have been passed on or experienced by an immediate or close relative. Likewise, it is imperative that you share with your doctor about the medications that you are taking, what conditions they are for, and the dosage prescribed for taking them. If you have undergone any medical tests in the past, remember to bring the results so that your doctor may take them into account.
2. Your doctor will discuss the treatment options for your condition.
Colon doctors usually advise making changes to your diet as a first step to your treatment, especially when the symptoms that you are feeling do not indicate the presence of a serious medical condition. Your doctor may also prescribe medications that can help alleviate any discomfort that you are experiencing. It is important that you come back for a follow-up consultation even when the symptoms have been cured, so that your doctor may properly document your health progress.
3. Your doctor may ask you to take procedures to examine the condition of your lower digestive tract.
To rule out any other diseases and give a proper diagnosis, your colon doctor may ask you to undergo certain medical procedures that examine your colon and the areas connecting and surrounding it. The most common procedure done is colonoscopy.
A colonoscopy procedure is done using a long, thin flexible wire that is equipped with a light and a tiny video camera. This medical instrument is inserted through your rectum and is carefully navigated to reach as far as your colon. This procedure enables your doctor to see the condition of your lower GI tract and find abnormalities like polyps. A polyp is a lump of cells that builds up inside the colon. This unusual growth is usually harmless, but in some cases, they may develop and become colorectal cancer.
If there is any odd tissue discovered during your colonoscopy, your doctor can immediately remove and send them to a laboratory for further testing.
Conditions and diseases treated by a colon doctor
The following are the conditions and diseases generally treated by colon doctors:
- Colon cancer
- Crohn’s disease
- Fecal incontinence
- Ulcerative colitis
Colon cancer can affect any part of your lower digestive tract, such as the colon, rectum, or anus. When this happens your body’s ability to digest food and release bowel is affected. Colon cancer that is not managed and treated during its onset can spread to the other parts of the body and be fatal.
Crohn’s disease is identified as an inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). This condition produces tissue inflammation inside the digestive tract. Symptoms include:
- Blood in the stool
- Intense diarrhea
- Loss of weight
- Pain in the abdomen
Diverticulitis is a condition that occurs when pouches that are small and bulging begin to grow in the lining of the large intestine. These abnormal swellings appear when the weak parts of the colon give way when too much pressure is placed on them. Below are the symptoms of this condition:
- Chronic pain in the lower left side of the abdomen
- Diarrhea, although rare
- Tenderness in the abdominal area
Fecal incontinence happens when a person is unable to control the movement of bowel, which results to the unintentional release of stool from the rectum. Constipation, diarrhea, and damage to a muscle or nerve are the common reasons why this condition happens. Fecal incontinence may happen occasionally or, for some people, it can be chronic. The condition can be embarrassing, but do not let this be a factor to stop you from getting treatment. Fecal incontinence can be managed, therefore it is important that you see a colon doctor once you experience the following signs and symptoms:
Hemorrhoids or piles are veins located in the anus and lower rectum that have become inflamed. This condition can be very uncomfortable and painful. Hemorrhoids can be identified into three types: internal, external, and thrombosed hemorrhoids.
Ulcerative colitis is a condition that causes swelling in the large intestine as well as the rectum. This is usually a long-term condition where in the inner lining of the colon and rectum develop ulcers. Unfortunately, this condition, which is also considered as an inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), has no cure yet, but there are ways that can be done to manage it.
Gastrohealth Clinic – Dr Bhavesh Doshi | Gastroenterologist | Colonoscopy Singapore
6A Napier Rd, #03-370 Gleneagles Hospital Annexe Block, Singapore 258500
+65 6355 5773