12 Tips for Making Your Colonoscopy Preparation Smooth (and Bearable)

12 Best Tips for Making Your Colonoscopy Preparation Smooth | The Lifesciences Magazine

A colonoscopy test is basically testing of your rectum and colon. It is done to diagnose lumps, ulcers, cysts, or polyps (a lump is grown in the body). Irritated and swollen tissues can also be diagnosed in the rectum or colon. The basic colonoscopy preparation is to not have solid food a day before the test.

Colonoscopy preparation is mostly the liquid-consuming part. You have to consume a non-appealing drink. It can be diluted to enhance the taste. Drinking the liquid has no alternative. The quantity is too on the higher side. To get the test done, this step is necessary.

Here are 12 Tips for Making Your Colonoscopy Preparation Smooth:

1. Eat small and low-fiber foods:

Cut down on the quantity of food and start eating low-fiber foods some days before. Prior to your test, start the preparation in advance. Your choice of food to eat directly impacts your colonoscopy test. So it’s better to start preparing a few days prior. Lessening the meal size also helps the test to go smoothly.

2. Have the colonoscopy prep liquid:

12 Best Tips for Making Your Colonoscopy Preparation Smooth | The Lifesciences Magazine

This is the most daunting but essential task for colonoscopy preparation. Without this, the test cannot be done. A considerable amount of the colonoscopy laxative liquid has to be gulped down. This liquid can cause you to vomit and have nausea. These liquids are available in the market with enhancing flavors. Another tip is to have it cold and with a straw. This helps to have a near pleasant experience.

3. Bowel prep:

Get ready for a super-clear or exceptional diarrhea-like experience. Drinking the laxative will make you go to the loo a number of times. You wouldn’t even remember the numbers after some point in time. Your bowels need to be super clear to carry out the test. Colonoscopy preparation isn’t as easy as it seems. It may make you sit in the bathroom for longer periods of time. Keep a phone, laptop, or an entertaining device with you if you’re spending a long time in the washroom. It will help to keep you distracted.  

4. Do not fall for “running clear”:

The laxative starts showing its effect even before its half consumed. The laxative may still exist in your container while you’re already engaged in your trips to the washroom. Colonoscopy preparation often misguides people. In the sense that, bowels become super clear. It means they have turned lighter in color and have turned fully liquid. Seeing this people stop drinking the liquid which is so not cool. People stop because they’re already suffering from it and they don’t want their suffering to increase. But the catch here is this is the most critical step for colonoscopy preparation.

5. Take likable liquid treats:

12 Best Tips for Making Your Colonoscopy Preparation Smooth | The Lifesciences Magazine

As you’ve to stick to a liquid diet a day in advance, choose to drink liquids that you like. Enjoy the liquid drinking process. Drink the liquids which you always wanted to. Make colonoscopy preparation just a chance to drink other liquids which you like. Here’s a list of what you can dink:

  1. Soups
  2. Smoothies
  3. Black coffee
  4. Flavored sparkling water
  5. Gatorade (plain)
  6. White grape juice

6. What not to eat:

There are some foods which you are not allowed to eat. These are heavy to digest and will spoil your colonoscopy preparation. Here’s a list of items to not eat:

  1. Red meat
  2. Fried foods which are heavy
  3. Foods that are dark red in color
  4. Raw veggies
  5. Apple skin, peas, or corn.

7. Use soothing components:

As mentioned, you will be in the bathroom more, you may face itching near your anus. The itching and irritation will cause inflammation issues. To avoid the same, use some of the following for colonoscopy preparation:

  1. Use smoother wet wipes
  2. Soft and strong or sturdy toilet paper
  3. Coconut oil
  4. Vaseline
  5. Some butt pastes or lubes are available.

Before applying any oils, lubes or pastes ensure the surface is fully dry. Applying it on a wet surface may worsen the itching.

8. Watch your routine:

12 Best Tips for Making Your Colonoscopy Preparation Smooth | The Lifesciences Magazine

The colonoscopy preparation may take up quite some of your time. As you have to prepare days in advance your work life needs to be managed. The daily work should be kept aside or delegated. The process starts a day before the test and you are back in action after some days. You are not able to do any work when you consume the laxative liquid. Driving, office work and any other activity is also not possible. You have to be at home continuously as your bowels are upset.

9. Break up with the prep liquid:

You have to finish the liquid by hook or by crook. No questions asked. Yes, it is that simple. The quantity is substantial, we know. So nobody is forcing you to gulp it down in one go. Have it in breaks but finishing it is a must. You will have to repeat the test if you go with half-consumed liquid for the test. All efforts will go in vain. So it’s better to finish it step by step. You have full 24 hours to finish it.

10. When to do the test?

This test is mainly recommended for diagnosing the risk of colorectal cancer. It can be hereditary sometimes. If any of your family, friends, or relatives have had any cancer type related to the rectum area, or around there, at the later stage of life, it may happen to you. It is detected at the age of 50+. It shows no signs before.

11. Use easy-to-rip-off clothes:

Comfortable clothes are your best partners in these times. Clothes that are easy to rip off from the body are recommended. Tighter clothes may cause unwanted happenings which you don’t want to happen when you’re 50+. So, it is better to use loose clothes.

12. Under sedation, you’re tested:

The test is done after sedating you. You are not in your senses when the test is done. No question of discomfort or pain. You might not be aware of this fact. It’s important to know to let go of the feeling of being intimidated or feeling shy. You will gain consciousness after some time when the test is done.


As mentioned before, finishing the laxative liquid in intervals is important. Completing this test is also important to ensure no cancerous components prevail in your body. Get tested for this when you’re above 50 to 55 years of age. Follow the given instructions to avoid any problems. Doing this test is itself a task. So be relaxed and just go for it. But mind your schedule at the same time. Keep separate time for this.

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