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Readers Respond: Most People Agree The Colonoscopy Is A Breeze -- It's The Prep That's Hard

Responses: 140


Updated February 16, 2013

Just had mine today

We had the powder mix. We did not use the packages that came with the stuff. We flavored each eight ounce cup with a half of Crystal light little tubes. It never tasted like salt water that my husband had ten years ago. He said this was a big improvement. Had our colonoscropy today. We had to drink four eight ounce cups early this morning. (I think I had some left in me before I used more). I think it was more worrying about everything. Don't plan to leave your home the day you do this. Both my husband and I had it done on the same day. We are finally getting our body back and eating real food.

Prep Time

I am scheduled for my first colonoscopy in the morning. This site was a great help to me. I am doing the Gatorade/Miralax prep. I started with 4 Dulcolax at noon followed by the drink starting at 4:00 p.m. I used the hint of eating light the week before and was running clear by 6:00 p.m.
—Guest Linda

Ducolax and miralax.

I'm 16, and I'll be having my 4th colonoscopy in 3 years. For the ducolax and miralax, I recommend putting it in the fridge as it will taste a little better. Go and splurge on the best toilet paper and wipes you can get; you'll need them. Also, get some nice reading material for the bathroom; you'll spend most the day there. Hope the best for everyone!
—Guest LynnDee

Piece of Cake

This site was a lifesaver -- I was a scared first-timer (64) but after reading these tips I was able to handle with less worry. The best tip was to start clearing your system a few days earlier by eating light and less. The Moviprep was not bad and I did it earlier in the day so as not to lose sleep. I only needed half of the prep before bowels ran clear. A DEEP thanks to all who shared the tips. I took 1 mg Ativan the night before and had no qualms or sleeplessness. Remember to start early -- both eating and prep -- and avoid needless stress. Not bad at all!
—Guest sandy

Not A Big Deal

I'm really glad I read all the tips, they helped me a lot. But I have to say my experience prepping was less hard core than most report, which I'm happy about. The hardest was feeling hungry. I ate light foods (soup for lunch/dinner) two days before, and then had Smooth Move tea too. This is a laxative tea, and so I had a big BM the morning of the prep, which I think helped clear me out. During the prep, I really didn't spend that much time in the bathroom - went about 6 or 7 times in the evening and twice during the night - and I was pretty much in and out, didn't have to hang out in the bathroom. I used Suprep. Drinking it was no party, but not so bad either. Also, I stocked up on all sorts of "treat" liquids at Whole Foods to drink during my prep - ginger tonic, fancy clear sodas, kumbucha. I made the prep with Whole Foods electrolyte water. When I had the colonscopy, the doctor said everything was clear and healthy. It felt good to prepare thoroughly & take care of my health.
—Guest Ann

So far so good

I'm getting my first colonoscopy tomorrow. My report time is 10:30. My prep instructions were to eat a light dinner last night, and my prep tonight is 238 grams of Miralax in 64 ounces of clear liquid. They recommended Gatorade, but I really can't stand it, so I took the Crystal Light option. I chose the lemonade with Truvia sweetener. The Miralax did not affect the taste or texture in any way. I had to drink half of it between 6 and 7 pm, 8 ounces every 10 - 15 minutes. I'm done that part. I have to drink the other half at the same rate 6 hours before my report time. I kept it cold, used a straw, and chugged it down. I feel water-logged, but OK. Can't speak for what happens next because it hasn't happened yet, but the Miralax prep itself is a breeze.
—Guest First Timer

Thanks for the tips!

This site really helped me, so I wanted to add what worked for me. I agree with light foods before starting the cleanse. I have a very strong gag reflex and a generally queasy stomach. I was worried about vomiting and not getting all that Gatorade mixture through my system. What worked for me was distracting myself with a really good spy novel (something I don't normally read). I got into a real page-turner and even read while drinking that stuff. It works better not super cold and with a straw, counting how many drinks you can do. Then I immediately sucked on butterscotch hard candies. Had absolutely no problems with gagging or nausea. I also chanted positive phrases to myself while getting ready to drink, especially near the end: I take care of myself...I want to be healthy...I am doing a good thing. The actual procedure was a breeze.
—Guest karen

Going From Memory

I lost my colon prep instructions so I had to go on memory, I couldnt believe the dr's website had no instructions on it. Clear liquid diet the day before. I took 2 dulcolax at 1pm, and started drinking 8oz peg at 6pm every 15 minutes for 2 hours then every 10min until I thought I was going to be sick. I ended up having what looked like pee coming out of my butt after the first 3-4 cups of prep. I was freezing cold. I woke up this morning with a tiny bit of frothy yellow diarrhea and had to go to the bathroom 3-4 times to get out more of the liquid. I just had a few sips of water last night and nothing by mouth today except to rinse my mouth out with mouthwash.
—Guest sarah

Great tips I figured out!

