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How Do I Prepare for a Gastroenterology Test?

Gastroenterology is the field of medicine responsible for diagnosing and treating digestive system disorders. Gastroenterologists perform several types of tests to diagnose you and plan your treatment. Some of these tests require preparation, so follow all instructions carefully. 

What is a Gastroenterology Test?

A gastroenterology test is a method specialists use to determine what is happening in your digestive system. These tests are vital for developing an effective treatment plan. Some gastroenterology tests, like X-rays, are non-invasive, while others use a scope to view the inside of your upper or lower digestive tract. Your gastroenterologist will explain any tests in detail while discussing your treatment plan. 

Gastroenterology Tucson

How Do I Prepare for a Gastroenterology Test?

Preparation for a gastroenterology test depends on the type of test. Some tests require no preparation, while others require 24 hours or more

Many people are familiar with colonoscopies since they are used for cancer screenings as well as diagnosis. Preparation for this test requires drinking a solution that cleanses your colon. This process can take up to 24 hours. Your GI doctor will often ask you to fast before a procedure, such as an endoscopy or some scans. Fasting allows food to move out of the upper digestive system so it does not obstruct scanners. 

Some scans may require a solution you drink or have injected. These solutions let the scanners see your digestive systems more clearly. Your gastrointestinal specialist will explain the purpose of each scan and what you can expect. 

What Conditions are Diagnosed With a Gastroenterology Test?

If you see a doctor about problems with your digestive system, you will often be referred to a gastroenterologist. These GI doctors will usually order tests ranging from blood tests to endoscopies to diagnose your condition and plan your treatment. Conditions diagnosed this way include:

    • Cancers of the digestive system
    • Polyps
    • Diverticulitis
    • Ulcers
    • Crohn’s disease
    • Celiac disease
    • Irritable Bowel Syndrome
    • Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease
    • Ulcerative colitis

In some cases, one blood test or scan will allow your gastroenterologist to diagnose your condition. In other cases, especially complex or chronic conditions, you may need several types of tests to help your doctor develop a treatment plan. 


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Is There Any Recovery After a Gastroenterology Test?

Most gastroenterology tests do not require any recovery time. Blood tests and non-invasive scans are much more common than more invasive procedures. If you have an endoscopy or colonoscopy, you may feel bloated or uncomfortable for a few hours to a few days.


*Individual Results May Vary


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Do you have questions about gastroenterology tests? Reach out to Cochise Oncology at (520) 231-6231 or fill out the consultation form on this page.

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