27 Insider Tips and Tricks for Colonoscopy Prep
After watching his father struggle with and eventually pass away from colon cancer, Todd Setter, the Undy 5000 Series Director at the Colon Cancer Alliance, made it a personal goal to increase awareness about this devastating disease. And along with taking action through his work, Todd has become his own health advocate by getting regular screenings. Download Todd’s Six-Day Plan for Colonoscopy Prep here.
The Day Before
“The day before your clear liquid day and prep...eat a [large] breakfast, small lunch and tiny dinner. It will make the prep so much easier. Oh, and keep ya butt glued to the throne with an iPad, good book and cell phone. And mixing the Golytely with Orange Crystal light by the glass makes it so much more tolerable. But most importantly....DON'T BE A WIMP!!! Get the test. It saved my life. Might just be it saves yours too!” – Lynn B.
“Like someone said to me: the less you put in, the less that has to come out. ;) For supper, my husband heats up a can of chicken noodle soup and strains out the chicken and noodles. Tastes better than broth (to me).” – Glenda B.
“Best advice ever from my doc: stop eating meat at least five days before procedure, go to liquids ONLY diet at least three days before prep. You'll be so glad you did. Add double req lemon flavored Crystal Light tubs if you are using GoLyte type prep. And make sure it is really cold (you won't have to drink NEARLY as much since you have been on liquid diet longer). Easy peasy! Oh, don't forget to "write" a nice note on your tush to surprise your doc. Hilarious!” – Amy Jo E.
On Drinking the Prep
“My doctor uses a Miralax and Gatorade prep...so much easier to deal with!” – Mary O.
“Drink it cold, lemon flavor worked for me. Chase it with cold water. Let me tell you, I had chicken broth for dinner on prep night and I wanted to cut into it with a knife and fork like it was a steak. Oh, and don't start the prep then go shopping unless your shopping at a toilet bowl factory.” – Michael D.
“Don’t mix with your favorite drink flavor because you may always associate that flavor with the prep.” – Michelle B.
“Use a straw to drink any prep stuff. It goes down faster and you don't really taste it.” – Diane M.
“Stick the prepared prep in the freezer for an hour or two before you drink it. It kills a lot of the bad taste. The colder the better.” – Adam M.
“I tell all my patients that gummy bears dissolve at body temperature to a clear liquid, so they are okay to take with the prep and give you something to eat. This is my patients' favorite pointer.” – Debora M.
During the Prep
“WET TOILET PAPER/BABY WIPES. Towards the end, your bum will be pretty sore. You will be happy to have some on hand :)” – Ashley H.
“Just had another colonoscopy and used the pills again to prep. This time I had to sign a waiver saying that I understood that if you don't drink the amount of water they recommend, you could have problems during the procedure. But I drank twice the amount of water and it was difficult but not like drinking that nasty prep. I ate Jello and ice pops during the day and it wasn't bad at all. My husband passed away from colon cancer discovered at stage IV so this test is a walk in the park compared to the alternative.” – Linda C.
“Don't let anybody cook anything. You can't eat, and when you smell food, it makes you so hungry.” – Nancy M.
“Just drink the prep while on the toilet...you'll be there for a while!” – Stacie G.
“Softest toilet paper money can buy.” – Steve T.
“If you are a single parent, get someone to hang with the kids and feed them so you can fast without torture and spend the evening in the bathroom without neglecting them. :) I agree with the cold drink/Crystal Lite/straw method. And diaper rash ointment used from the get-go. I am in remission for 2 months now after LOTS of chemo, radiation, major surgery and more chemo....stage IV meta to the liver. No lie, prep sucks. But not nearly as much as "waiting for the other shoe to drop." – Michelle K.
“Just relax.” – Tommy H.
“Sip beef broth, get that taste in your mouth, then chug some prep. Repeat. Honestly it wasn't bad with the beef broth taste. My brother was recently diagnosed with stage IV colon cancer. He is doing well with chemo. I will NEVER complain about a colonoscopy. Will gladly buy the "liquid diet" items for anyone I know getting the procedure done. Broth, Jello, etc.” – Kathy W.
“I start my soft diet a couple of days earlier then recommended. I also try to schedule the procedure early on Monday morning.” – Vicki B.
“Ice, pinch my nose and lots of Preparation H.” – Melissa V.
“Baby wipes, podcasts and sleep. Also Miralax doesn't taste like anything when you mix it with yellow Gatorade... I've never had a problem drinking it, sometimes I forget and drink more too soon because I can't tell it's not plain Gatorade. And I'm a very, very picky eater (or in this case "drinker"?).” – Emma C.
“Stay very close to the bathroom. Laugh. Move fast. Be thankful.” – Gerry W.
“Laughter with a friend (whether via phone or in person) during the whole prep! Makes it so much easier!” – Trish M.
And When the Going Gets Tough, Remember…
“Don't be whiney, check your hiney.” – Sherry L
“Think about how it saves your life. It has saved mine! I have been having the test done since age 40 and get them done every 2 years and stay awake for them. I was told after the first one (4 large polyps taken off) if I had waited until I was 45, I would have not been here or it would have been too late. I am now 52 and thankful for them. They are my lifesaver!!!” – Debbie M.
“Loads of water, make sure you rest before and during and suck barley sugar lollies. And remember it’s for the greater good!! I've been clear now nearly 5 years; I was diagnosed at 39 with colorectal stage III!!” – Lisa M.
“Diaper rash ointment!! You will get pretty sore. Use it right from the beginning and you will prevent the pain! So worth it to have the procedure. Three years clear after a stage III diagnosis at age 36!” – Shannah B.
“Just do it.” – Charlene H.
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