Typically on average you wait till you are nearing 50 to get your first colonoscopy (if there are no present problems before then of course.) For me, and for most people with Crohn’s and digestive diseases, it is a routine test we must take. I’ve had so many in my life time, yet they never seem to get any easier. Let’s be real – the prep is no fun! I’ve always followed the usual protocol for prepping that are given to you by the doctor. This time I wanted to be a bit rebellious against these guidlines and see if I could make it a bit more comfortable for myself. I’ve always flared after a colonoscopy and I know exactly why.
I’m eating quite a lot as normal, then one day I wake up and don’t feed my body anything but liquids. If like me, you were following the doctors guidelines you are drinking chicken broth (most likely from a box/can/cube), jello, (eww) sugar and dye filled popsicles and gatorade. Where are the nutrients here? Then you feed your body a crap load (no pun intended) of laxatives which is telling everything inside you to EVACUATE, EVACUATE!!! Not only is food and toxic matter leaving your body, but good bacteria too. My digestive system goes into shock mode. My insides are now in sensitive-mode and are being probed with a scope and being cut for biopsies. After the procedure I am ravenous and make my designated driver take me to the nearest diner for a filling meal. Here I am going from 0 to 100 again. Shock-mode!
-You are told to stay away from seeds/nuts/raw food the week of the test. One thing I thought was good to do about 4 days before the test was to make Chia Juice. I know these are seeds but chia turns very gel like and can be soothing to your digestive tract. It is like a broom for your intestines. It is great for sweeping out old matter. (recipe below)
-I made sure to eat light and clean that week.
-Then it was time to prepare my body for action. Rather then just stop eating suddenly, I weaned my body into it with a two day juice cleanse. Rather then standard nutrient lacking prep protocols I was feeding my body with continuous vitamins from green juice, liver detoxing tea blends, and coconut water for electrolyte replacement.
-I also made homemade broth and lots of nettle tea to sip on to keep my minerals in check. The key is to stay hydrated. Always avoid eating anything red and blue too!
Now that I was pre-cleansing with juices, I was ready to flush anything remaining. You MUST make sure you are empty and cleared out to have a successful colonoscopy. The Doctor needs to get a clear view of your insides and not food particles that can be mistaken for polyps or ulcers or block the view of your colon/intestine walls. You don’t want to go through a 2nd prep do you? With that said, I do not advise against the laxative. This is an important step and must be taken even if you think you are cleared out.
Typically I am directed to take a whole bottle of Miralax. For my weight that amount is always too much. *(Please use your judgement for amount of laxative you need and always follow directions from your doctor on this. These are only my testament to what worked for ME. What works for me may not work for YOU.)
I tried a product called Natural Calm that I found at Whole Foods. I used my own judgement and took an amount that I thought was good for my body. I used a 1/4 Miralax and 3/4 Natural Calm. This product is AMAZING. It is used by people for many things – insomnia, muscle spasms, cramps, back injuries, headaches, ADHD…and as a natural laxative. It is strictly made up of Magnesium Citrate. I got immediate calming results from it AND it helped to clear me out. I now drink this when I have had a long day and want to calm down and sleep more soundly.
After the colonoscopy, I did not run off to eat right away. I brought a green juice to the hospital and drank this after my procedure. I had a light raw dinner that night with more fresh juice and the next few days transitioned back to normal eating.
So how did I do?
I did wonderful! My test was successful and I didn’t flare afterwards like I typically do. For the first time in awhile, my dr got the scope through my anastomosis (area of where my intestines were re-connected from my surgeries) Usually this area is so inflamed, a child size scope can’t make its way through. She got a clear picture, took some biopsies (which all came back NEGATIVE) and snapped some pictures. My results said that there was slight improvement since my last colonoscopy, there were less ulcers and the typically inflammed tissue in my colon seemed to appear normal. My Dr. supports my therapy and says to keep doing what I’m doing as long as I’m feeling well. This was wonderful news!!
My tips to get through a prep:
-Transition to eating lighter and cleaner before test
-Make Chia Juice 4-5 days before test (as long as you can handle chia seeds) Mix one tablespoon with 8 oz of juice and let sit for at least an hour or until seeds have turned “gel-like”
-Do a 1-2-or even 3 day juice fast before hand. (Excellent companies that will deliver fresh juice directly to your door —-> Blue Print Cleanse & Cooler Cleanse
– Your mind is a powerful thing. Picture clear, bright and supple intestines days working up to your test. Picture light and sunshine radiating through your digestive tract, healing it as it shines through.
-Stay hydrated!! Drink lots of coconut water to refill your electrolytes.
-Keep taking your probiotics up until the test!
-After test, transition back to your normal eating SLOWLY. Eat clean, light & healthy meals until your body gets used to eating the way you are used to.