I'm Having a Colonoscopy

The title says it all, folks.  I finally went to see a gastroentronologist after dealing with IBS (and its many, many symptoms) since I've been a teenager.  I've seen many doctors and done many tests over the years but I'm still having issues and I'd just like to get my digestive system back to normal (if that's possible for me).


In the past, I was never willing to change my diet to help my symptoms, but now, I'm just so tired of dealing with this that I'm willing to do anything to improve my quality of life. 
If you have IBS or know someone who does, you know what I'm talking about
. The discomfort, pain and unexpected symptoms that seem to come out of nowhere. Not knowing when the symptoms will come is the worst part.  They can happen at inopportune times and it's embarrassing and so uncomfortable. I'm ready to say goodbye to IBS.

My doctor recommend a colonoscopy to rule out anything more serious like Crohn's disease or Celiac disease (which is unlikely). If it's not something more serious, I'll probably go on some antibiotics that destroy all of your "bad" intestinal bacteria and replace it with "good" bacteria.

I think most people would be kind of scared of this procedure, but I'm actually really happy about it.  I feel like this is an opportunity for a "fresh start" with my digestive system and it will also make me worry less about my stomach issues to have peace of mind about them.

Have any of my lovely readers had this procedure done before? If you have, let me know in the comments below!  I've been told that the night before the procedure where you have to drink all of that "cleanse" stuff is the worst part.

Before I go, a really simple outfit (from Monday):

Sweater- American Eagle
Shirt- Forever21
Skirt- Banana Republic Heritage Collection
Tights- HUE
Shoes- Jessica Simpson
Necklace- Forever21

xoxo,

Veronika.

64 comments :

  1. It's not bad! I've had one done and it wasn't for anything other than the fact that I just wanted one done! Ha now you think I'm nuts LOL It's really harmless I promise!

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  2. Good luck!! Hopefully it gets you the answers you're looking for. That "cleanse" probably loses you a few pounds too, which is never a bad side effect in my opinion ;)

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  3. @Jenn---i agree that it will be a good way to kick start a cleaner diet!

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  4. Just wanted to say good luck! I'm a GI nurse and deal with patients undergoing colonoscopies all.day.long! Let me know if you have any questions you want answered! It's not that bad... really :)

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  5. Good luck to you - it will be fine!! I have a friend with a similar issue and it helped her tremendously.

    Michelle
    xx

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  6. Good luck!!! I struggled with stomach problems all through high school. My doctors never really narrowed down what it was and thought it was mainly due to stress. I did a little investigating and found out that the antibiotic I was on was actually destroying my digestive enzymes. When I got to college I started learning more about probiotics and their benefits. I started eating stonyfield organic probiotic yogurt and it has made all the difference for me! While I don't think what I had was IBS, I think that this might be worth a try. It also boosts your immune system and helped me get rid of a few pounds. I hope this helps :)

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  7. I've never had one done, but I've heard the same thing - the "preparation" the night before is the worst part.

    Good luck!!

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  8. Good luck to you! I had a colonoscopy shortly after I turned 25, because I was also suffering from horrible IBS. The "cleansing" part the night before is definitely the worst part, LOL. Don't plan to leave your house.;)

    They gave me an IV sedative for the actual procedure, which I slept right through. No pain whatsoever.

    I was very fortunate in that they didn't find anything seriously wrong. I was prescribed some good medication which helped bring my symptoms under control, although it took awhile to hit on the right one.

    Today, I'm fine and medication free.

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  9. @chrissy--- did you change your diet at all?

    @kaitlyn---thanks for the tip! the doc I saw actually did recommend the activia yogurts I sometimes eat!

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  10. I have Crohn's/colitis and have had one done. The worst part is the night before, especially if you aren't feeling well already. The procedure is over quickly. It is really not that bad. Good Luck!!
    (I take a prescription probiotic called VSL3 that helps, but had to also cut out dairy and sugar.)

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  11. @anon---I literally might cry if I have to cut out sugar.

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  12. i've had horrible ibs for years! i am the same way, i don't really change my diet either :( let us know how it goes. i'm looking for a cure!

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  13. I think it is a great idea. My friend got a polyp removed at 31. You never know. I suffered from IBS for years. Do you drink Kefir or take probiotics? It has helped my digestive system tremendously! Now I drink kefir twice daily and I can say I am 200% better than I used to be. Good Luck

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  14. @anon--I do not know what Kefir is? please let me know :)

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  15. I have Crohn's disease and just had my second colonscopy two weeks ago (I am 25). The procedure isn't bad at all. I find them interesting and actually asked to be awake for this last one. As others have said, the night before is no fun.

    I have been able to manage the disease with diet alone. I did not want to take medications unless I absolutely had to. I started by stripping away all dairy, gluten, ruffage (leafy greens), caffeine (its a stimulant), and sugar for two weeks. Then each week I would start re-introducing things in to my diet. By doing so I learned what my body can and can't handle and how much of a certain food groups my body can digest without adverse side effects. Good luck.

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  16. @anon---what a smart approach to take---I might have to try that.

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  17. Hi Veronika! I was actually diagnosed with IBS about 5 years ago. Everyone above is right - the night before is the worst part. Make sure you have plenty of reading material with you, and don't plan to get anything done, other than running to the bathroom. ;)

    I am on medication to help manage my symptoms, but by taking probiotics (Align) and by eating healthier, I have been able to cut down on my daily dosage... I feel like the less medicine I take, the better.

    Good luck!

