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Why Should You Prep for a Colonoscopy?

The American Cancer Society[1] recommends that individuals with an average risk for colon cancer begin regular screenings around age 45.

One of the most commonly utilized colon-cancer screenings is a colonoscopy.

Colonoscopies are often dreaded by patients because of the required preparation which involves consuming a “bowel cleansing agent” which clears your colon in a few hours.  When your colon is empty, doctors have a better view of your colon and can more easily detect polyps or tumors.

The texture and flavor of bowel cleansing substances have come a long way over the years.

Below are some tips to make your next colonoscopy-preparation more tolerable:

  1. Flavors: Many patients report that if they suck on a lemon slice immediately after taking a sip of the liquid, the flavor is more pleasant. Also, sucking on a clear menthol cough drop may also improve the taste.
  2. Chill the Liquid: The preparation liquid may be more palatable if it’s cold.
  3. Use a Straw: Drinking the liquid with a straw placed far back on your tongue and holding your nose can reduce the distasteful flavor and help you consume the substance quickly.
  4. Eat Gummy Bears: Gummy bears are dissolvable at body temperature, so they can be eaten with the preparation liquid (but avoid the red ones). This can help to balance-out the flavor.
  5. Clear Your Schedule: It’s estimated that the entire preparation phase can take up to 16 hours, so clear your schedule and stay close to home.
  6. Medicated Wipes: Since you may be experiencing painful diarrhea, pick up some Tuck’s Medicated Wipes which can help to soothe any irritation.

For more information, check out the following articles:

https://www.health.harvard.edu/diseases-and-conditions/preparing-for-a-colonoscopy
https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/colonoscopy-procedure/colon-rectal-cancer-screening

If you think you need a colonoscopy, contact Sensenbrenner Primary Care to see if you are due and get a referral!


[1] https://www.cancer.org/cancer/colon-rectal-cancer/detection-diagnosis-staging/acs-recommendations.html