GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) - Asking those tough medical questions can be hard, but not knowing the answers to those questions may be even more reason to feel uneasy. We took it upon ourselves to ask some of the hardest questions for you and Doctor Randall Meisner, a gastroenterologist with the Spectrum Health Medical Group shared some answers. The top five questions that they most often get asked are:
1) I see probiotics in the store and all my friends are using them? Do they help?
Answer: Probiotics help restore the bacteria in your digestive system. They're usually helpful and won't harm you. They are helpful in cases where your digestion is upset, such as after travel or after taking antibiotic medicines.
Negatives: They can be costly, can make you bloated, and can be dangerous if you are undergoing treatments that suppress your immune system.
4) Why do I need all that preparation for a colonoscopy?
Answer: The more extensive the preparation, the more the doctors can help. It makes it easier to find the small or flat polyps that could develop into colon cancer.
12) I don't want to get a colonoscopy because it's going to hurt. How bad is it?
Answer: Sedation is given for the operation. A vast majority of patients are quite comfortable during the procedure.
3) What are colon polyps and how can I prevent them? How often do you find them?
Answer: Colon polyps are growths of tissue that extend from the colon wall. Some are cancerous, some are not. There isn't too much that can be done to prevent them, but it helps to refrain from smoking and excessive drinking along with maintaining a healthy diet.
5) I see colon cleansing done all the time and it seems healthy and you can lose weight! Is this a good option?
Answer: No, it's not very healthy. Colon cleansing has been known to cause digestive upset, dehydration, electrolyte issues, and even created punctures in the digestive system.
Randall Meisner, MD
Spectrum Health Medical Group
4100 Lake Drive SE Suite 205, Grand Rapids
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