Medical Q&As

Endoscopy - too hasty?

I have had cramps nearly daily for the last 2 months, and they usually get worse before I go to the toilet. I have passed stools up to 9 times a day sometimes. I feel weak and faint an awful lot and get full very easily. I have been to the hospital, and they are sending me for 2 camera tests, one down my throat and one \"well Iím sure you know\". I feel this is quite quick for this as there was no other preliminary test like a dye test, so I am worried that they might think there is something there and are not wasting time in waiting around.

The two camera tests you refer to are a gastroscopy and a colonoscopy. Both examinations are performed under light sedation and can be performed on an outpatient basis. The symptoms you describe have been present for a number of months and as you have indicated you can have bowel movements up to nine times a day, which must be very inconvenient for you. Dye tests, such as barium studies have been largely superseded by endoscopy and I would not regard the performance of these tests as being suggestive of a sinister cause for your symptoms. Nor would I consider the performance of these tests at this time as being hasty. Endoscopy is the investigative tool of choice when assessing gastrointestinal problems because it allows direct visualisation of the interior of the gut. Endoscopy enables the doctor to identify small polyps, ulcers or minor areas of inflammation that might otherwise be missed on x-ray studies. I agree with the course of action that is being taken.