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How Can I Make the Prep for a Colonoscopy Easier?

About a day before a colonoscopy, you will have to drink a very unappealing solution commonly called colon prep. The solution works by evacuating everything from the small intestine to the lower large intestine, called the colon, the National Digestive Disease Information Clearinghouse says. After colon prep, the digestive tract will be free of obstruction so a doctor can view the tissues for abnormalities. The colon prep is often described as oily, sweet, tangy, salt and bitter all in one gulp.

Drink the solution quickly. Ingest the first part of the colon prep, typically made of magnesium citrate. Pour the 10-oz. container over ice and drink it over the course of several minutes.

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Apply an ointment made of vitamin A and vitamin D to sore and irritated tissues of the anus following the frequent bowel movements.

Wipe with personal hygiene cloths, such as baby wipes or the adult version, instead of using regular toilet tissue. If you are using toilet tissue, select the softest kind. You can also use a warm wash cloth to cleanse the bottom instead of harsh paper.

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Apply an over-the-counter hemorrhoid cream if hemorrhoids become inflamed or appear from the frequent loose stools. Use hemorrhoid pads made with witch hazel to cleanse the bottom and reduce the discomfort of the hemorrhoids.

Chill the second solution, called PEG lavage solution, before drinking it, Three Rivers Endoscopy Center suggests. This solution is much harder to swallow than the first.

Drink the PEG solution with a straw. Place the tip of the straw as far back on the tongue as possible to reduce the amount of solution that crosses your taste buds. Drink the glasses of the solution as quickly as possible.

Pour 1 oz. or 2 oz. portions of the PEG solution into a shooter glass. This method is especially helpful for individuals who are experiencing nausea and vomiting while trying to finish the solution. Shoot the solution straight back into the throat by holding the glass to your lips, opening your mouth wide and tilting your head back quickly. The solution will go straight down your throat. It may be helpful to practice with a few shooters of water.


Do not add anything to the prep solutions to make them easier to take. Nothing you try will mask the taste and it may prolong the loose stools.