No matter which preparation you and your doctor choose for your colonoscopy, you are bound to spend a lot of time in the bathroom getting your colon squeaky clean. It's unpleasant to be sure, so it's important to do what you can to make the prep easier on yourself. In between bathroom trips you might read a favorite book, watch a good movie, give yourself a pedicure, or take a nap. How do you make yourself more comfortable during a colonoscopy prep? Share Your Tips
Ensure Clear to Help with Hunger
- Ensure Clear has 180 cals and 9 grams of protein. It doesn't taste great, but it takes the edge off the hunger.
- —Guest s2kreno
If you don't get sedated
- If you're a 1st timer like me and you opt to NOT get sedated (many do including me - I was the 7th in a row to opt to not get sedated on the day I went) you should know the following: A. you don't need to get an IV, and B. It can hurt like freaking HELL! - but only for a minute or two the moment the oncologist performing the procedure blows air into your colon to stretch it out prior to viewing. Here's how much it CAN hurt if the air is introduced too quickly: I have had ALL my fillings replaced, most without local anesthetic - so if getting your teeth drilled-out causes cold sweat, a low groan in your throat and you need to take a timeout during the drilling well, there is no such thing when the doc inflates your colon like a beach ball using a mechanic's compressor. Tell the doctor before you get that probe inserted that the air must go in gently. Not every colon is the same in volume and nor in sensitivity. Upside? You're up and out right after.
- —Guest guest Guy 1
Loving the MiraLax Prep!
- Tomorrow is my 3rd colonoscopy. For the other two I used the discontinued sodium phosphate and could hardly get it down. Today I'm drinking the MiraLax and lemon-lime G2 and it's amazing. There is NO taste difference with the MiraLax. I will do this in the future, thanks to everyone for the tips. Having some chicken broth has kept my hunger in check. Also, my husband read someone's tip about filling the gel caps with the powder from his 4 litre SOLN bottle of prep and that's what he used yesterday for had his procedure today. The nurse said his prep was good but he did not tell them what he used. He only has 1/2 colon so used only 1/2 of the prep and it seemed fine. We filled 300 small capsules that we had here at home and it was time consuming but better than drinking the prep he was prescribed.
- —Guest Dina
Colonoscopy at the age of 27 years
- My doctor (Hepotologist) has performed colonoscopy yesterday.As many has mentioned the preparation is worser as i had to take 2 ltrs of 'prepared water' which tasted worser and salty (we have mixed I-COLON powder) I had vomitings few times while consuming the syrup (started at early morning 6AM) but somehow managed to drink most of it.And within 2 hours of times, i started having loose motions (i.e., by 8AM), remember your stool color must change from Yellow to white and that will happen only during the 6/7th time. once i was confident my colon is clear i went to the hospital for the test, you will not have pain but extreme discomfort as air would be pumped inside. I was not given medicine which will make me unconsicous and hence was able to see the screen, they figured small ulcers in most of the parts and doctor has collected flesh from 3 different areas (they gave a special device to collect flesh from colon (may be 5-8 grams each) and this is what we called biopsy.
- —Guest Sagar
Not Bad At All
- Wanted to add on since today was my first. Miralax not too bad at all. Used gatorade and it really did not change taste. After hour or so went about 6 or 7 times but by no means was I on toilet all night. Had to second dose in early morning due to early appt. Actually went as much from that as the first one but still not terrible. Hard part not eating all day but lots of fluids help. Pretty big chicken about needles but IV went pretty smooth and once sedative hits you are out. NO discomfort no memory of it happening. Ended up with no polyps so very happy. I am 59 and put this off too long but was lucky but for anyone else out there who is not a hospital lover and putting it off Just Do IT. It really is worth it and piece of mind. Test is a breeze and prep is not all that bad either.
- —Guest paul
The Biscodyl Almost Killed Me
- I've had two successful colonoscopies over the past 20 years; but this last one had a different prep. The others with the bottle of mag citrate and then the Golytely could have been done at work. But, this last one called for taking 4 tabs of biscodyl and then start the 64oz gatorate/miralax mix. About half way through the miralax drinks the biscodyl started to work. I went into shock and lay on the bathroom floor unattended while everyone else slept. After an hour I felt better and continued the drink. Then the vomiting started. Well, with that the prep ground to a halt. I called the gastroenterology center and cancelled my appointment. I called them and told them about my experience and no one really cared. They stuck to the story that the prep was the prep and that was that. Thanks to the good folks who shared, maybe I'll be a little more creative with my "prep" and get my cancer-preventing colonoscopy my way.
