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Old 07-23-2012, 05:43 PM   #1
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Survived my Colonoscopy the Low Carb Way

I had my colonoscopy today. First, I can't tell you how much I was dreading this, but it turned out not to be too bad. My dad died of colon cancer and I am over 50, so it was past time. I didn't expect them to find anything, but I'm still pleased to know things look good.

They drove me nuts with FOUR phone calls about my "diabetes" before the day. I don't have diabetes, but I do take Metformin for PCOS and they just could not seem to get that. They were well-meaning, reminding me not to take the Metformin on the day of the procedure, but by the fourth reminder I blew up at the caller because if anyone who does take Met is dumb enough to take it on an empty stomach, well . . .

There was a simple two day prep. One day was a full liquid diet and fats were fine. I kept myself comfortable and satsified with plenty of coconut and butter added to my liquids. I made a batch of homemade low carb ice cream so I enjoyed ice cream for lunch (yum!) Breakfast was a protein smoothie and a cup of coffee loaded with coconut milk. I also made a big pot full of chicken bone broth, and I sipped cups of that cold since the weather was hot. I finished off Saturday with a nice big glass of kefir--keeping my gut full of probiotics.

Yesterday was challenging, since I could only have clear liquids. I didn't have my morning cup of coffee because I don't like it without cream. Instead I had tea (with some coconut oil, probably not OK, but I did it anyway). I sipped broth all day and teas. The directions suggested jello, popsicles, sodas and that sugar was important, but I was concerned that sugary stuff would cause my blood sugar to spike and drop, so I stayed away from sugar.

Yesterday afternoon I had a killer headache. I think it was from lack of caffiene, because my blood sugar stayed int he 80's and 90's the whole time. I kept hydrating and taking tylenol. I got really hungry in the afternoon, but once I started drinking the Miralax I got a bit nauseaus and it stopped my hunger--I actually felt a little better with the nausea.

The directions were to put the Miralax in Gatorade, but I didn't want that sugary stuff. I bought "Electrolyte Water" at WF. The Miralax was tasteless and not too bad at all to drink--even 32 oz at a time.

The cleanout wasn't too bad. I think the side effects from Metformin are 10 times worse than any cramping and diarrhea I experienced with this regimen. Overall it was fairly gentle, but effective.

And the procedure was fine. The brand new outpatient surgery center has all the bells and whistles. They put you in a gown that attaches to a little blower for warm or cold air so you can be a comfortable temperature. I vaguely remember a momemntary discomfort, but mostly I was comfortable, warm, and it was over quickly.

I think staying low carb during the prep of this procedure greatly improved my comfort. I have a feeling that if I drank all the sugary lliquids I would have been miserable from hypoglycemia. Instead I felt pretty good throughout. I'm very glad this is done, and I won't dread it so much next time. I kept a good eye on my blood sugar and it never fell below 82.

If you've been putting this unpleasant task off, I'm here to say it wasn't too bad, and I think being low carb is very helpful.
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Old 07-23-2012, 05:48 PM   #2
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Thanks, your report was very helpful! I think I'm coming due for this, and I printed out your message to help me get through the prep. I'm glad it wasn't too bad for you, and good for you for having this done.
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Old 07-23-2012, 05:58 PM   #3
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I can't figure out why they would have told you sugar or sugary liquids.

At age 69 I've been through my share of these procedures, but they just say clear liquids the day before.. clear being something that you can read a newspaper through if it were to slop onto that paper. But I've never had anyone make one mention of sugary anything. Just do the tea, broth, jello thing.. sugar free jello is fine.. just not red.
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Old 07-23-2012, 06:50 PM   #4
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I just posted a question about this on the Atkins Induction thread. It's amazing what the difference is in doctors. I was told I had to drink the sugared Gatorade/Powerade unless I was diabetic. I've already bought it, but maybe I could do the sugar free instead? Also - the receptionist I talked to said the notion of not drinking anything red, purple, or orange is false - I could drink any color. Also jello. I'm going to see if I can find some sugar-free popsicles in my small town grocery. Thanks for posting this
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Old 07-23-2012, 07:04 PM   #5
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The instructions actually said "please don't skimp on sugary beverages because you need the calories". Elsewhere, it tells diabetics to "avoid sugary beverages".

I'm just trying to imagine what kind of monster I would have been on the blood sugar roller coaster. Instead, my blood sugar stayed in a narrow and excellent range..
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Old 07-23-2012, 07:16 PM   #6
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I don't have any trouble with my blood sugar, so do you think I'll be okay with the sugary stuff?
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Old 07-23-2012, 07:17 PM   #7
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Wow girl! That's an awesome report and instructions! I will be having my first one this year. *Gulp* and will look forward to following in your footsteps! Thanks so much!!
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Old 07-23-2012, 07:29 PM   #8
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Bravo! Good job!
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Old 07-23-2012, 07:38 PM   #9
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So glad everything went so well. I'm scheduled to have one this yr sometime due to my Double first cousin having colon cancer, she's 40 and it took numerous drs over 8 months to find out what was wrong with her!
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Old 07-23-2012, 08:01 PM   #10
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Great job!! I'm glad everything went well. I'll be doing my 3rd (do mine LC too) next month. It's interesting to hear your blood sugar measurements, I've always wanted to do that during "the clean out". High 5 on a good colonoscopy!!
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Old 07-24-2012, 02:43 AM   #11
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Since I'm old, I've had 5 colonoscopies with two different doctors--and my instructions have never mentioned sugar or sugary drinks as important.

