Colonoscopy is a test for detecting colon and rectal cancer for those that are above 50 years old or even earlier if they have family history of rectal or colon cancer.
There are millions of people will have colonoscopy all over the world, however it has been reported that the preparations used in colonoscopy can cause acute renal injuries or chronic kidney disease or even kidney failure.
During the colonoscopy, a flexible tube will be inserted through the entire colon under the guidance of a video camera. The colonoscopic procedure itself does not cause renal damages, but the preparations used in the test can cause kidney damages and loss of kidney functions. Before the test, patients need to have bowel-cleansing preparations which have potential to cause renal damages. Preparations used in colonoscopy include oral sodium phosphates and polyethylene glycol. Sodium phosphate laxatives can cause phosphate crystal which can deposit in the kidneys and impair renal tissues and renal functions. Polyethylene glycol is safer than oral sodium phosphates, but it can also cause fluid and electrolyte imbalances especially if patients take it for long time.
Some people are at higher risk to develop kidney problems or kidney failure than others. These susceptible people include those that are above 55 years old, those that have dehydration, bowels obstruction or inflammation, colitis and those that have already had kidney problems and those that are at high risk of kidney diseases.
Therefore if you have the above mentioned conditions, it is necessary to remind the doctors and have regular test to monitor kidney functions as well as phosphorus in the blood before and after using the preparations of colonoscopy. In the early stage of renal damages and renal injuries caused by preparations of colonoscopy can be reversed with proper and effective treatments.
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