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12-04-2012, 10:43 AM   #1
SarahBear
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Colonoscopy Prep Tips



Suggestions:
  • There are multiple different preps - if you have done one that was hard on your stomach or difficult to get down, try requesting another
  • Using a straw, holding your nose, and drinking the prep extremely cold all help lessen the bad taste
  • If possible, eat light for a day or two before the prep - or try juicing for a few meals
  • Stay close to your bathroom - do everything you'll need to do the day before or in the morning before you start your prep
  • Keep a book, magazine, laptop computer, etc. in the bathroom to entertain yourself
  • Wear pants with a stretchy, elastic waistband (easier to take off quickly)
  • Baby wipes may soothe your skin better than normal toilet paper
  • Hydrocortisone cream or aloe lotion can relieve the discomfort and rash from frequent BMs and wiping
  • Try a heating pad or hot bath to alleviate any stomach pains (medicines are typically not allowed during a prep, and would most likely go through you too quickly to help anyway)
  • Drink a lot of water to keep hydrated and help flush out your system

Allowed Foods & Drinks:
  • Gatorade (no red flavor) - usually drank with the Miralax prep
  • Coffee (with no cream)
  • Chicken broth (contains more nutrients and helps you feel less hungry)
  • Jell-o (lemon or lime flavors)
  • Hard candies (no red or purple)
  • Ginger ale (helps soothe stomach pain and nausea)
  • Tea (ginger or peppermint tea might also help soothe pain and nausea)
  • Popsicles (no red or purple)
  • Apple juice / other clear juices
Prep instructions should specify no red foods or liquids and some also ask that you avoid purple dyes (and possibly other colors) as well. If you're not sure whether or not something is allowed, give your doctor's office a call. Put the instructions you receive from your doctor's office before anything you read here.


Dehydration may occur during a colonoscopy prep. Signs of dehydration include:
  • Dry / sticky feeling in mouth
  • Increased thirst
  • Fever
  • Dark yellow urine; infrequent or no urination
  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness / lightheadedness
  • Dry skin
  • Headache
  • Increased heart rate / heart palpitations
  • Lack of tears / sweat
  • Nausea / vomiting
To minimize the risk of dehydration, drink plenty of fluids. Water and Gatorade are best for this. If you experience symptoms of dehydration, seek immediate medical attention.

Feel free to add your own tips; I'll edit them into this post!
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Last edited by SarahBear; 06-07-2013 at 09:45 AM.
12-04-2012, 10:56 AM   #2
David
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This is wonderful Sarah, thank you so much for doing this! I've stickied the thread as I think many will benefit.

To others out there, please respond to the thread with your own tips as Sarah is happy to edit them in
12-04-2012, 11:35 AM   #3
PVail
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This is really useful, wish i had seen this before . Especially backing off the food from a couple of days before, I have found this to be much on the mind as well as the body . Its not such a panic and rush then. Basically you feel in more control.
Thanks Sarah good post

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12-04-2012, 12:22 PM   #4
CrohnsChicago
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Great post sarahbear!

I would like to add a few things as well:

water, water, water water and water! lol

Ginger tea (for those who can't handle the carbonation of ginger ale)

Sometimes big gulps while pinching your nose helps when drinking the prep, you get it over with faster.

hydrocortosone cream to ease any discomfort/rash feeling from your bum after relieving yourself and wiping constantly.

juicing one or two of your meals for a few days prior to the prep would probably help clear out your system a little better as well.
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12-04-2012, 12:37 PM   #5
SarahBear
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Thanks, everyone! Chicago, I'll edit yours in now!
12-04-2012, 02:34 PM   #6
Cat-a-Tonic
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Nice thread! Just one thought from me, you might want to add in signs of dehydration - it seems that us IBD'ers are more prone to dehydration, and doing prep can sometimes cause severe dehydration. Personally I've done prep twice and have gotten severely dehydrated both times and had to go get IV fluids. I would have gone in sooner the first time had I known the signs of dehydration better. I didn't go in for fluids until my vision went blurry and my hands & feet went numb - it was scary!
12-04-2012, 04:44 PM   #7
SarahBear
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I'll add that in as soon as I get a chance!
12-13-2012, 01:28 PM   #8
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This is SO helpful - but just FYI, my prep paperwork said no red OR purple Gatorade, Jello, etc. Not just the red.

