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

Responses: 63


Updated February 16, 2013

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?

My personal colonoscopy prep

I did 4 days of liquids. The 1st day I did protein shakes followed by 3 days of clear liquids. Each day I took Miralax in a drink 1-2 times then before I went to bed I took 4 dulcolax pills. At 5:30pm the day before my colonoscopy I had a colon hydrotherapy done to make sure I was cleaned out. I went home and contined on clear liquids. My test was early the following morning. Everything went well! I wanted to get the word out for this prep because so many people can't tolerate the Osmo Prep or liquid preps and many scheduled colonoscopies are cancelled. This prep was very easy and so much better than drinking the nasty preps. Yes my stomach did feel empty at times but I drank a variety of liquids including hot chicken broth (try LB Jameson's chicken broth paste...it's very yummy). Most people wouldn't have to do 4 days of liquids or 4 dulcolax at night but I have expreme constipation so it was required. Hope this will help someone.
—Guest Nana7

thank you to all :)

My biggest thank you to all of you, for all your responses, for the time that you gave to write them. They helped me tremendously to get through this preparation, without them it would be much harder and more painful. Because of my kidney problems i could not use any of this drinking solution, had to use Dulcolax pills and go on the liquid diet for two days. I think this also helped when clearing in the bathroom, so your advises to stay for a few days before on light diet helped a lot. The whole procedure looked like this; 2 pills of Dulcolax at 4pm of the first day of liquid diet, then the next day still on liquid diet, 4 pills of Dulcolax at 6 pm and Fleet enema at 10pm, if the test is in the morning. Since mine was scheduled for 2pm, the last day was modified in the way that I took 4 pills at 8pm and then enema at 6am the day of the test, so by 11 am I was ready. Also your tip to use baby wipes tissue and A&D ointment prevent entirely the discomfort and soreness from happening.

Best "butt" cream

Calmoseptine is great, very soothing and a fantastic moisture barrier protectant. Hard to find, I buy online at drugstore.com. I've found this great for any age babies to elderly for incontinence or diarrhea.
—Guest Margaret (RN)

Stay warm!

I found that drinking 9 glasses of Golytly right out of the fridge gave me the chills. So I let the prep warm up slightly, turned up the heat and put on my fleece. After the procedure I was pleased to find out that there were no polyps and am happy for the peace of mind.
—Guest Pamela

Miralax not too bad

After reading this board, I was thrilled that I was given the Miralax/Gatorade prep. It really was much like others had said. I started at 5 p.m. drinking the Miralax with blue Powerade (which I may never drink again). The drink was not bad, but I don't drink much liquid so it was just tough to drink so much. Ended up throwing a good bit of it up at about 7:30. Continued going to the bathroom on and off all through the night. Drank magnesium citrate at 5 am for 9 am appt. THAT is best cold and through a straw and I kept sucking on butterscotch candy and rubbing it on my lips b/c that drink was nasty. Continued going to the bathroom until appt. Was scared they wouldn't do procedure, but they did and thank goodness, 'cause they'd never get me back there. Procedure included biopsies, but don't remember anything and felt pretty much normal about 3 hours after eating largest breakfast ever! Glad it's over, but Miralax prep was not too bad.

Upcoming colonoscopy

I am glad I found this site. Was totally freaking out about my first colonoscopy and now feel bad after reading how others have had multiples. Feeling better knowing my Dr. has me on the Miralax/Gatorade prep. Ate mostly rice and noodle soup and will do the same tomorrow before starting prep. Thanks everyone for sharing.
—Guest jenny r

Not As Bad As Feared

For two days before the prep I was a nervous wreck dreading the prepping, mostly having to drink something nasty. I did the Dulcolax Miramax prep and it was EASY! I mean the Miramax had NO taste whatsoever. That was a HUGE load off my psyche. I didn't use Gatorade, because I hate the taste of Gatorade. I used lemonade. I had no cramping. My suggestion would be to start your light/white diet a couple days before the prep to ensure quick evacuation. Would do it again...if I had to.
—Guest Mary

Doctor's Prescribing Habits

Didn't want to have to drink a gallon of something. I have a hard time drinking that much of something that tastes good even. I had asked about doing the pills but the doctor said he doesn't do them anymore because people don't drink the amount of liquid they should and it can result in kidney failure. Just wanted to pass that information along. I detest having these tests!
—Guest Debbie Do

Osmoprep Pills Worked Great!

