If you shiver at the idea of having a colonoscopy to look for covert colon cancer, possibilities are it’s the “prep” that’s stoking your apprehension. It’s certainly a major hassle: preparing for the procedure takes much longer — approximately 16 hours, inning accordance with one research study — than the 3 hours approximately you’ll invest at a medical center the day of your colonoscopy. However what’s most off-putting is the purgative part: taking an effective bowel-clearing substance and managing the resulting diarrhea.
Instruction How to Prepare Yourself for Colonoscopy
It’s worth the inconvenience. Colonoscopy can spot small colon cancers while they are treatable and prior to they have spread to other parts of the body. It can also identify and eliminate polyps, little developments that can develop into colon cancer. Colon and rectal cancers (known together as colorectal cancers) are the 3rd most typical type of cancer in men and in women and the second leading reason for cancer-related deaths in the United States.
Clearing the contents of the colon is a key requirement for a successful colonoscopy. If the bowel prep isn’t up to par, polyps and sores can be missed out on; the colonoscopy may take longer (increasing the risk of complications); or the entire process might have to be repeated or rescheduled, implying another round of bowel prep.
Different medical centers advise different ways to prepare the bowel for a colonoscopy. There are two parts: diet and drinking bowel-cleaning liquids. Here are a few of the primary strategies.
A few days before the colonoscopy — Start an eating a low-fiber: no whole grains, nuts, seeds, dried fruit, or raw fruits or veggies.
The day prior to the colonoscopy — Don’t eat solid foods. Instead, take in just clear liquids like clear broth or bouillon, black coffee or tea, clear juice (apple, white grape), clear soft drinks or sports beverages, Jell-O, popsicles, and so on.
The day of the colonoscopy — As on the previous day, clear liquid foods only. Don’t eat or drink anything two hours before the procedure.
Also read: What to eat after colonoscopy
The afternoon or evening before the colonoscopy, drink a liquid that will activate bowel-clearing diarrhea. The precise instructions depend upon the bowel preparation your doctor chooses, the time of your colonoscopy, and any previous experience you’ve had with colon preparations (if one didn’t work before, you’ll likely be recommended a various one).
The favored technique is known as split dosing. You take half the prep the night prior to the procedure and the other half about 6 hours prior to it. It may clean up the colon better compared to taking all the prep the day before the procedure.
You can check out some typical bowel preparations approved by the American Gastroenterological Association, American College of Gastroenterology, and American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy. Contact your clinician to discuss the one that is best for you.
Tips for a successful colonoscopy preparation
Getting ready for a colonoscopy might be uncomfortable and lengthy, but it need not be an experience. Here are some things you can do to assist it go as smoothly and easily as possible:
- Make certain you receive your colonoscopy preparation directions well before your procedure date, and read them completely as soon as you get them. This is the time to call your clinician with any concerns and to purchase the bowel prep she or he has recommended. Pick up some medicated wipes (for instance, Tucks or adult damp wipes with aloe and vitamin E) and a skin-soothing product such as Vaseline or Desitin — you’re going to be experiencing high-volume, high-velocity diarrhea.
- Arrange for the time and privacy you have to complete the preparation with as little stress as possible. Clear your schedule, and be at home on time to start your prep. If you have children or aging parents who require attention, have someone else be offered to them while you’re indisposed.
- Water can get dull, so keep a range of clear liquids on hand. On the day prior to your colonoscopy — when you’re limited to clear liquids — you can have popsicles, Jell-O, clear broth, coffee or tea (without milk or creamer), sodas, Italian ice, or Gatorade. But take nothing with red, blue, or purple color. Drink additional liquids before, during, and after your bowel preparation (generally until a few hours before your procedure), in addition to after your colonoscopy.
- To make a bad-tasting liquid preparation like magnesium citrate much easier to swallow, try one or more of the following if it doesn’t come flavored: add some Crystal Light or Kool-Aid powder (again, not red, blue, or purple); include some ginger or lime; drink it cooled; drink it through a straw placed far back on your tongue; hold your nose and drink it as quickly as possible; quickly draw on a lemon piece after you end up each glass; hold a lemon or lime under your nose while you drink; draw on a difficult candy after each glass.
- Wear loose clothing, and hug the bathroom. Better yet, once the preparation begins to work, stay in the bathroom — due to the fact that when the desire hits, it’s hard to keep back. Think about starting a business near the toilet with music, your laptop, magazines, or books.