I'm 54 and never had one because of hemorrhoids and fear of pain. Sister's dangerous polyp finally made me get one. (I drink ACV daily so I am already regular.) To make the cleansing easier, I started cutting back earlier. Wed I ate light breakfast, good lunch, applesauce for supper. Thurs, late breakfast of pancakes (easily dijestable-no meat). At 2pm started with magnesium citrate MIXED WITH GINGER ALE since they're both bubbly. Went down easily. You will burp a lot but it's better than gagging. I'm not into gatorade but the low cal was not bad at all. Had it cold and mixed in the 1/2 bottle of miralax. No problem at all. Didn't sit on the toilet all day like I thought since I had already been cutting back. NO PROB with hemorrhoids at all; wiped with Tucks. Worse part of whole thing was drinking so much. Everything turned out well.

2nd Colonoscopy Tomorrow

Yes, the prep is much worse than the procedure, but neither are that bad. For my 1st procedure 5 years ago, I had to drink about a gallon of the nasty stuff, and stayed on the toilet all afternoon/evening. This time I'm doing the MoviPrep, and it's about half that much, so I'm happy about that.


My Dr did the Gatorade/Miralax prep. 2 Ducolax at 1pm the day before. After those go to work, drink 1/2 the Miralax/Gatorade mixture then 2 more ducolax. Finish the Miralax/Gatorade mix at 12:30am - procedure is at 6:30 am. This was not bad at all.
—Guest KC


The prep is substantially worse than the process. The prep is not fun. I recommend starting it early the night before. I did the treatment and it took about 4 hours to kick in and then it was another 2 hours off and on the toilet. Since I didn't start the treatment till about 7pm, I was up to 1am before I felt comfortable going to bed. You definetly don't want to fart as it may be a wet one. In the morning, you need to do it again and there is more poops to do. It was a 30 hours process but the actual procedere was minimal and never felt it.
—Guest Martel

Double-Check On Sedation

Thanks so much for all the tips. The prep wasn't as bad as I'd thought. My favourite tips were; take a candle into the bathroom (this is very soothing), and I rigged up a lid to go over the Magnesium Citrate and used a straw, this really helped, I also used some brilliant cream from Waitrose called Vany Bottom Butter and this stopped the soreness. I also found that taking two gulps of the mag citrate every 15 minutes followed by a few sips of water, helped (I only needed to take 200ml/twice, as I started off with 9 sena tablets at noon). I stayed relaxed and cozy all day with a hot water bottle and listened to my iPod. All was good and I managed to sleep from 11.30pm getting up only once in the night. I had my colonoscopy today, and the results were OK. Just a bit of diverticulitis and my bowel was healthy otherwise. One thing though, I would advise everyone to try to find a consultant who definitely gives sedation during the procedure. Mine was meant to but it didn't work. So make sure!
—Guest Jennifer

Having stomach room seems to help for me

My last colonoscopy was midday, and my GI had me prep the night before *and* in the early morning. For some reason, splitting the prep made it easier. The break (and sleep) in between allowed my stomach to empty, and lowered the tendency to gag. For the same reason, I also like to stop drinking as the prep time nears. Also, I agree with many here that the Miralax and Gatorade prep is much better than the GoLightly prep (or even the half dose version -- HalfLytely). Never tried the pills though.
—Guest Henry

For an easier Colonoscopy prep

I had a prep of 4 Ducolax at 1p, 1/2 8oz Miralax with 32 oz Gatorade at 4p and then the other half of Miralax with another 32 oz Gatorade at 2a. Needless to say I have been up for 22 hrs straight. I did get a little bathroom break at 10p but couldn't go to sleep. Next time I will definitely eat a soft non-fiber diet a few days before the prep. Mashed potatoes and soup sound great and I know I would be able to get some sleep for sure.
—Guest De

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Most People Agree The Colonoscopy Is A Breeze -- It's The Prep That's Hard

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