How To: Make Colonoscopy Prep Easier

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2017-07-23

Colonoscopies, the step-child of procedures that no one really wants to discuss or talk about or even get. The one where the prep is far worse than the actual procedure itself. The one where you have to drink some real nasty prep or drink a few litres of fluid. That procedure.

One of the procedures that are actually incredibly important for someone to get in their lifetime. It helps doctors to see, up close and personally, what’s going on in your lower intestines. A pill cam might be able to zoop right through, but you can’t get the same kind of look without doing a colonoscopy.

Getting one as a young Celiac definitely gets comments from your surgery staff. “You’re so young!” said the nurse right before I went to sleep. It’s not my first or will be my last rodeo, folks. It also doesn’t have to be hard!

Since I failed my first prep horrendously, my husband and I looked around for tips and tricks for making the rescheduled exam easier. Here are my tips after the cut.


Modify your Diet *days* beforehand

You’ll want to follow a low-residue/low-fiber diet a few days before your colonoscopy. This means that you’ll be leaving less residue in your colon when you finally get scoped, and your provider can more clearly see the colon.

I found this also made it easier for the liquid prep in general.

The nice part is that you won’t exactly be hangry (hungry+angry) because you can still have breads, white rice, some fruits and veg as well as meat. Only what exactly you can eat is restricted, but nowhere nearly as bad as a full liquid diet.

Sources: Mayo Clinic, MoviPrep, GroupHealth [diet list]

Inquire about Laxatives

This was also another really big help to getting the process started. Some colon preps are literally Dulcolax and Miralax together, while others might give a laxative with another type of colon prep. This worked extremely well, maybe a little too well: make sure that you’re close to the bathroom or you risk an accident once you’ve taken the laxative.

Drink with Broth

Chicken broth was my saving grace with the huge jug of salt water tasting prep. My previous prep was more like syrup and hard to get down, leading to an unsuccessful prep. The next time around I asked for the big salt water tasting one since I saw advice from others that this is a good method.

It really is a great way of spending the night. No sarcasm intended.

Make the prep, put in the fridge, but then heat up 3-to-1 prep with the unsalted no fat chicken broth. This makes the drink incredibly tolerable and more easy to drink in the time frame that you have. Once I had finished the bowl, I mixed more together, heated it up and went back to the bathroom for another round of fun.

Save some shows to binge

When you’re in the bathroom getting everything out of your system, you’ll want something to take your mind off of it all. Find something that’ll really take your attention away. I found that comedy shows and some social documentaries (thanks BBC!) really did the trick for the looooong night.

Be prepared with snacks for afterwards

Bring something that you can eat and that you like as a reward for going through it! If you’re a Celiac, this is especially important as they’re unlikely to have safe food options for when you wake up from anesthesia.

Although these steps aren’t exactly fool proof, they’re definitely helpful to having a better experience and being less likely to need a redo. Hope yours goes well as well reader! 🙂

Image credit: Jules’ Bone Broth on Flickr

2 Comments

  1. My grandpa is likely going to need a colonoscopy soon as part of his treatment, so thanks for the helpful tips on how to get ready. I like your point about following a low-residue/low-fiber diet for a few days beforehand. Hopefully this will help with the liquid prep like you said.

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