Your Guide to a Stress-Free Colonoscopy
Most people don’t look forward to things like a colonoscopy, but contrary to popular belief, prepping for a colonoscopy does not have to be a time filled with anxiety or fear.
Your Doctor Is Your #1 Resource
First and foremost, talk to your gastroenterologist about what to expect before, during, and after your procedure. Being aware of what’s to come can give you a better sense of security and ease your mind about your colonoscopy.
Ask about your choices of prep solutions and how to use them to ensure that you are completely ready to go before your procedure.
Eliminate Certain Foods Several Days Beforehand
Begin to eliminate fiber from your diet several days prior to the colonoscopy. In addition, stop eating grains, nuts, seeds, dried fruit, and all raw vegetables.
Eat Lighter Meals
A few days before your final colonoscopy prep day, try switching up your normal meal schedule. It is best to eat a hearty breakfast, a light lunch, and a tiny dinner before undergoing a colonoscopy. This will make prep day a little less uncomfortable.
Choose Your Prep Solution and Decide How You Will Take It
The doctor may give you a choice of a prescription solution or one that is just an over-the-counter product like Miralax.
You may have the option of doing a split dose regimen. In this case, you take half the prep at night, and the other half 5 – 6 hours before the colonscopy.
You can add a sugar free and low calorie powder like Crystal Light to mix with the prep solution, which will help enhance its flavor. Chill this mixture before consumption to help it go down more easily.
Prepare Your Liquid Diet
Stock up on clear liquids like broth, strained chicken soup, Gatorade, and jello ahead of prep day. Avoid red food coloring and be sure to drink lots of water to stay hydrated. You will need it as the prep solution does its work.
Take a Break
Whatever you do, please avoid going to school or work on colonoscopy prep day. The last thing you need is to to be running (and we do mean running) to the bathroom every half hour or more.
It is advised to spend the day in the privacy of your own home where you will be most comfortable.
Diversion and More Diversion
Find humorous and clever ways to take your mind off your your circumstances on prep day. It can be done.
Pick out some movies to watch or a great book to read. Engaging in any activities you enjoy will help pass the time and calm your nerves. Invite a friend over, or keep your significant other nearby to provide some extra support or distraction.
Get Baby Wipes
Yes, not kidding. Your derriere will thank you.
Find Solace in Knowing the Worst Is Over
The colonoscopy is pain free and a “breeze” compared to the prep.
Since the American Cancer Society declares that colon cancer is the second leading cause of death among U.S. men, and the third leading cause in women, doing everything to cleanse the colon prior to the colonoscopy is of utmost importance to its success.