What to wear to a colonoscopy + 29 more tips, tricks information today. 

Note: This post was originally written in 2018. It has been updated in 2023 with more information (including what to wear to a colonoscopy!) and a podcast episode to accompany it.

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Don’t Miss These Thoughts

  1. Confusion does not have to be part of your story.
  2. What exactly is a colonoscopy and endoscopy?
  3. Q&A on the two procedures
  4. 5 tips, tricks, and information surrounding a Colonoscopy
  5. Why these are life-saving procedures
  6. What to wear to a colonoscopy

What to Wear to a Colonoscopy {+ 29 More Colonoscopy Tips, Tricks, and Information; Episode 69, Bites #17}

Click HERE to save this article on what to wear to a colonoscopy for later.

What to Wear to a Colonoscopy Ep 69 A Gutsy Girl agutsygirl.com

One of the biggest themes surrounding gut health via questions I get is, “I feel confused and stressed out. Where do I start on my journey? How do I get going? Can you tell me XYZ about XYZ?

And so, in 2022 I created then launched Gut Healing: ELEVATED, which is my signature program that is a step-by-step guide for beginning to understand your gut in 30 days or less (+ TAKING ACTION).

Confusion, my friend, does not have to be part of your story.

I was sick for over a decade and so now I’m giving you my blueprint to everlasting gut health.

A large piece to this puzzle is testing.

Things like: root cause analysis, symptoms, free testing, common + overlooked conditions, what testings is like, costs, how to build your team of providers, the SIBO breath test, how to fire your practitioner, the colonoscopy and endoscopy and more.

Download my ROOT CAUSE ANALYSIS PDF for free to help drill down for your own situation.

In fact, during week 2 of Gut Healing: ELEVATED I take you through all of that and then some.

I’m telling you, the course is comprehensive because it contains 30+ total video lessons with over 7 hours worth of content ALONG WITH the ability to ask me personal questions from each lesson.

But today I want to focus on just ONE piece from week 2 and all the testing information.

That would be the colonoscopy and endoscopy.

Because in the Gutsy community these two tests are performed all the time and yet they are not performed sometimes because people are too afraid for the undertaking and what they all entail.

I have now had 2 colonoscopies and 3 endoscopies in 10 years.

If you haven’t read my other post on this topic, you might want to start there first: The Colonoscopy and Endoscopy (9 FAQ’s as they relate to them).

Then, here is all the new stuff I compiled after going through the process (and documenting it).

If you are just having an Endoscopy, don’t even worry about it. There is nothing hard about getting one of those, nor is there any sort of massive prep.

If you only have issues where they need to do an Endoscopy, that is the best case scenario.

But if you are having a Colonoscopy and Endoscopy at once, then these are my top 30 colonoscopy and endoscopy tips, tricks, and information for you.

1. Adhere to Diet

3-4 days before start a stringent diet as part of the colon prep.

This special diet means to remove all nuts, seeds, fiber, grains (though they do say you can have white rice; I chose not to) and any blue, red liquids, and purple things.

2. Food

Here are some things I ate and drank for 2-3 days before the procedure:

  • grilled chicken
  • coconut oil
  • coffee
  • almond milk
  • cashew milk
  • bananas
  • almond milk yogurt
  • eggs
  • homemade Banana Ice Cream (frozen banana, coconut milk, collagen)
  • water
  • 2% Organic milk
  • sausage
  • Stonyfield Vanilla yogurt
  • shrimp
  • olive oil

No real variety, totally basic, but that’s what you are supposed to do.

Back then, I never ate dairy, but I believe that during prep, all “diets” go out the window.

Also, you’ll be cleaning through it soon enough.

3. Food the Day Before

And here were the things I ate and drank the day before the procedure:

  • clear gummy bears
  • a little coffee
  • clear broth
  • apple juice (other clear juices)
  • homemade Apple juice JELLO (this was actually good; I made it with an 8 oz bottle of pure Apple juice and gelatin)
  • clear Italian ice cups
  • water

The name of the game is mostly clear liquids; as close to a clear liquid diet as possible so that during the scope they have a clear view of what’s going on internally.

4. In and Out

The less food you eat and colored beverages you drink in the days leading up to the procedure, the easier it is to get your stools ready for the procedure.

Remember, whatever goes in, must come out.

5. Medications

I took all my medications and supplements as I normally would, except the night before the procedure, I did not take my LDN (the pill is red, so I wasn’t sure) and the morning of the procedure, I did not take my WP Thyroid. 

Avoid nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and ask your doctor about blood thinners and any other supplements and/or medications you might be unsure about.

