11 Tips for an Easier Colonoscopy
No one wants to have a colonoscopy but sometimes they are necessary. Especially for inflammatory bowel patient. Over the years I have learned some tips and tricks that make this process easier. My trial and error has allowed me to find the best way to prep and now I’d love to pass on those tips for an easier colonoscopy. Here are 11 tips for an easier colonoscopy.
1 week out:
- Start your ‘prep’ at least a week before your colonoscopy. I don’t mean starting the bowel cleanse with laxatives and such this early, but watching what you eat. A week before you are due to go in, stop eating nuts, seeds, corn and anything that will be hard to digest. These can stick inside your colon and small bowel and make the final cleanse harder.
- Stop eating so much a week before your procedure. Try to eat less each day starting at least a week prior to the cleanse and procedure. This usually helps me not be so hungry the day of my cleanse.
3 days out:
- Make and start drinking bone broth a few days before the procedure and during the cleanse as well. Bone broth is full of minerals, vitamins and protein that can make you feel fuller and help you recover. It also has lots of collagen which has protective properties for the bowel lining to help it be stronger for the procedure and cleanse.
- Shop for everything you will need a few days prior to your cleanse day. Go to your local pharmacy and take a look at what they have that you can consume on your cleanse day. Personally, I am starving by the time I am actually cleansing and that makes it worse. I have found clear protein water at CVS that is ok to drink while cleansing and really helps my stomach not hurt with hunger pains. I have also found different kinds of coconut water that helps keep my hydrated and feeling ok.
- Stock up on supplies. You will need extra toilet paper and maybe some baby wipes. You will be wiping yourself a lot and wet sensitive skin wipes are much better than any brand of toilet paper. You will also probably want to have some diaper rash or vaseline on hand to help protect that area. This is a must have for me. Having them already on hand and in the bathroom days before eases my worry about running out of supplies during the cleanse.
- Grab a good book or movie. Pick a book or movie that will keep your mind off of things while you are prepping for your procedure. You can watch or read while in the bathroom or laying in bed. Having something that helps distract me is very useful for me.
The day before:
- Drink lots of clears. Remember that you can’t have anything red, blue or purple. These colors will dye your intestines and make it hard to see any problems in there. The day before the procedure it might feel like you are flooding your body with fluids but it is really essential. You will be losing a ton of electrolytes and fluids when you have diarrhea all night after taking all those laxatives. Fluids and electrolytes and essential to keep you from cramping up or feeling worse and getting dehydrated. Having that much diarrhea can dehydrate you fast. Get a head of it by drinking as much as you can.
The day of:
- Depending on the time of your procedure get extra rest. If possible get some extra rest the morning of your procedure. You will more than likely be exhausted from being up all night running to the bathroom so after you are cleaned out (your stool is clear or light yellow, kinda like pee) take advantage of the slow down in diarrhea and rest as much as you can. I usually have my procedure in the afternoon around 1 or 2 pm so I have a lot of time in the morning when I can really take it easy and lay around. Getting extra rest will help you recover after the procedure.
9. After the procedure take it slow. Once you are awake from the procedure and recovering you will be groggy from the sedation. You will be passing a lot of gas and you will be very hungry. The gas pains will pass. Let it out. The doctor uses the colonoscope to blow air into the intestine to open it up, this all has to come back out. Let it out, it will feel so good. The nurses will probably offer you juice and cookies or something like that. Take slow sips and small bites this will help your stomach get its juices flowing to help digest it and not add any additional gas to your gut.
10. Once you are home, just rest. You won’t be able to drive yourself home because of the sedation from the procedure and you will probably be really tired. Just listen to your body and rest.
The days after:
- In the few days after the procedure treat your gut well. Continue drinking bone broth to heal the gut and eat things that are not hard to digest. Take it slow. Your body needs time to heal and readjust to food and get back to “your normal” whatever that may be.
Colonoscopies are no fun but unfortunately they are necessary. Getting through the procedure will be easier with implementing some of these tips. I hope that some of these were helpful for you and can help ease the pain and suffering.