Since I have a very sluggish digestive system, I have to do a two-day cleanse of liquids only with 'help' for elimination, and I've always mixed the Miralax with the sugar-free version of Gatorade. I've never had any problem remaining low carb for this procedure.

Since I drink my coffee black, I've never had a problem with caffeine withdrawal, since I can drink my coffee and tea throughout.

However, ALL instructions remind one to avoid anything with red food coloring, so the poster who was told that wasn't necessary was, IMO, misinformed. Even my doctors have emphasized that.

Last edited by Leo41; 07-24-2012 at 02:44 AM..
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Old 07-24-2012, 10:58 PM   #12
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Sally, I've never known what it's like to NOT have blood sugar issues (I've been hypoglycemic since I was a skinny little kid), but to me, sugary stuff would increase the misery of the prep because it may satisfy momentarily and then make me carve more. I think that's why people get so hooked on sodas. They drink a little, get a sugar high and then as sugar drops they crave more.

Before you have to do prep for a colonsocopy, you can "practice" by doing a liquid only fast for a day and see how you feel drinking/eating sugary stuff. If you don't feel too good, it might be a sign that avoiding sugar during prep is a good thing.

My overall impression of the colonoscopy is that on a scale of 0 to 10 with 10 being the worst thing ever I anticipated it would be a 99. Instead, it was a 2. Not my idea of fun, but not terrible either.
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Old 07-26-2012, 07:37 PM   #13
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Wow, did this post bring back some nasty memories of last August! I did the Miralax/Gatorade prep, and it made me throw up on and off for 24 hours. Then they rescheduled me for the following day while I was on clear liquids for the next 24 hours. So, 48 hours with no food, and it felt like the stomach flu.

I absolutely hated the Gatorade, and I'll be asking about another way of taking the Miralax next time.

Fortunately, I got good news, so I won't have to do this again for awhile! I'm glad you got through it. It's not fun, but it is worth it.

Lisa
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Old 07-26-2012, 09:49 PM   #14
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Has anyone tried the blue Powerade Zero for this? Wen I have a stomach virus while lc'ing, that's my go-to drink to stay hydrated.
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Old 07-26-2012, 11:19 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Janknitz View Post
I had my colonoscopy today...

The directions were to put the Miralax in Gatorade, but I didn't want that sugary stuff. I bought "Electrolyte Water" at WF. The Miralax was tasteless and not too bad at all to drink--even 32 oz at a time.

The cleanout wasn't too bad. I think the side effects from Metformin are 10 times worse than any cramping and diarrhea I experienced with this regimen. Overall it was fairly gentle, but effective.
Wait a minute, you didn't have to guzzle magnesium citrate to clean out?

I am glad it all went well.
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Old 07-31-2012, 10:19 AM   #16
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No. Only diabetics have to do mag citrate. They kept thinking I was diabetic because of met, but I tme it for PCOS, I'm not diabetic YET.

WF has electrolyte water--no flavor, just water with mag and potassium in it. So I didn't have to have real or artificial sweetening. I thought about infusing some yummy herbal tea in it, but plain water was fine. I had some vague nausea which I'm sure would have been magnified with flavoring and sweetener.
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Old 08-10-2012, 09:19 PM   #17
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I thought this was interesting. I'm not in the same boat, but we all have our stepping stones to walk across and I think you did this bit of business admirably. Kudos.
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Old 10-17-2013, 07:22 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Janknitz View Post
No. Only diabetics have to do mag citrate. They kept thinking I was diabetic because of met, but I tme it for PCOS, I'm not diabetic YET.

WF has electrolyte water--no flavor, just water with mag and potassium in it. So I didn't have to have real or artificial sweetening. I thought about infusing some yummy herbal tea in it, but plain water was fine. I had some vague nausea which I'm sure would have been magnified with flavoring and sweetener.
I know this is an old post, but I need to get a colonoscopy soon. I take metformin for PCOS as well, and they told me I need to take the mag citrate at the end of the miralax prep. They know I take metformin, but they didn't ask why. Maybe I should call and ask about that.
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Old 11-13-2013, 06:57 AM   #19
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Going for mine this coming Monday....... yuk.
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Old 11-13-2013, 10:51 AM   #20
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I'm so glad my doctor only had me do a one day prep. Even if I have another doctor for the next one I'll stick with the one day prep, and make sure I'm sticking really good to low carb before that. There really wasn't much to clean out because of the good eating - less crap in means less crap out.
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Old 11-14-2013, 11:40 PM   #21
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I had it done earlier this year and I was surprised by how easy the whole thing was. I wasn't lowcarbing and I still had no problems. I pretty much fasted for 48 hours before. The liquid tasted unpleasant but not absolutely disgusting, I had no cramping with it. I was asleep for the whole procedure so I had zero discomfort.
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