I actually have an iron infusion the day before my colonoscopy 12/28 - I may ask the doctor to add in a bag of saline to the script. I'll already have the IV in my arm...might as well make use of it!
12-15-2012, 12:01 PM   #9
Dukeis
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Great post! Useful information for those who are new to this whole prep thing. I like the first thing about asking for a different prep. Don't be afraid to ask for something different you are the one that has to drink the stuff and if you can't get down what good is it.
12-15-2012, 01:43 PM   #10
acheallova
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Very useful info Sarah! Great idea. I think you got it all covered, but i would say the aloe lotion ( alone or hydricortisone) soothes a little better. My pre prep also said no blue, orange, red or purple. If you he the gallon to drink, a lot add kool aid for masking the uck. Again, light meals to clear liquid before are great- mine listed one egg, or piece of toast, bullion with saltines ok and lots of fluids.
thanks! -hugs-
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12-15-2012, 02:11 PM   #11
SarahBear
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Thanks, everyone!
12-15-2012, 05:10 PM   #12
kh216
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For me, this was the easiest prep:
Two nights before the procedure, take two Dulcolax tablets.
The day before the prep, no solid foods, nothing with red, orange, purple, brown dyes. I would mostly drink chicken broth, tea and a juice with no dye. ( Last prep, I was able to find white cranberry juice to drink. If I can't find it next time, I will drink white grape juice) During late afternoon, I would mix a container of Miralax with 64 ounces of Lemon-Lime Gatorade and drink 8 ounces every 15-20 minutes until the 64 ounces was gone. I only tasted the Gatorade, so the taste was not bad.
12-15-2012, 05:32 PM   #13
SarahBear
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kh216, I've used white cranberry peach juice. You might want to try that, too.
12-15-2012, 09:18 PM   #14
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thank you Sarah that helps me alot
having prep tomorrow and colonoscopy monday and nerves about it
thank you again
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12-16-2012, 09:38 PM   #15
scoutfinch
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Just chiming in to say that the Miralax prep is by far the "best" and I would recommend you ask your doctor if that prep might work for you. Yes, you still need to drink an ocean of liquid, but taste-wise it is not unpleasant (as opposed to preps like Moviprep or Suprep that taste salty-lemony and make you want to vomit).

Also, with Miralax, you can mix it with liquids other than Gatorade for variety (although Gatorade is recommended since it contains electrolytes.) For my last colonscopy, I mixed Miralax with 4 cups of orange Gatorade, 2 cups of apple juice and 2 cups of white grape juice. The Miralax imparted no other taste to the liquids and the variety kept me from feeling nauseated by one taste. Plus, I only needed to drink 6 cups before I started running clear. Though I did continue to drink water afterward to ensure a clean colon.

