How to make colonoscopy prep easier

Colonoscopy prep is nothing to dread, and planning ahead will make your prep easier.

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Colonoscopy prep is nothing to dread. Think of it as a good cleaning out with none of the pain or ill feelings you may associate with diarrhea. Planning ahead will make your colonoscopy prep easier.

Cleaning out the colon gives your physician a better look at the inside and makes it easier to reveal any problems.

“If we see anything of concern like a polyp, we’ll take it out during the colonoscopy. But we need to be able to see it and can’t if you don’t prep thoroughly. Some polyps lie flat against the colon and can be obscured by any remaining waste,” said Ryan K. Jones, M.D., colorectal surgeon with Norton Surgical Specialists.

Colon Cancer Screenings

Norton Healthcare offers several options for colon cancer screenings, including Saturday colonoscopies.

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How to make colonoscopy prep easier

  • Adjust your diet days before your prep by eating less and choosing low-fiber foods.
  • Put the laxative prep in the refrigerator at least 24 hours ahead of time. A cold prep goes down much easier. Using a straw can help too.
  • On the day before your colonoscopy, you’ll have to stick to a liquid diet. Pick up some low-sodium broth, gelatin (no red, orange or purple), apple juice, white grape juice, black coffee.
  • Keep yourself hydrated. Electrolyte drinks may help (no red, orange or purple).
  • You’ll spend hours in the bathroom and won’t be eager to leave the house if you need anything, so prepare.
  • Get medicated or nonmedicated wet wipes. Otherwise spend a little more for good toilet paper — the kind with aloe can ease burning and itching.
  • A cool, wet washcloth or a bath can ease irritation. Consider creams or oils that can provide soothing relief.
  • Charge your phone and pick out a book or some magazines you’ve been wanting to read.
  • Read the prep instructions well in advance and be mindful of coordinating the prep with instructions from your doctor’s office.
  • After the colonoscopy, you may not be as hungry as you expected to be. Either way, start off mild and work your way back to a normal diet.

Read more: Colonoscopy prep options have gotten easier

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