Colonoscopy is a procedure used to find and remove all tumors and polyp that may be present in the colon. Before undergoing a colonoscopy, you need to prep for it. Colonoscopy prep helps to properly empty the colon to make it clearer so that your doctor can see inside the colon more clearly and has the best chances to find tumors and polyps that may be present.
If you are not properly prepped for a colonoscopy, you may not properly clear out your colon. Your doctor may not be able to clearly see inside your colon and there may be some tumors and polyps remaining after the procedure which may cause a need for a repeat colonoscopy. You may also be uncomfortable and find it very difficult to cope with your prep. Adequate preparation is the key to having a successful prep.
Below are some vital prep tips and tricks to properly prep for your colonoscopy procedure:
Take only liquid diets a few days and the day before to your colonoscopy procedure. Taking clear liquids helps to wash away stool from inside your colon. Liquids, especially water will also make the food in your stomach digest faster. Avoid liquids that are red or purple in color. Red or purple liquids can be mistaken for blood and it will make it difficult for your doctor to see inside your colon.
You will be limited to liquids or liquidy foods one the day before your colonoscopy. You will need to stock up on liquids and liquidy foods such as popsicles, jell-O, water, clear broth, sports drink, coffee or tea, and other clear liquids. These liquids don’t add burden to your colon cleaning and they help to clear out your colon. Call your doctor to know the exact foods that you can take and foods that you can’t take.
Doctors advise that you split your prep into two days instead of taking it all at once. Take a portion in the early hours of the evening and on the morning of the day of your colonoscopy procedure. Taking your prep this way will ensure that you clear out your colon more thoroughly. Bowel movements usually start 2-3 hours after drinking your prep.
Take your prep at a comfortable time before bed so that you can go to the toilet before bed. When you take your prep in the morning, give some hours to have your bowel movements before your colonoscopy procedure.
Your doctor will provide you with prep instructions that you should follow before your colonoscopy. Ensure you read your prep instructions thoroughly and follow the instructions given to you. Contact your doctor in case you have any questions or inquiries.
Colonoscopy preps come in a variety of forms including flavors and liquids. Prep is essentially a laxative that you need to take to make you stool frequently to clean out your colon. Work with your doctor to find the right prep that works best for you. Your doctor will review your medical history and health condition and suggest the laxatives that work best for you. Consider your health condition and other factors when choosing prep.
Most people find it easier to drink prep when it’s chilled and flavored. The taste of prep could be bad and intolerable for most people. Prep tastes worse when it’s warm; hence it is better taken when chilled. Most people find it easier to drink prep when it’s cold and flavored. Keep your prep in your refrigerator for a few hours. Mix it with water and lemon, lime, or orange flavors to make it more tolerable before drinking. Avoid mixing it with substances with red or purple colors.
You can also drink your prep with a straw to make it much easier to drink. Drinking with a straw is easier than drinking directly because it bypasses most parts of your taste bud directly into your throat. You can also drink clear liquids or take lemon or orange juice after drinking the prep to help wash off the bad taste from your mouth.
When you start drinking your prep, bowel movements can happen suddenly and you will need to visit the toilet immediately. It is advisable that you stay close to the toilet so that you can quickly access the toilet whenever you are having bowel movements. You will be spending more time in the toilet; hence it is best to make your stay in the toilet more comfortable. You can do this by having some form of entertainment in your toilet. You can take your phone with you, read a magazine, or listen to some nice songs.
When you are taking your prep, you will have bowel movements more frequently. You will have sudden urges to poop and you need to be prepared. It is advisable to wear loose-fitting, comfortable clothing that you can easily take off when you feel like visiting the toilet. This is because if you wear tightly-fitted clothes you may find it difficult to take off and you may end up pooping on yourself. Ensure you always wear loose-fitting clothes during the period of your prep.
During your prep, you are going to be pooping frequently and you will be cleaning your anus every time you stool. Your poop will be in liquid form throughout your prep period. You may feel pain in your anus if you don’t treat or clean your anus properly and nicely. Avoid using hard or harsh materials such as paper when cleaning your anus. It is advisable to use soft tissue paper, wet wipes, or water to clean your anus. Using these soft materials will help prevent or reduce anus pain and make you more comfortable after you poop.