Most patients fear colonoscopy thinking that it is painful and postpone getting it done. It is however essential that this procedure is done to diagnose ulcerative colitis so that they can receive treatment soon.

When you are suffering from irritable bowel syndrome either in the form of ulcerative colitis or Crohn's disease, one of the most common medical tests that your physician will advice you to undergo is a colonoscopy. Many people fear just the sound of the word colonoscopy as they feel it is a painful invasive procedure, and postpone undergoing it resulting in their condition deteriorating. Getting the colonoscopy done sooner rather than later will help patients start treatment faster and reduce the possibility of surgery.

Most patients fear colonoscopy for the reason that they think it is a painful procedure. However, this is not the case. It is preparing for the colonoscopy that is difficult when you need to be evaluated to verify if you are suffering from ulcerative colitis or Crohn's disease. The colon has to be emptied out completely before the colonoscopy procedure. This means not eating any solid foods 12 hours before the procedure. In addition, a laxative is usually prescribed along with fluids that are clear, so that the colon is cleansed completely before the procedure is carried out for diagnosing irritable bowel syndrome.

The actual colonoscopy procedure for diagnosing ulcerative colitis is relatively painless. The patient is usually given a sedative to ease any discomfort felt when the tube like probe with a miniature video camera at the end is inserted into the colon. In certain cases, a pain killer may also be prescribed if the patient requires it. Most patients who have undergone the procedure agree that they felt only a mild discomfort and no pain during the procedure. The test takes only 20 minutes if the inflammation is found to be mild and there are no polyps seen that requires removal. If there are any polyps found or a tissue sample need to be collected for doing a biopsy then the procedure could take approximately 45 minutes or more.

Since undergoing colonoscopy is almost painless, patients should not fear the procedure and postpone getting it done. As with other disorders, early diagnosis of ulcerative colitis is crucial to treating it successfully and keeping it under control. Undergoing a colonoscopy can help patients get diagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome - either ulcerative colitis or Crohn's disease - and could help them receive medication sooner. Postponing the colonoscopy procedure can only lead to further complications and the possibility of surgery, this would be much more painful than the colonoscopy itself.

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