Skip to Content
Alert Icon Due to inclement weather, some clinics and facilities are closed. View a list of clinic and facility closures.

Published on March 23, 2017

toilet bowl and toilet paper roll

Get Your Colon Prep On: 10 Tips to Get Through It

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.

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.

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.

Some possible items for the week before:

  • White rice, pasta, bread
  • Mashed potatoes, no skins
  • 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

The day before the 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.

  • Use a straw for the prescribed liquid laxative. Make sure it’s chilled to help with taste.
  • 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.
  • Mix your prep with something that has electrolytes such as a sports drink — but avoid purple or red varieties.
  • Chew on gum or hard candies between glasses.
  • Stay close to a bathroom and stock it with magazines, books and a fully charged tablet.
  • Use flushable moistened baby wipes for added comfort.
  • Apply hemorrhoid cream or diaper rash ointment before the prep to protect your skin. Reapply as often as necessary.

Subscribe to our

wellness e-newsletter

Live Better. Live Balanced. Avera.

Avera is a health ministry rooted in the Gospel. Our mission is to make a positive impact in the lives and health of persons and communities by providing quality services guided by Christian values.

© 2020 Avera, Sioux Falls, SD. All Rights Reserved.