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Galen Doctors Explain– Digestive Health with Dr. Gregory Olds



Digestive health is so important, and there may be unanswered questions you have about best practices, colonoscopies, and more. Our Specialist in Interventional Gastroenterology, Dr. Gregory Olds, is a great resource for our patients, and answers some FAQs below in his expert opinion.


Q: At what age, and how often should someone get a colonoscopy? 

A: Most people should have their first colonoscopy starting at age 50. The American Cancer Society recently recommended starting at age 45, although most insurance companies will not cover the procedure this early. Contact your insurance to see what is the age they will cover for an average risk screening colonoscopy.


Q: Is there ever a reason that a young person would need a colonoscopy?

A: Yes, there are many reasons a younger person may need  a colonoscopy. Those with a family history of colon cancer should start getting colonoscopies at age 40, or 10 years before the age of their affected relative. In addition, symptoms such as rectal bleeding or diarrhea may also require a colonoscopy for further evaluation.


Q: Why choose Galen Digestive Health to perform the Colonoscopy?

A: Galen Digestive Health is the largest gastroenterology group in Chattanooga. Galen Digestive Health is also the only group in Chattanooga that has the ability to perform colonoscopies within an office-based practice, an ambulatory surgery center and the hospital setting. Our office-based center has been surveyed and recognized for high practice standards by the ASGE, the American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy, and the AAAHC, Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care. We have also received the ASGE Endoscopy Unit Recognition Award for Excellence in Care for the last 9 years. We are currently the only facility in the Chattanooga area to have received this recognition. In addition, Galen Digestive Health continuously monitors several important quality measures of colonoscopy such as adenoma detection rate to ensure that patients are receiving the highest level of care at the time of their procedures.


Q: What lifestyle changes would you recommend to promote a healthy colon?

A: The most important lifestyle modification I could recommend would be to not smoke tobacco products.


Q: What are your personal hobbies, or passions in life?

A: I enjoy spending time with my family, reading and playing guitar.


Q: Will you be participating in #RumpRun2020?

A: Yes, I will be participating in the Rump Run. Can’t wait to represent Galen Digestive Health at such a great event.