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4 Ways to Prep for Your Colonoscopy Prep


I’ve had many colonoscopies so far as a Crohn’s patient and I will have many more in my lifetime. While it’s never a fun or easy process, colon prep is one of the unavoidable things that goes hand in hand with monitoring the disease.

Prep, for those who don’t know, is the process of completely emptying your bowels. This process is essential so no matter how uncomfortable it is, you just have to get it done. And it’s important to do it correctly, because if the bowel prep is very poor, the doctor might make you come back again! According to research, the detection rate of colon lesions through colonoscopy is affected by the quality of bowel preparation. Inadequate bowel prep could lead to an increased risk of the doctor missing things that he/she should be aware of, that could affect diagnosis. Poor bowel prep can also lead to increased patient discomfort, higher risk of complications and prolonged procedure time, according to another study.

Beyond the standard prep “dos” that you might get from your doctor, or you can view on WebMD, here are a few things beyond flushable wet-wipes and diaper cream that I’ve found over the years that make the prep process easier:

1. Clean the bathroom floor just in case you want to make yourself a nest. Put your nesting materials in the bathroom: a pillow in a plastic protector, with a pillowcase on top, fleece blankets for padding and covers. This is all lightweight enough to wash in a regular washer just in case there is an unfortunate incident.

2. If your prep calls for Gatorade, get a flavor you don’t hate – but don’t get one you love, unless you really never want to drink it again. I forever associate “glacier freeze” with prep.

3. Some people say that having the prep mixture well chilled makes it go down easier. I think it’s fine warm, it gets thicker if you let it set, so I like to stir mine up right before I need to drink it.

4. Drink water. After every glass of prep, drink a glass of water. You’ll be peeing a lot, but a few hours before your procedure you won’t be able to take anything by mouth. Staying hydrated is important.

You might not start going right away, but trust me, it will start. When it does, you might not be able to get a lot of rest.

After you start the prep, let me leave you with this advice – never trust a fart.

Getty Image by Jummie