6. Appointment Time

Try to get an appointment for first thing in the morning.

That way, you can get in and out. Sometimes if you wait until later in the day, they will be backed up (no pun intended!) and your procedure could be delayed.

Trust me, you do not want to be delayed at all because by the time you go in, you’re ready to eat your hand off.

If you have the procedure first thing in the morning (I did), you will likely start drinking the prep solution the night before (I say likely because while this is the norm, some people are starting to get by with drinking a different + less solution. I have only done it this way, so this is how I am describing the process).

7. Bowel Preparation

Colonoscopy prep is, hands down, the worst part of it all.

When I had the procedure done in 2018, they gave me GoLytely. The first time I had it done I had MoviPrep. They are both awful; there is no sugar-coating that.

I used the lemon flavor packet they gave me plus I added in some lemon Crystal Light. I would never drink Crystal Light because it’s a chemical sh$% show, but again – the entire solution was already one big chemical and I did so out of desperation.

Note: When I do this procedure again, I’ll skip the nasty Crystal Light and consume the Unflavored LMNT instead.

8. First Bowel Movement

Soon enough after your first “dose,” of the preparation, you’ll go to the bathroom. It all starts to come out. And it’s not pleasant by any stretch of the imagination, but this part has to happen in order for the procedure to be successful.

At the end of drinking the full solutions – which is done over hours, not in one sitting – everything that comes out will be light and clear which indicates you are ready. Note that you might see some yellow which is just from bile stain. 

9. The Whole Solution

You might not have to drink all the solution.

I debated whether or not to tell you this one because in huge print on the prep sheet given to me by the hospital, the specific prep instructions state, “It is very important that you drink all of the prep.”

But I’m trying to be as transparent and honest as possible with what I did. And what I did was drink more than half of it from 6-8 pm the night before.

Then, I woke up at 2:30 am to drink the rest, but once I was over 3/4 the way full, I started gagging. It was about to all come up and in my panic, I started searching for “How to tell if your bowl is clean prior to Colonoscopy.

I stumbled upon many different articles, which all were fairly similar, but THIS one was the best.

And by this point, I was for sure in this category: Yellow, light, clear which indicated READY. “The yellow color is from bile stain.” So I did one more 8 oz glass, and went to bed. 

10. Yellow Bile?

Bonus: Learn more about bile HERE. That will give you more context for what you could be seeing in the toilet from the yellow-ish coloring standpoint.

11. Veggie Straws

The only way I did not throw up was I discovered sucking on Veggie Straws.

Seriously.

It sounds so weird, but totally works. I’d guzzle 1/3 of the 8 oz as fast as I could, immediately followed by water. Repeat.

Then repeat again.

I’d then pick up a Veggie Straw and suck on it because somehow the salt from it countered the awful GoLytely taste.

You must make sure you don’t eat the Veggie Straw, though, because that is forbidden during this time. 

12. Mind Games

Envision something else to “taste” when you start to feel sick.

I laid down to go to bed around 8 pm, but my stomach was rumbling and I thought I might throw up because I had such an awful taste in my mouth, back of my throat and chest. So I started to envision eating Jade Pearl Rice with Nutiva’s Garlic Buttery Coconut Oil.

And it worked like a charm. Fell asleep. (You won’t know what that flavor/taste is until you go through the process, but it will likely be something complete opposite from whatever solution you’re drinking.)

13. Sedation

Almost everyone is mildly sedated for the colonoscopy procedure, enough to where you will be out and the next thing you know is they are telling you it’s time to leave.

General anesthesia is administered prior to the final IV while in the procedure room (below).

14. Information to Bring to Your Colonoscopy Appointment

The day of your colonoscopy, be sure to bring a list of all your current medications, supplements and their dosage.

This will help keep everything moving along rapidly so you don’t have to wait longer. 

p.s. This is suuuuuper easy if you have Healing Blooms from Within: the 90-day gut healing journal because it will all be right there!

You’ll also need to list out any and all health problems, sign the consent form, and other general information like this.

Obviously be sure to bring your ID!

15. What to wear to a colonoscopy?

The day of your procedure, what to wear to a colonoscopy is super comfortable, loose fitting clothes, and definitely a tank top or T-shirt.

What I wore to my own colonoscopy: a tank top with a zip up over it and sweatpants.

During the procedure, the only thing you are allowed to keep on is your shirt (not the zip up) and bra (I’m talkin’ to the ladies!) + the hospital gown.

16. Communication

If it’s not your primary GI (which was my case) doing the scope(s), it’s a good idea to talk to him/her prior to the procedure. Tell s/he everything.

