Colonoscopy and Colyte can be fun if you do it right.

People hate drinking the Colyte laxative.

This updates the post about fixing the worst thing about a colonoscopy examination. Most people say they hate drinking the gallon of awful gut-cleansing laxative Colyte and its alternative Golytely beverage the night before the medical exam. I posted a review of this problem last year and have thought some more about it since then. Below are a few new and improved suggestions which will help billions of future people drink that foul tasteless fluid easily.

A method for drinking foul tasting fluids

The trick is to drink something pleasantly strong smelling and strong tasting immediately before the Colyte and then quickly gulp down the laxative stuff without breathing and then take another couple of swallows of the spicy good tasting stuff before breathing in though the nose and out through the mouth. It’s easier to do than to describe. Basically (Take a couple of deep breaths, swallow some spicy tea, gulp down the Colyte, swallow some more tea, breathe.) All of these fluids are best taken at room temperature.

How to put a little more fun into your Colyte experience.

To make this procedure even more fun you can drink a different spicy thing after the gulp. To make the whole ordeal even more fun, even entertaining, make it a challenge to find a different tasty thing to drink every single time both before and after the big gulp. There is a huge potential list of clear fluids which might be legitimately consumed. Perhaps one could consider this an opportunity to explore the many varieties of teas, coffees, jellos and sodas that you generally consider outside your normal routine. However, you are supposed to avoid red colored drinks for the last few purgings because the color might stain the colon and make interpreting any abnormal colon skin discolorations more difficult for your doctor. Dark colored Coke might be okay for the first several cycles of this procedure but the last ones used should be with pale colorless fluids like green tea, peppermint tea or flavored clear soda water. This whole cycle takes about 16 seconds, and most people can easily hold their breath that long if they take a couple of deep breaths before starting. If you can’t hold your breath that long, breathe in a little through your nose only, midway through the gulps while keeping your mouth closed, and then continue drinking. When you drink it all at once you can take a sip of something good tasting and smelling before and after the Colyte and you won’t even taste it; you will taste only the spicy first drink and the last one and the stuff in between will have no taste or odor at all. Just don’t breathe while drinking it and think pleasant thoughts.

The old cold-drink method doesn’t work very well.

The usual recommendation is to cool the laxative fluids to about 40°F in a refrigerator. They recommend this low temperature because it helps to suppress the foul taste but I found that to be bad advice because it is so cold that it becomes difficult to drink the Colyte quickly. That cold drink procedure becomes counterproductive because it takes longer to drink the stuff and it is in your mouth longer. While in your mouth it warms up and then tastes bad. What works better is to have it at about room temperature, 70°F. That temperature is a balance between easy to drink quickly and minimal odor and so you can easily drink it in one group of quick swallows.

Most of your time is your usual fun activities.

Although the gallon bottle looks impossibly large to drink in a single day it turns out to be easily done because the large volume of fluid doesn’t actually enter your body proper but it just goes inside your intestines and on out into the toilet in about ten minutes, before it gets assimilated into your body. Doing this procedure can get boring though because you are trapped and can’t go far away from a toilet, so you should pre-plan for some easily paused activity such as watching a movie. However, if you choose that option make sure you know how to operate the pause button on short notice. Yes, I mean short notice. You might practice this operation beforehand if you don’t usually pause to poo. Reading might not be distracting enough unless it is something rather racy, and computer work sort of keeps you hunched over in a tummy squeezing posture which may complicate matters a bit. It is probably okay to go to bed after your final drink and poo cycle but leave a bit of time, at least ten minutes, just to be sure. It might be a good idea to have a small towel tucked into the danger zone, just in case there is any anal leakage.

No pain at all if you accept the sedation.

The actual colonoscopy procedure is sort of fun if you like people fussing over you and don’t mind artificially friendly strangers putting probes up your butt. I have done it twice now, about ten years apart, once with sedation and once without. If they offer you sedation, go for it. That only takes a couple of minutes longer in the recovery room and you avoid all the possibility of pain. Actually the pain was only about like biting one’s tongue by pressing it upward forcefully against a canine tooth with just your tongue muscles. Not all that much pain but it’s way up inside of your guts and totally out of your control so it seems to hurt more than it really does.