- —Guest Virginia Simpson
Chicken Broth wil do the trick
- Tommorow will be my first Colonscopy and everyone who had it done says the worst part is the prep. I mentally prepared myself to think the worst since they say you might vomit at the second glass. I prepared the solution in the morning and placed it in the refrig. About 3pm I started with my first glass of 8oz. Drinking it cold, you don't really taste the sea water as described, but after the second glass I was feeling a bit nausea. I quickly took 3 sips of chicken broth and the nausea went away. I did this through the whole prep. Another trick, if you feel nausea in the beginning it's also b/c the solution is sitting in your stomach until you release your bowel, so don't drink it in 20 mins until you go to the bathroom the first time. Once you feel empty then continue to drink the next chilled 8oz glass with the chicken broth right after it. THIS REALLY HELPED ME and it wasn't so bad after all. Good luck everyone who is on the same path.
- —Guest Zulema
Had to repeat
- MD gave no instructions except to drink golytely afternoon before. It wasn't adequate. Now I prep with stool softeners and light diet for 3 days, dulcolax and miralax and enema day before. This better be enough!
- —Guest RN
Some more thoughts on Miralax/Dulcolax
- Just finished my 4th colonoscopy. Goody. The Miralax/Dulcolax prep is really the best, especially for the 'aftermath'. As others have mentioned, the hard part is drinking 8 cups of liquid. Here's what I learned. First, you don't have to do it with Gatorade. You can use Vitamin Water, water with electrolytes that places like Whole Foods sell, Pedialyte - just anything with electrolytes, etc. The electrolyte water would be good as you could flavor it yourself with Crystal Lite or whatever - adding as much or little flavor as you like - probably less as you progress through the 64 ounces. Put it in a nice glass, with ice, maybe a spritz of lemon or lime and SIP through a straw. I started out thinking I needed to gulp it down. Not helpful. The Miramax tastes of NOTHING so there's no reason to rush. I did hit a wall when I thought I couldn't possibly drink more. This will pass. I did get chills for a bit. This, too shall pass! Just try not to take it personally!
- I drink the Halflytely for my prep and chose the pineapple flavor packet, not too bad after all. I sucked on a lemon before each glass and after, that seem to help get it down a little easier. I had imagined it to be a lot worse than it was. I have to admit I was glad when the solution was all gone. If I ever have to do it again I will feel more relaxed about it.
Get past the taste of the Bi-Peglyte
- I prepare the two sachets of Peglyte powder with 1200ml of water on the morning I need to take it. Then stick it in the fridge. Half an hour before I have to start drinking it, I put 600ml of the cold Peglyte into the blender with enough ice to make 1000ml. Add a few drops of Mira flavouring and process until smooth. I use a straw, and I find this much less obnoxious than drinking the straight solution. Good luck to all!
- —Guest Alanna
- The worst part of the whole process is the anticipation. I'm a 43 year old female, just finished 1st colonoscopy this morning. I did the 4 dulcolax at noon, miralax/Gatorade combo from 2-4. A lot of liquid to consume quickly, taking the Gatorade out if the fridge 2 hours before drinking it really helped- not warmn but not brain freeze cold either. Nothing happened until 3:45. Then just literally sat on the toilet for the next three hours reading, iPad, resting my head on a pillow (I used one of those rolling lap desk carts so I could prop items and lean forward/change position, also put pillows under my feet for comfort). Frequency decreased, good nights sleep, few more trips in am, test at 8:30am, slept through the whole thing due to the very effective sedative. No cramps/nausea/pain from prep to test, just weak and tired. Glad it's done!
- —Guest Lisa
After 11 Colonoscopies...
- ...this will be my 12th as I have severe Crohn's disease. What's my secret? GEL CAPS. Every time I have a bowel prep I buy quick-dissolve empty gelatin capsules (you can find them at vitamin stores) and fill them with the Miralax powder, as it makes me gag and vomit no matter HOW slow I drink. It may take a couple hours to fill the caps but then I can take them on prep day, no bad taste! And they don't appear on the scope at ALL as they are clear gelatin.
- —Guest Kate
Miralax and Gatorade
- Being a 20 yr survivor of colon cancer, I have used all of the preps. Golytely, pills and now the Gatorade which is by far the easiest! There are many options. The pills are hard on the kidneys.
- —Guest Pat
Can't keep it down
- This is my 3rd colonoscopy and, for me, it is still very much a struggle for me to get through the prep period. I often find myself unable to drink the solution necessary without throwing it up or gagging. I have found that if you mix the solution (this time I have Bi-Peglyte) with apple juice it takes away from the flavour. Using a straw makes it go down faster as well. It also helps (if you are gagging after the glass full) to have some warm chicken broth at the ready. I find it soothes the stomach and makes it easier to keep down. Every little tip helps.
- —Guest JingerJo