Constipation, meteorism and diarrhea are some of the problems related to proper functioning of the intestine. Certain painless and not necessarily invasive tests are sufficient to be able to prevent and control the appearance of these disorders.

This was discussed in an interview on Tv2000 with Dr. Federica Furfaro, member of the Operating Unit of Chronic Intestinal Inflammatory Diseases of Humanitas.


Examinations for diagnoses

There are different types of tests for controlling the intestine. You can start with routine tests such as blood tests: “for example by checking the blood count, to see if you are in the presence of anemia” – explained the doctor – or an investigation into the cyrioactive protein, which instead indicates the presence of inflammation in the walls of the intestine or even the test for celiac disease, if you are in the presence of particular symptoms such as abdominalgia, diarrhea and swelling. In this case, specific antibodies for this type of disease are sought in the blood. Analyses carried out on stools make it possible to assess the presence of inflammation in the intestine, for example in patients suffering from diarrhea. Among the non-invasive tests there are also ‘breath tests’ with which you can assess the intestinal transit or recognize certain food intolerances.

When it is necessary to investigate more thoroughly, we move on to ultrasounds or colonoscopies.

“The ultrasound is a painless examination that through the use of a particular probe allows you to see the walls and loops of the intestine, as well as recognize and see the internal organs,” explained Furfaro. “It ‘s an examination especially useful to those who have chronic diseases of the intestine to study any thickening of the intestinal walls, lymph nodes or meteorism.

Colonoscopy, on the other hand, is the most invasive of the various examinations dedicated to the control of the intestine, but it can be performed in sedation, without excessive discomfort to the patient. “It is useful for example to recognize polyps or possible lesions of the intestine,” explained Dr. Furfaro, adding that compared to a few years ago “the preparation for this examination, which was of great concern to patients, has changed: patients were asked to drink a liquid, which was mixed a laxative, in a massive dose of 4 liters. Today, however, the doses are much lower.


A balanced life for a healthy intestine

To keep your intestines healthy you should lead a healthy lifestyle and a balanced diet, low in fat and rich in fiber. The doctor also recommends drinking at least two liters of water a day and perform regular physical activity, “because even our intestines are affected by what we do during the day,” concluded Furfaro.