A painless colonoscopy is better than a year of painful dying.

Colon cancer graphic showing stages of colon cancer

The stages of colon cancer. Click the picture link to details.

It’s a good idea to get these tests occasionally because if the first tiny colon cancer polyps are caught early they can be removed right during the exam. If the problem is corrected early the pleasant part of your life may be prolonged by many years into the future. If you don’t catch them your life will definitely be shorter and increasingly very unpleasant.

Leave a comment about your experiences – good, bad and other.

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17 thoughts on “Colonoscopy and Colyte can be fun if you do it right.

  1. Pingback: Colonoscopy – and how to enjoy drinking the foul tasting purging fluids. | Probaway – Life Hacks

  2. I’m sorry I duplicated so much of what was written in the update! I didn’t see that link till after I’d posted all mine. Anyway, this was all such a great learning experience that I’m printing all of this to take to my doctor today. He should give this to all his patients. I am puzzled that neither the drug company nor the doctors have done this before.

  3. I’m sorry I didn’t see update link till after I’d posted all mine. Anyway, Probaway, you’ve done a wonderful service to humanity here. I’m printing this and taking it to my doctor today and trust he will give the site to all his patients.

    P.S. I did okay with it all being cold – now wonder if it would have been even better at the temps you advised. :-)

  4. Great site-My experience with Colyte is to have it refrigerated, and measure out an 8oz glass. insert a straw, and quickly (and nearly tastelessly) drink it down. I also grab a lollipop or a strongly flavoured candy like ouzo (greek anise/licorice candies), and that takes care if the afteryuk.Breathing deeply and calmly also helps. As to sedation during the procedure,I’m in! You can totally relax and trust your gastro gal or guy to do their best work around those tight corners. Be sure to have a loved one drive you home post-procedure- you’ll be too stoned to drive.Cheers and good luck-prevention always trumps illness!

  5. Follow up thought – had an EGD done twice with the colonoscopy. They were a bit bashful with the sedative on the first go round and I remember gagging. So, the second time around I told them to hit me with the good stuff (or just more of the regular stuff) so I was a bit further out when they did the EGD, and it went fine.

  6. Tried holding nose while gulping down, room temp stuff, last time. Helped “some”. Will sure try the straw, and also the strong taste before and after this time… Don’t know why they can’t figure out some way to make the prep fluid taste better, or use less of it….

  7. I had a colonoscopy 10 years ago and i tooks pills but i can’t find anyone that will prescribe the pills anymore. anyone?

  8. i had one done and i had to take pills instead of drinking the liquid.i can’t find anyone that will precribe the pills . they still make them. any suggestions

  9. Pingback: How to cure cancer. Maybe. « Probaway – Life Hacks

  10. my doctor recommended adding a non-red flavor of “chrystal light” to the colyte. have you ever tried that, and did it help?

    i’m glad to have found your site – the “pre-procedure” sounds way worse that the procedure… and i have the pleasure of starting the colyte the night before, and finishing in the morning. ugh…

    • For my colonoscopy my doctor recommended putting 2 packets of lemon Crystal Light into the PEG powder jug before adding the water and doing the mix. I quickly drank 8 oz. chilled with a straw every 20 minutes with ease until 3.5 liters were consumed and that was it. This mix tasted like a salted margarita without the tequila. I would do it again if I need to. Good luck!

  11. drinking like this will most likely make me throw up! Our pharmacist recommended using Crystal lite instead of the flavor packs! Worked well for hubby, I will find out in a couple of hours!

  12. colyte …. drank about half jug in 3 hours … not only began vomiting but horrible retching as well, took a 30 min break, drank 8 oz again in 5 min began same vomiting… you people are crazy if you think this is a pleasant, just hold your breath, or bite a lemon, chase it with jello …experience. there has to be a better way to cleanse colon than this horrible huge amount of fluid…

  13. After being on clear liquids for two days and downing a jug of Colyte tonight, I will refuse anymore “routine colonoscopies” suggested by my MD unless I start having weird symptoms. Surely medical science can come up with a way to prep for this exam better…

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