One in every 18 North Americans develops colorectal cancer. Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of death due to cancer. Nearly all colorectal cancers arise from benign growths called polyps. Because of this, colorectal cancer can be prevented. Polyps are common in people over 50 years old. That is why a colonoscopy is recommended once you turn 50 years old. The colonoscopy is a way to find, identify and remove polyps, therefore preventing colorectal cancer.
I recently had a routine colonoscopy. The week before the procedure I followed my colonoscopy prep instructions very carefully. I did so because I didn’t want to have to redo it!
The day before the procedure was my clear liquid day, which I wish I would have better planned how I could make it more rheumatoid arthritis (RA) friendly. I have a very strong gag reflex, so downing the obligatory clear liquids for my breakfast and lunch was difficult to say the least. And the salty prep was also a challenge. A lot of salt makes my joints ache, so that part was already going to push the envelope with my joints. I didn’t need to add insult with added sugars!
Here are my 3 suggestions to make the clear liquid prep day go more smoothly.
- Tip Number One: Make your own popsicles by freezing white grape juice. The fluid was more easily tolerated by eating a popsicle here and there between drinking the allowed fluids. The marketed popsicles contain preservatives and too much sugar, especially the high fructose corn syrup that makes my joints hurt. You can freeze the juice in an ice cube tray or purchase popsicle molds at a department store or kitchen specialty shop.
- Tip Number Two: Sip the salty prep solution using a large sized straw to bypass as many taste buds as possible!
- Tip Number Three: The prep made me chilled, so I took a number of showers. To help prevent my skin from drying out, I used a shower oil. You need to have a nonslip bath mat in the shower as the oil can make things slippery! The warm shower was the only way I could deal with the chill.
Having RA makes me more cognizant of preventive medicine. I want to stay ahead of any potential problems. Having a routine colonoscopy is part of my healthcare plan.
There are some things we can do to help prevent polyps. They are lifestyle habits we can incorporate into our day-to-day life. Eating a high-fiber, low-fat diet reduces the risk of polyps. Do not smoke and limit your alcohol intake. A moderate exercise routine can help reduce the risk of polyps, also. All of these lifestyle habits are beneficial for managing our RA, too!
I will certainly keep these 3 tips in mind the next time I do my colonoscopy prep. This is an example of how I live and learn. Until I went to the grocery store to pick up my clear liquids I didn’t even think of the added sugar load. I knew I had to add some interest to the fluid intake by eating ices and popsicles. The salty prep solution was necessary, that is how it works, but I needed to consider ways I could limit any added sugar and preservatives. I hope these tips help you with your prep!
As a necessary note: I am not getting any compensation for any products I am suggesting.
Take good care! XXOO Cathy