5 Ways to Make Your Colonoscopy Prep Easier

5 Ways to Make Your Colonoscopy Prep Easier

Although it’s not likely to make anyone’s favorite things list, a screening colonoscopy is crucial for detecting and preventing colorectal cancer, one of the leading causes of cancer-related deaths in the United States.

For many people, the most dreaded part of preparing for a colonoscopy is the cleansing process beforehand, which involves clearing your colon of any residue.

Dr. Prem Chattoo and his team at Hudson River Gastroenterology in NYC make every effort to ensure you’re as comfortable as possible before, during, and after a colonoscopy. Check their team tips for making the prep process more manageable.

5 ways to make colonoscopy prep easier   

While colonoscopy prep may not be the most pleasant experience, it's a necessary step in ensuring the success of the procedure and maintaining your colorectal health. The colon must be empty to offer the best view. Unfortunately, it takes a couple of days to make that happen.

Try these five suggestions for making the prep easier:

1. Follow instructions diligently

The team at Hudson River Gastroenterology provides colonoscopy prep instructions when you schedule the procedure. These typically include dietary restrictions, the type and timing of laxatives or bowel-clearing solutions to take, and guidelines for staying hydrated.

Deviating from these instructions can compromise the effectiveness of the prep and may require rescheduling the procedure, causing unnecessary delays and inconvenience.

Specific instructions can vary according to the prep kit used and your overall health. Generally, however, you can expect a low-fiber diet for two to three days before the study and a clear liquid diet the day before the exam.

Following dietary guidelines on the days leading up to the study can help prevent gas, bloating, and other uncomfortable effects when consuming the laxative included with your prep kit.

Depending on the type prescribed, you may take the laxative the night before your procedure or both the night before and the morning of the colonoscopy.   

2. Stay hydrated

Drinking plenty of clear fluids during your prep is essential for staying hydrated and aiding in the flushing process. Water, clear broths, herbal tea, and sports drinks without red or purple dye are good options. Red and purple dye can resemble blood in the intestines.

3. Use flavor enhancers

The taste of bowel-prep solutions can be unpleasant for many people. To make the experience more tolerable, consider using flavor enhancers as recommended by our team.

This may include adding lemon juice, ginger, or flavored powders to the prep solution. Some patients find that drinking the solution cold through a straw and quickly following it with a clear liquid helps minimize the taste.

4. Stay busy

Keeping your mind occupied during the prep process can make the time pass more quickly and distract you from discomfort or inconvenience. Plan low-energy activities you enjoy.

Engaging in relaxation techniques like deep breathing or meditation can also help reduce anxiety and promote a sense of calm.

5. Prepare comfort items

Stay near the bathroom once you’ve taken the laxative. Make your prep experience more comfortable by gathering essential items beforehand.

Stock up on soft toilet paper, moist wipes, and soothing creams or ointments to alleviate any irritation or discomfort from frequent bowel movements. Wear loose, comfortable clothing, and have a supply of magazines, books, or electronic devices within reach of the toilet to keep yourself entertained.

Remember, while colonoscopy prep can be challenging, it's essential for a successful procedure and accurate results.

Schedule a visit with Dr. Prem Chattoo at Hudson River Gastroenterology today. Call the office or request an appointment online.

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