* Coming back to add that with the Miralax prep, you need to take 4 Dulcolax stool-softening pills a few hours prior to starting the prep. They're very small pills though and go down easy.
02-08-2013, 06:00 PM   #16
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wish i had seen this last week before my first colonoscopy, it was vile, first liter wasnt cold and took ages to go down, i chilled the secont liter and put some ice in it and oranfe cordial and it went down no bother, i took the ice out jst before i drank it!
02-08-2013, 06:34 PM   #17
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Thanks for the tips! I had my 3rd colonoscopy a week ago and this prep was the worst I've ever had. It was Supraprep and the Dr's office said it was gentle. I didn't have any problem getting it down and the taste was not to bad it was the "getting to the going" that was awful. I had severe cramping for almost 4 hours before I finally went. It was so painful. My husband said it reminded him of when I was in labor. I felt better once I started evacuating but even that was never ending, I had to sleep on a towel! It also was not covered by my insurance... Bought $80 dollars worth of misery
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03-12-2013, 01:06 PM   #18
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I want to chime in about one of the newer preps, that I recently used. It is called Prepopik in the United States, in Canada it goes by a different name. If you cannot tolerate the taste or volume of the other preps, this one may be perfect for you. Depending on your insurance, the cost may not be feasable for some. I drank a split dose of Prepopik (5 oz at a time), followed by a certain amount of water. It tastes like orange soda and Capri Sun. I would regularly drink it for the flavor if it didn't have the laxative effect, the taste was pretty good to be honest. (Almost Cactus Cooler type taste.... Best soda ever!). For me, it started working in fifteen minutes. I hope this may help others who cannot stand the other preps.

Thank you for this thread, the vaseline tip saved me from discomfort!
03-12-2013, 01:47 PM   #19
SarahBear
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Thanks, shelikescats! Can you give us an idea of the cost?
03-12-2013, 06:58 PM   #20
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With my insurance (Cigna) I paid $50. I have heard others that have paid $80 + dollars. Just depends on your deductible, insurance, etc.
03-12-2013, 06:59 PM   #21
SarahBear
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With my insurance (Cigna) I paid $50. I have heard others that have paid $80 + dollars. Just depends on your deductible, insurance, etc.
Thank you! Even a rough idea is helpful. I looked it up and couldn't find anything.
03-12-2013, 07:16 PM   #22
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I've been given so many tips as to how I should drink the laxative...my favorite is "Best chilled" Yes because that will make all the difference in the world. BUT actually it isn't too far from the truth. I find that by sucking on an ice cube for a couple minutes immediately before drinking the laxative it helps with that salty aftertaste.
06-18-2013, 12:43 PM   #23
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Colonoscopy tomorrow I am glad I found this list. I also was given the prepopik as prep and if you google it I found a $10 coupon at prepopik.com It was new at my drug store the pharmacist hadn't given it out before.

I've been having colonoscopies for over 30 years and I hope this prep is better than what I've had in the past.
06-18-2013, 08:06 PM   #24
kh216
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During my prep day, I enjoyed another liquid. It is Gatorade's new Frost Flavor. It has no dye in it, looks clear and tastes like cherry. Anyway, I am glad that my colonscopy is done and over with.
06-20-2013, 10:30 PM   #25
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LOL I tried the frost flavor too. It was great.

I must say this was the easiest colonoscopy I've ever had.
06-21-2013, 03:33 PM   #26
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GREAT TIPS! You may have to ask for Prepopik specifically. Seems like not everyone knows about it. It sounds like I might be a test case for this doc.

It costs about $100 if not covered by insurance in our area (Oregon). I had to push insurance to look it up because they had not heard of it and they found it on the list.

If your insurance doesn't cover it ask the doc if they have any samples. My doc did, but my insurance covers it so I left the sample for people who can't afford it.
06-21-2013, 08:20 PM   #27
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I too had the clear frost gatorade. It was still nasty, but could have been worse. Just had my first colonoscopy this past Tuesday. Yuck.
06-21-2013, 10:39 PM   #28
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The lemonade flavor was great! I didn't have any trouble getting it down last time.
06-23-2013, 08:28 AM   #29
David
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Gatorade should stop spending millions on celebrity sports endorsements and instead put Crohnies on their commercials. "I survived 5 hours on the toilet prepping for my colonoscopy thanks to Frost gatorade."

Hmm. I probably shouldn't go into marketing.
06-23-2013, 08:33 AM   #30
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HAH Thanks for the David. I agree, it's a great idea...Would be nice if their spend that money on Crohn's research instead.
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