Colonoscopies and How to Prepare for Them

Colonoscopies and How to Prepare for Them
As mentioned in a previous article, "Receiving a Diagnosis of Crohn's Disease," after IBD patients meet with their physician and gastroenterologist, or GI doctor, they likely will go through a procedure or two, most likely a scope, or colonoscopy. Sometimes patients will undergo these before diagnosis and continue to receive them long after, and knowing what to expect can help first-timers or people having to prepare for colonoscopies in the future. What is a colonoscopy? Colonoscopies help not only to find and diagnose bowel diseases and internal problems for IBD patients, but they also help to check for disease or medication maintenance or progression. They help to check for blockages or bowel wall narrowing and to find current inflammation, flares, or possible remission. I have gone through four colonoscopies and two endoscopies, as sometimes more than one is needed. I actually am typing this as I prepare for my fifth colonoscopy later this afternoon, so bowel prep is fresh on my mind having drunk "the mixture" until the early hours this morning. Fasting usually is required for these scopes, with a bowel prep to drink the night before. The prep is used to help clean your insides for better viewing, and consists of an all-liquid cleanse of about 64 ounces of a thick solution. In my experience, drinking with a straw helps to avoid tasting it, and you also can add Crystal Light packets (no red colors!) to help mask the taste. During the fasting, most patients still can have Jell-O, Gatorade, and chicken soup (just the broth), and an all-liquid diet until around midnight, depending on when you start your prep and when your colonoscopy is scheduled. No red
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  1. Chris Flannery says:

    I was diagnosed back in the Mid-80’s. My first test was with a rigid sigmoid scope. Wide awake, painful and nauseous. Once I was correctly diagnosed, they went to a flexible scope. First few times, I was sedated mildly, but awake for most of the procedure. Not fun, because you could kind of feel it moving around. Then, they went to “twilight” sedation, where you woke up near the end (so to speak), but you really didn’t care. Now, with general anesthesia, they put you out and you wake up in a very noisy recovery room.

  2. Jan says:

    In the UK before a colonoscopy you are given a mild sedative to relax you but not an anaesthetic which means I was fully aware of what was going on during the 3 colonoscopies I have had. For me the worst part is the prep before hand although the first colonoscopy I had was quite painful, but apparently this is rare.

    • Mary Horsley says:

      I think they offer just a sedative but because I was so young and anxious they put me out. The only time I woke up during was traumatizing and painful since I could feel the air and tube still. No fun!

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