For me, this meant making sure to show him my right side bump so he was aware of it during the procedure.

By the way, I don’t think anything was conclusive after scoping, so I need an Ultrasound to follow up on it.

I was also able to talk to the doctor for awhile about SIBO, and he asked several questions.

This is a critical step if you’re having a scope with someone other than your regular GI (I, in fact, don’t even have a traditional GI any longer).

Top 30 Colonoscopy and Endoscopy Tips, Tricks, and Information www.sarahkayhoffman.com #guthealth #healthyliving #ibs #ibd #SIBO

17. Spray

If you’re having an Endoscopy, you’ll likely get two shots of spray to the back of your throat before sedation.

It’s an aerosol-type can with a long spray attachment used to numb the throat (for the Endoscopy, the scope goes down your throat). The one I had was cherry-flavored. It was gross; plus it burns.

You won’t feel it long, though, because right after it….

18. Sedation

Once in the procedure room, laying on the exam table, they will ask you to turn on your side.

The sedation happens via IV and within seconds (literally, I was looking at the wall counting 1, 2, 3…..) you’re out.

Good news! –> The effects of sedation = totally amazing sleep, by the way.

19. Gas

Yes, you will pass gas, and honestly, you should pass as much gas as you can afterwards to prevent gas pains and abdominal bloating.

Just let it alllllll out, girl!

20. Bleeding

Afterwards, if you have a little rectal bleeding the day of the procedure, it’s totally normal. But if it’s a lot, be sure to call your healthcare provider to make sure everything is okay.

I never had any.

21. Do not drive

Do not plan to drive the rest of the day, operate heavy machinery and/or sign any important documents; you’ll be loopy all day. I was.

Have a family member, friend, or someone there to help afterwards.

22. Sore Throat

If you had an Endoscopy, your throat could hurt a little, which is normal.

Mine didn’t hurt all day, but once the meds wore off, it did hurt some at night, but fine the next day. 

23. Poopin’

You will continue going to the bathroom all day after the procedure at a rapid rate, so it’s best to stay close to a bathroom.

Again, just embrace it all coming out so that you can get ready for…..

24. Repair

Now that your body has been flushed out entirely, it’s your opportunity to repair properly. Choose to see this as a positive, no matter what.

After the procedure, do everything you can to ensure you’ll bounce back to normal (or as normal as possible) bowels as soon as possible. 

For me, the best way was: water, my probiotic, and a lot of real food, solid foods, which included fiber accompanied with digestive enzymes and HCL. (Did it work? YES! Just one  day after, my bowels were already close to normal.)

When I have to have another colonoscopy, I’ll follow everything I teach in The First Three for those first three days after the procedure. If you haven’t had the chance to do this free 3-day gut reset yet, do it now. It’s free, and filled with massive value.

And obviously, I would also now incorporate every single supplement we currently have at guthealingsupplements.com because they were ALL made for a time like this:

  • Tummy Soothe (for gut-immune)
  • Move Now (magnesium in the glycinate form which is highly absorbable and easy on the digestive system)
  • Re-Build (collagen, which has the intended purpose of re-building)
guthealingsupplements.com gut healing and gut health supplements

Use code AGUTSYGIRL at checkout to save an instant 15% off any supplement desired.

Top 30 Colonoscopy and Endoscopy Tips, Tricks, and Information www.sarahkayhoffman.com #guthealth #healthyliving #ibs #ibd what to wear

25. Immediate Results

You’ll get general results once the procedure is over; at least what they saw, and what what they did.

The information will be relayed to the person who is driving you home (you must have someone drive you home).

26. Final Results

Sit tight and wait for final reports (if they took tissue samples, they won’t likely be back for about 10 days so they can get a better view of the complete picture – p.s. they did take biopsies during mine).

27. Get a second opinion

You might need a second opinion.

Remember, always listen to your gut instincts.

Whether the news is great or not-so-great; get a second opinion if you think you need one.

28. Not easy

If anyone tells you these 3-4 days are easy, they are lying.

The days are not easy, and you need to give yourself grace during them.

I made sure to clear my schedule, and I even got a massage the day before.

Do whatever you can/need to.

29. Life Saving

But absolutely, positively do not let anyone scare you into NOT getting a colonoscopy and/or endoscopy if you need it done.

Whether or not you have a family history of colon cancer, this can be life saving.

While they are invasive, I still argue that they can save your life or at the very least help guide you towards an answer you may have been searching years for.

29. Just Choose It

Always choose this over Dr. Google. Mmmmmmmkay?!

