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Published on February 24, 2020

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10 Tips to Get Through Colon Prep

The hardest thing about colonoscopy is often the prep the day before the actual screening. Here are our best tips to help you through your colon prep.

  1. Try to schedule Monday morning if possible so you can take less time off work by doing the prep on Sunday. A morning visit allows you to eat sooner in the day after the procedure.
  2. Limit your diet a few days before your prep day. A clean colon makes it easier to find and remove polyps. Several days before the procedure, limit your diet to low-fiber foods. Eliminate raw vegetables, beans, nuts and seeds.
  3. The day before your procedure you must eat a clear, liquid diet. Your provider will give you specific instructions on how to prepare. Follow these directions so you don’t have to do it again. Here are some foods to include the week before:
    • White rice, pasta, bread
    • Mashed potatoes, no skin
    • Canned fruits and veggies
    • Clear fruit juices, apple is best
    • Jell-O, avoid red, blue or purple coloring
    • Clear soft drinks
    • Coffee and tea
    • Broth
  4. Use a straw for the prescribed liquid laxative. Make sure it’s chilled to help with taste.
  5. Splitting the dose can make the prep more tolerable — take half at night and the rest in the morning. Ask your doctor what’s best for you.
  6. Mix your prep with something that has electrolytes such as a sports drink — but avoid purple or red varieties.
  7. Chew on gum or hard candies between glasses.
  8. Stay close to a bathroom and stock it with magazines, books and a fully charged tablet.
  9. Use flushable moistened baby wipes for added comfort.
  10. Apply hemorrhoid cream or diaper rash ointment before the prep to protect your skin. Reapply as often as necessary.

Remember, if you're nearing your 45th birthday – or passed it – talk to your provider about getting a colonoscopy. Learn more at

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