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What Is the Easiest Colonoscopy Prep To Tolerate?

Colorectal cancers are becoming more and more prevalent throughout the United States. Colonoscopy screening is recommended for all adults between 45 and 75 to help detect colon cancers early. Many people decline or postpone colon cancer screening due to fear of the colon prep required for the procedure, and a common question people have is what is the easiest colonoscopy prep to tolerate.

The truth is, what works best for colon prep can vary from person to person. Many factors can influence a person’s ability to tolerate a colonoscopy prep, including taste preferences, medical history, and tolerance to certain ingredients. Insurance coverage is often a factor as well, as your plan may only provide coverage for certain prep types. Here are a few of the most commonly used bowel preps for colonoscopies and things to consider before taking them.

Polyethylene Glycol (PEG) Solutions: PEG solutions are among the most commonly prescribed colonoscopy preps. They work by causing diarrhea, which clears stool from the colon. Although the taste of these solutions may be unpleasant for some people, many people find them much more tolerable when mixed with a flavor packet or when chilled.

Low-Volume PEG Preps: Newer formulations of PEG solutions, called low-volume PEG preps, require drinking a much smaller amount of liquid compared to traditional PEG solutions. These preps are more tolerable to some as they require less fluid. They are usually combined with a clear liquid and consumed over several hours.

Suflave: Suflav is a combination of sodium sulfate, potassium sulfate, and magnesium sulfate. It comes in a kit with two bottles to be mixed with water and consumed over several hours. Some find the taste unpleasant, but it is often more tolerable than some of the older PEG solutions used for colonoscopy prep.

Tablet Preps: Tablet preps involve taking a lot of tablets along with a lot of clear liquids to cleanse the colon. While tablet preps eliminate the need to drink large volumes of medicated liquid, some people find it difficult to swallow the tablets and to be disciplined enough to drink the necessary amount of clear liquid.

What Does a Colon Prep Involve

Typically, colonoscopy preparation involves changing your diet 2 or 3 days before your procedure. Your doctor will instruct you to avoid certain foods that are difficult to digest and increase your intake of clear liquids.

You will be asked to take your chosen form of colon prep the day before your procedure. You can anticipate experiencing continuous bowel movements for several hours until your stool runs clear in color. It is important to stay close to the bathroom during your colonoscopy prep and drink plenty of clear liquids to stay hydrated.

Find the Easiest Prep to Tolerate

It is entirely normal to have concerns about your colonoscopy preparation, especially if it is your first colonoscopy. Speak with a doctor to learn what colonoscopy preparation will be best for you and how to minimize your discomfort to get the most out of your colonoscopy. While some preps may seem like the easiest prep to tolerate, your insurance may not cover them, or they may not be as effective for you. Partnering with your doctor is the first step in determining the best prep for you.

If you’re 45 or older – don’t delay any longer! Schedule your colonoscopy appointment today!

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