Some of these things you might learn include: Celiac disease, Crohn’s disease, Colitis, polyps, general inflammation, ulcers, abnormal growths, or even Colorectal Cancer.

30. Next?!

If and when you are diagnosed with something, the doctor’s next step is to get you on drugs and medication. You will have to be the decision maker at that point. For me, it was my biggest mistake. I didn’t know any better, got on the drugs, and I got worse.

But for you, you might 100% need it. I don’t know your story.

I believe it will really come down to what you have and the severity of the problem.


(No editing. Just me, right after the procedure. Sarah plain and scoped. 🙂 )

Top 30 Colonoscopy and Endoscopy Tips, Tricks, and Information www.sarahkayhoffman.com #guthealth #healthyliving #ibs #ibd SKH

And with that, of course there will be things I forgot, so let me know any and all of your questions in the comments below.

Good luck. You got this.

If you liked this post on what to wear to a colonoscopy, you might also enjoy:

  1. Colon Cancer Stage 4
  2. IBS or Colon Cancer
  3. Best Supplements for Beginners {on your gut healing journey}

Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. All opinions remain my own.

Xox,
SKH

Top 30 Colonoscopy and Endoscopy Tips BEGINNERS course agutsygirl.com

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26 Comments

  1. Thank you for the tips and information. I hope this helps assuage some fears about the procedures.

    I have two more tips to share:
    You didn’t mention diaper cream. This is a saving grace during prep night. Use it to prevent the ring of fire you may experience once you get to the final stages of clearing your bowels.

    The trick I found that worked for me when drinking MoviPrep was to take a deep exhale first, guzzle as much as I could, then inhale. It worked way better than the other way around. Then swish with water and maybe take a few sips but not enough to dilute the solution too much.

  2. Thanks for the info! I’m having a colonoscopy/endoscopy Wednesday July 10! It’s been 5 yrs since my last one. I’m not afraid just anxious. I have Crohn’s. I’m used to these preps but they still suck!

  3. Any tips on what to eat afterwards to rebuild gut microbiome? I question if I have sibo, so I’m hesitant about huge amounts of my usual go-to of veg, probiotics, fermented food etc. Thanks!

  4. so my appointment is 11am because they told me i’d have to get up in the middle of the night-and i thought that would be tough-but maybe i should reschedule for the 7am time slot? that is what youre suggesting?

  5. Thanks for the tip that I should eat less food and colored beverages so I can make the process easier for my gastroenterologist. I think I need a colonoscopy done because I have a problem with my colon. I’ve been pooping coffee grounds lately, and that’s usually a sign that I might have colon cancer, so I’ll have them find out if that’s true.

  6. I’m going for an endoscopy Oct. 29th, you mentioned that your throat hurt, how long did it hurt for and what kind of hurt was it, like a general sore throat. Were you able to take any pain medication for the pain or suck on candy? I am grateful for reading this here, I haven’t put much thought into the procedure.

  7. You might like to ask your doctor about using sodium picosulphate (Picosalax, Picolax) instead of the dreaded gallon jug of bad-tasting polyethylene glycol (PEG) if you have to do another colonoscopy. I’m in the middle of preparing for a colonoscopy tomorrow morning, and the Picosalax is a very nice orange flavoured drink – only 2/3rds of a glass, which is then followed up with several glasses of water over the next few hours. (I’m in Australia). If you search PubMed there are plenty of studies showing that sodium picosulphate with magnesium citrate is just as effective, or even more so, than PEG at cleaning the bowel.

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30631405

    Thanks for your blog – Good luck!

  8. I would like to also state that MoviPrep is the yukkiest thing in the whole wide world!!! (The first session took 2.5 hours, the second didn’t get finished)
    I had a endoscopy and colonoscopy separately, trying to determine cause of my anaemia. I’m not even 40 yet. Endoscopy = piece of cake & result = normal. Colonoscopy – I was soooo close to almost cancelling it’s not funny (felt better and horror stories of the MoviPrep). I didn’t cancel & it literally saved my life – they found a 6cm cancer tumour. Cancer is gone now and just on monitoring treatment. Just saying ‘don’t be chicken’ – it could save your life. Love your tips by the way- thanks.

  9. Going in for my second colonoscopy in under a year. The first one was awful and I barely gagged down the solution. I’m much better prepared this time & I really appreciate the tips! My doctor told me to try lemon drops in between 8 oz guzzles. Have you ever tried this?

  10. I go next Thursday for my first Colonoscopy! I am so scared ! I don’t like jello it gags me . I don’t like apple juice ! It just seems bad all the way around

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