Had my first colonoscopy today, and it wasn't nearly as bad as I anticipated. I took 4 pills every 15 mins. with 8 oz. of clear liquid for 5x the day prior to the procedure, beginning at 12:15pm. Varied the liquids from water to warm Jell-O (before it set) to tea. Had chicken broth for a late lunch. Started to kick in around 1:30pm. Then at 4:30pm I took the remaining 12 pills in 15 min. increments (4 each time). Really got busy after that, but was all cleaned out by early evening. Mild stomach cramping, but other than that, no adverse effects. I drank extra liquids too, and I think that helps keep the headaches away -- that and a bit of protein that you get in the broth. Scheduled for an 8am colonoscopy, and took no additional pills other than the osmoprep, with excellent results. Don't postpone because you dread the prep -- it's a bit inconvenient, but not dreadful (at least not with the pills), and far outweighs any negatives of not getting it done.
—Guest Sailor

Colonoscopy Prep Tips

Today is my prep and this is my first colonoscopy. I'm 23 and I was extremly nervous at first. Reading all of your tips really gave me comfort! I asked my GI for the Miralax/Gatorade prep but he did not like it. So he gave me the Suprep prep. I read up on it last night and I was a little nervous, but I have to say it's really not bad at all! I'm a big baby when it come to doing these types of things and am always afraid of vomiting. I just started the first bottle, but the taste isn't horrible. It tastes like grape but it has a salty taste also. But you're left with the grape taste. You can chase it with any clear liquid. I chose decarbonated Sprite. I also tried lemon lime Gatorade, but the Sprite does better. I'm also taking it pretty slow. If you can gulp that's great! If you're like me, sips thru a straw is great. I'll check back when its complete, but I have to say i'm relieved that its not as bad as some people had said. I hope this helps someone else out there like me.
—Guest MeShell

How To Enjoy The Beverage

Make it a party. Get out your best Waterford wine glass for the prep. Trick your mind into thinking this is a good thing because catching a problem is a good thing.
—Guest RL

Second Colonoscopy

Took golytely just like before, but this prep was surprisingly hard. I thought since I had done this before it would be easier. The difference was this time I let the drink get too cold. I could not gulp it down quickly like I wanted because I got brain freeze! Had to stop and sip hot water. It took forever. Plus I think my stomach cramped up from the cold shock, as I was much more nauseous this time, and now I'm sitting here shivering to death waiting for everything to finish. I'm military, so didn't think to ask about other prep options. I would still probably pick this method, though. My advice is eat lightly 2 days prior, mix with cold water but don't refrigerate, use lemon flavor, drink slowly but don't stop drinking until you get to the bottom of each glass, and...read these other tips! I wish I had seen them before I started. They are a real help.
—Guest Patricia

Tips I Give Patients

I work for 2 gastroenterologists in Moline, IL. I go over preps with patients every day and use the Miralax-Bisacodyl tablets with Gatorade most often. The doctors have had a 99.9% success rate as far as patients being cleaned out very well. Great tips are having wet wipes to use, possibly using vaseline around the area to keep moist, have books, phone, etc. in restroom because you will be spending some time there. Also for those of you that are diabetic, you can use Crystal Lite instead of Gatorade. Nice warm broth tastes good when you are on a liquid diet. I would freeze and eat any juice without pulp too. (It doesn't have dye in it.) Do not freeze for more than a couple of hours though, then it may be too frozen to eat. Slushy consistency is good! Colonoscopies are not like they used to be. It is worth the effort for your health isnt it?

4 lax tablets/238g Miralax/64oz Powerade

Surprisingly constipated for first three hours of regimen. E-mailed a friend and said it wasn't working. Then...it did. Took a while, but those flood gates opened, surely and frequently. This is my 2nd time doing prep/colonoscopy and the last time they gave me the phosphosoda which they don't use anymore. Either way, I have no horror stories. Pretty conventional. Hard part is drinking so much since I'm not a thirsty person. My biggest recommendation is to use those medicated wipes. They're the secret weapon.
—Guest Jeremy

I've Done Them All!

I have done them all! The pills, the gallon of go lightly, the citrate, and the dulcolax and miralax. I have to say the miralax with Gatorade is the easiest! My daughter has been doing it since she was 3 1/2 and is now 14. I have been doing it since I was 17, now 46. If she can do it....we all can! Mine is even worse, I have a rectal/vaginal fistula and the prepping is quite unbearable. I have used all the tips plus! Still no way out of it. I just pray and say it beats the alternative.
—Guest Sheryl
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