woman sailing across a drink on a gummy bear raft

My New Crohn’s Colonoscopy Prep Tips

For the record, I am not a fan of colonoscopies. Show me someone who says they love them and I will show you a liar! Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, I will also state on the record, that colonoscopies are necessary. As many of us know, the scope is the easy part. The hard part is the preparation leading up to the scope, also known as prep.

These days, there are a few types of prep to choose from. I personally prefer the older prep, which utilizes drinking 64oz of a clear liquid mixed with a full bottle of laxative powder. On top of the 64oz solution, you’re expected to drink a lot of other fluids throughout the day.

There is an issue. Drinking the 64oz solution, on top of the other liquids (most of which are sweet) can become nauseating.

In the past, I would supplement my day of clears with gummy bears and Jell-O and sometimes chicken broth. But I would become super nauseated by the end of the evening.

So, this time around, I wanted to do things a little different.

Coffees and soda for colonoscopy prep

In recent years, my doctors have green-lit the use of coffee and colas as part of your clears. I live off of iced coffee most days, so this didn’t feel out of the ordinary. I opted to drink coffee during this prep, and skip the cola.

Cola and lemon sodas tend to be too sweet for me when I’m drinking the prep solution. Lastly, I added single-serve packets of tart lemonade and sparkling water into my arsenal. Remember, you’re encouraged to drink a lot in between sessions of solution drinking.

Sleeping in while fasting before a colonoscopy

Most days, I unintentionally eat later in the day. It just happens. So on prep day, I opted to sleep-in to ensure this would happen. Sleeping-in really helped prevent me from feeling like I was being starved cruelly all before 11 a.m. By the time 12 p.m. rolled around, I was ready to get the show on the road.

Showered and ready for the day, I hit the road. Did you think I purchased my prep tools before prep day? Hah!

Keeping distracted and busy when unable to eat

The old Jaime was all about that life. The new, in the know, Jaime, was all about keeping busy and not dreaming of food. So, she threw herself into stores FULL OF FOOD and FOOD SMELLS in order to purchase the supplies.

It actually wasn’t all that bad, since I wasn’t awake for very long. My first stop was the local coffee shop for an iced black coffee. My second stop was to the Japanese restaurant right next door to purchase 3 clear broths and 1 miso soup. I stressed “broth only” to the restaurant owner. Next, I went and procured emergency gummy bears in the event I felt the urge later to chew something. I had Jell-O at home. I was ready!

Arriving home by 2 p.m., I had a list of things to get done.

Tips for drinking the colonoscopy prep solution

First on the list was to make the colonoscopy prep solution. I had purchased and hidden lemonade flavored sports drink from my husband. That stuff is liquid gold in this house. Once I mixed the solution in the pitcher, I put it in the fridge to chill.

Second, on my list was to catch up on my favorite reality TV show. Third, was to take a nap and ignore being hungry.

My new method for getting the prep down

At 4:45 p.m., my first alarm rang. I got up to pour the solution into the giant cup my husband gifted for this very moment. I also heated one container of broth and poured that into a 16oz insulated tumbler. This is where I tested my theory – chase the super sweet liquid with the super salty liquid.

It was 8 p.m. by the time my husband got home from work and bringing home more broth. He hadn’t eaten dinner yet. I had given him an earful the night before that I wouldn’t be making him dinner and how he was on his own. But I was feeling pretty good, so I made him dinner.

I kept the pace going by sipping on a hot cup of salty broth after chugging another round of the cold syrupy-sweet colonoscopy prep solution.

Hot broth helped with the nauseous feeling

I chewed a few gummy bears here and there. However, I relied mostly on the hot broth. The salt and warmth were comforting and totally offset the ick I felt during the last few chugging sessions. I also added in the room temperature lemonade toward the end of the chugging sessions. Truth be told, I began to grow tired of the broth after 6 or 7 hours.

By midnight I was done. I actually got to sleep a few hours this time. That's a first for me in all my years of scope prep.

I plan on doing this again for the next colonoscopy prep. The only thing I probably won’t use again is the miso. The clear broth was more palatable.

Do you have special colonoscopy prep tips? Let us know!

By providing your email address, you are agreeing to our privacy policy.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The InflammatoryBowelDisease.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

Join the conversation

Please read our rules before commenting.

Community Poll

How long has it been since you were diagnosed with UC?