Crohn's Disease Blog: AWESOME LIFE OF CROHNSBOY
Monday, September 21, 2009
FROM JINI PATEL- COLONOSCOPY DANGERS
COLONOSCOPY DANGERS – What You Need To Know
JINI on September-8-09
The next time your doctor suggests you have another colonoscopy done, first take the time to really weigh up the risks versus the possible benefits. Did you know it is impossible to sterilize a colonoscope? Don’t be surprised if even your doctor doesn’t know this. I’ve provided a download link for this full report (below) that you can print out and take in to your doctor – with all the research (from peer-reviewed medical publications) outlined.
So, let’s get started. First of all, this report is going to outline only the most prevalent risks that are present with every colonoscopy. I’m not going to get into rare risks here, like intestinal perforation, just those that may occur through routine procedures.
Regarding possible benefits, the first question you should ask yourself and your doctor is: Will the results of this colonoscopy change the course of treatment? Certainly, there are serious occasions where the best course of action is to have the colonoscopy. But, if your doctor is primarily recommending a colonoscopy as an information-gathering procedure, or as liability protection, then it’s not going to benefit you too much. It may, however, cause a lot of damage and that’s what this report is going to help you assess.
Here’s how a colonoscopy procedure works: First, you have to self-administer a ‘bowel preparation’ procedure. This consists of substances that cause you to completely clear out your bowel and leave the walls of your colon squeaky clean so the fiber optic camera can get a good picture of what’s happening with your mucosal lining and intestinal wall. Understandably, causing a complete clear out of everything from your bowels (usually over a one to three day period) is not pleasant, usually toxic and sometimes painful and traumatic.
Colonoscopies Destroy Bacterial Flora
But the really damaging thing about this kind of a colon cleansing is that it pretty much destroys your bacterial flora and balance of microorganisms in your colon. The average colon contains 3 – 4 pounds of bacteria. If you’re healthy, most of that consists of good, healthy bacteria. So the colonoscopy prep procedure has just stripped your colon of its good, protective bacteria. And guess what? Your colon is now wide open to secondary, or opportunistic infection by pathogenic bacteria, yeast, viruses, parasites, etc.
Into this now highly vulnerable colon, the doctor then inserts a colonoscope. This is a long tube that closely resembles a garden hose with a fiber optic camera on the end of it. But here’s what most people (including your own doctor) don’t know about colonoscopes: It’s impossible to properly or completely sterilize them.
Colonoscopes & Endoscopes Cannot Be Sterilized
It was actually Natasha Trenev (the founder of Natren probiotics) who first alerted me to this whole issue. We were on a TV show together when she told a story of how the Mayo Clinic had sent out letters to all its patients who’d had a colonoscopy – warning them that due to the inability to sterilize the apparatus, the patient might have been exposed to Hepatitis, AIDS, etc. I was aghast. Could this really be true? I began researching mainstream medical and scientific journals for evidence and I’m sure you’ll be as horrified as I was at the results.
But before we get into the technical medical jargon, let’s take a look at this newspaper article from the LA Times, where the reporter covered this exact issue:
UNSTERILE DEVICES PROMPT WARNINGS; Use of dirty endoscopes in colon and throat exams can pass along infections, activists say
- By John M. Glionna. The Los Angeles Times. Feb 13, 2003. pg. B.1
The nation’s leading manufacturer of endoscopes has known for a decade that some scopes contain cavities inaccessible to cleaning by hand but has failed to fix the oversight, said David Lewis, a University of Georgia research microbiologist who has conducted research for the federal Environmental Protection Agency on the issue of dirty endoscopes.
There is wide consensus that it is difficult to sterilize the devices, which can cost $28,000 each, without using temperatures so high that the scopes themselves become damaged. The scopes have numerous cavities that are difficult to clean, even by hand, critics say.
Acknowledged Timothy Ulatowski, an FDA official who oversees endoscope compliance: “When these things were designed, cleaning and sterilization was obviously an afterthought.”
Even the government can’t agree on how long is needed to clean the devices. The FDA says endoscopes should be disinfected for 45 minutes to kill tuberculosis bacteria, but the Centers for Disease Control believes the job can be done in 20 minutes, Lewis says.
He and other microbiologists advocate sterile disposable parts for endoscopes as well as the use of a condom-like sheath for each new patient. But they say manufacturers and health-care providers have resisted such solutions because of added costs.
Lewis says Olympus, which provides 70% of endoscopes on the U.S. market, has long been aware of cleaning problems associated with its product. In a patent filed in 1993, he says, the company wrote that at times “satisfactory cleaning cannot be achieved.”
You can read this newspaper article in full at:
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