Tips for an Easier Colonoscopy


Last updated July. 02, 2018


Everyone considered at risk of colon cancer is expected to have a colonoscopy procedure at least once every ten years from the age of 50 years.

For some individuals who are considered to be at a greater risk of the problem, it is recommended that they have their initial colonoscopy at the age of 45 years and follow it up subsequently every 8 years.

Though colon cancer rarely shows early signs, colonoscopy is also essential when an individual notices signs that can be connected to it.

Such signs as a sudden change in bowel habit and blood in the stool should be reported to a gastroenterologist or any available medical practitioner who is in a good position to recommend the next step to take.

Considering how important colonoscopy is for anyone at risk of colon cancer (everyone that is 50 and above and some others considered at risk), it is essential to feel more relaxed about the idea of the procedure.

In fact, it is important to start getting serious about scheduling an appointment.

Colonoscopy should not be a scary procedure at all. It can be a lot easier if you have a positive approach to the idea.

Here, we are going to consider some really important tips that can help you to have an easier colonoscopy experience. The tips will cover every step along the way including pre-appointment periods.


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Tips For Scheduling An Appointment

You will need an appointment with a gastroenterologist before your colonoscopy procedure is scheduled. Here are some helpful tips for this appointment.


1. Do Not Stress

Colon cancer is a dreadful problem, but there is no point being all stressed up about it. You really need to take it easy when you talk about it. It will even be great if you learn to laugh about the topic.

You need a colonoscopy to prevent cancer, so don’t act as if you are dead already. Chances are you will come out of the process with a clean bill of health.


2. Remind Yourself it is Only Once in a Decade

It is recommended that you have colonoscopy screening just once in every ten years. You can use this knowledge to keep yourself relaxed and calm about the process.

It will only take a few minutes and you will live another decade before thinking about it again.


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Tips for Planning the Colonoscopy Procedure

From the time your procedure is scheduled, there are few things you can do to pave way for a hitch-free procedure.


1. Take to Low-Fibre Diet

From about a week before the colonoscopy procedure, you need to start getting ready. A low-fibre diet will be the best option at this time.

Stock-up on such food as rice, pasta, potatoes, white bread and other white-coloured foods.


2. Eliminate High Fibre Foods

While you take to low-fibre food, also make conscious effort to cut down on high-fibre food like beans, vegetables, nuts and seeds. This change of diet should start at least five days before the procedure.


3. Do not Resent the Prep

Normally, you will be instructed by your doctor to take Miralax, a low-volume tasteless prep.

This helps to make the process easier and more successful, so do not dread it. You can also work with your doctor to choose the right prep for you.


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Tips for Preparing the Prep Mixture

As you must have noticed from this article, the prep is an important element in the colonoscopy procedure, so you need to get it right when it comes to preparing it.


1. Stick to the Instruction

It is important that you stick to the instruction so as to get the right mixture that will do the job. A deliberate or inadvertent deviation from the instruction can result in rescheduling the procedure.


2. Don’t Use Water as the Mixer

Clearwater may seem like the best mixer for the prep but you definitely need some sugar and electrolytes in your system, making water inappropriate for the best result.


3. Don’t Use Your Favourite Drink as a Mixer

Some can advise that you use your favourite drink to mix the prep so as to make it easier to drink. There's some juice that has fibre. Ask your doctor what you can use to mix and obey every bit of the instruction.


4. Let the Prep Mixture be Lightly Chilled

Due to the nature of the prep mixture, you may be tempted to get it ice-cold but this may not be the best option for you as drinking too much of such cold liquid can make you sick. It will be better if the mixture is lightly chilled.


5. Avoid Using a Mixer that is Red or Purple

Red or purple can look like blood in the colon and confuse your doctor during the procedure. Avoid these colours while choosing your mixer for the prep.

Also, avoid drinking any liquid or eating popsicles that have this colours about 24 hours before the procedure.


Tips for Taking the Colonoscopy Prep

Getting the right mixture is just half of the journey. You need to drink it the right way to get the required result. Here are some great tips to do it right.


1. Take Your Time

There is no need to rush the prep. You may feel ill during the process. Take your time, but make sure you drink the right quantity recommended by the doctor.

2. Do Something Between the Glasses

To help you gulp the right quantity of the prep you can either chew gum or suck on hard candy between glasses.

3. Do Something About Hunger and Dehydration

The sugar and electrolyte in your prep may not be enough to combat your hunger and dehydration so you can try some popsicles, JELLO, or chicken broth. Ask your doctor what is allowed and do just what he/she says.


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Tips For The Actual Screening

As you go in for the actual colonoscopy, you need to be in the right frame of mind.

1. You Don't Require too Many Work Leaves

Colonoscopy is a serious medical exam and the result can have a great impact on your life, but it is not a major procedure that will make you take two days off.

There are individuals that can work half-day or even full-day the day before the procedure and start their prep the night before the scheduled procedure.


Carry Something to Read

During your time at the hospital or clinic, a good read can help you stay busy and less concerned about the environment.

Being occupied with a good book will take your mind away from the procedure. A humorous material can ease your stress.


Don’t be Nervous

The procedure is not painful. It is hardly uncomfortable, even. You will be administered a sedative that will take away any pain and can even cause you to forget some aspects of the procedure.

It is a preventive procedure that is potentially life-saving, so do not panic about it or the result.


After The Screening

Even after the screening, there are some few more things you are expected to do for your own benefit.

Depending on the result of your screening, your doctor will make some recommendations. It is essential that you listen to your healthcare provider.

Normally, you will return to your normal diet. The doctor may also ask you to make some dietary modifications. Follow the advice of your doctor and do everything necessary to stay healthy.



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