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  18. Oh sorry ..it is a probiotic yogurt-like drink. They sell it at whole foods and some regular supermarkets. It is usually by the milk. I drink the Lifeway brand.

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  19. Been there, done that and it's not a really big deal. Make sure to have some clear chicken broth on hand though when you are doing your cleanse! You will be quite hungry and chicken broth will taste fantastic at that point.

    Also, I found out I had been incorrectly diagnosed with IBS for years. My gastro finally diagnosed me with Habba Syndrome (just do a quick google on it) at the age of 24 and since I started taking medicine for it, my life has completely changed. Good luck to you and I hope they figure everything out!

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  20. I've never had the procedure done, but my dad and several of my friends have and they ALL said it was no big deal. My roommate even put the pictures of it on our fridge- very tasteful. LOL.

    I have a friend with Crohn's disease and it's not very good, she's often in the hospital to treat it, but she doesn't exercise or watch what she eats so that's probably why.

    Good luck and I hope you can get it figured out and can treat it with a simple diet change.

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  21. Hi Veronica,

    You are getting a colonoscopy not a colonic correct? I think there is a difference and some may be confusing the two.

    I'd love to do a colonic just to cleanse and start fresh myself. I feel I've harmed my body by a lot of the junk I use to eat before becoming more aware and concerned about what I eat and drink.

    Best luck to you. I hope you find a way to relieve the IBS.

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  22. @anon---yes it is a colonoscopy---the procedure where you have to be put in conscious sedation and they put a camera up your you know what and take samples of your colon and stuff.

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  23. So sorry you have to deal with IBS... I'm de-lurking and wanted to say hello. My boyfriend had a colonoscopy on Friday morning.... he had a CT scan the day before and they called him in, he had no idea what he was going for until he got there. It was a relatively short procedure, but he said the lube is cold and that after his top of his stomach ached, but other than that it wasn't so bad. And he's fine, turns out it was just a bad xray, it was even needed! Hopefully you find some answers and some relief!

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  24. Hi Veronika, I'm a long time reader but have never left a comment. I used to work in a hospital assisting with colonoscopies every single day. I would prep our patients and assist with the actual removal of polyps. So many people were so scared of the procedure but it's really no big deal and will be over so quick. Hopefully you will get some answers. Good luck! I love your blog by the way.

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  25. Been there many times. I've won the lottery as far as digestive issues goes. I've got Crohn's, Colitis and Celiac's. The colonoscopy really isn't bad. Its the prep that is the worst. One thing I've learned is to get the Lemon Flavored Crystal Light Powder Mix and use that in lieu of the 'flavors' that the RX comes with. It also helps to prepare the prep solution the night before so that it cold, which makes it slightly more palatable. If you have any questions let me know via email. I've had probably close to 10 done in the last 4 years. Good luck!

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  26. I haven't had a colonoscopy yet, but I do have ibs, and I have learned a lot lately about the yeast connection to IBS. You might want to try a yeast free diet to see if it helps--I must warn you it is so hard. I've done gluten free and this is so much harder....No sugar, no carbs, no salad dressing--the list goes on..but the point is to try and eliminate yeast overgrowth which is often linked to IBS and other inflammatory conditions--its thought that all food intolerances (except Celiac disease) are actually yeast overgrowth. Once you get it under control, you can bring some of those foods back in moderation.

    That's why probiotics and kefir are good--they help maintain good bacteria and prevent yeast overgrowth. However, they can't kill yeast if it is already there--you have to starve the suckers with your diet.

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  27. I feel your pain, girl! I deal with lots of digestive issues as well. Several people in my family have IBS, and I might as well, although my Dr. and I are thinking its gluten intolerance. I've been cutting out gluten for a few weeks and its been helping.

    Good luck and hope you get it all figured out! :)

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  28. By the way, I meant to say I just discovered your blog and love it. I read through the whole thing this wknd and it's funny, but you wrote a lot about loving sugar, which is a huge tipoff that you may have yeast overgrowth--your sugar cravings are the yeast demanding food. I thought of that right away when you posted about your tummy troubles. I hope you feel better soon... and all of us with IBS feel better soon.

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  29. The cleansing is the worst part. I would suggest that when you get that feeling like you have gas, go grab a magazine and head to the bathroom! :)

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  30. I was recently diagnosed with IBS. For years I've had problems and finally just had enough! My gastro doc prescribed some amazing medicine and took me off lactose completely. Wow, it's amazing how much better I feel! I can still drink lattes - now I just use soy milk! Good luck with everything!!

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  31. Hi Veronica,

    I am 21 and got diagnosed with Crohn's when I was 9, by colonoscopy and a bone marrow test. I can tell you that it is not bad at all ... the worst part was telling me after that I had this disease! I hope that you are more fortunate than I was, and it seems a lot of your readers. Managing your diet and exercising to keep your illness in check is so so important! Sometimes it is not enough though and you have to be on medication with horrible side effects ... but if you had something more serious than IBS, trust me you would know! So I am feeling pretty good about your outcome, just remember to treat your body right, and it will reciprocate!
    - Dee

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  32. I just have to second everything Alana has said above. I've struggled with yeast problems since my last baby was born and I've done quite a bit of research Nd saw a doc that specializes in yeast problems. The diet is tough, but the reward is worth it!

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  33. I used to have major stomach issues as well (Acid Reflux, IBS...bleh!) and have to have a colonoscopy to rule out Crohns. Like everyone else who posted, I agree it's truly not that bad. If anything once the procedure is over, it is great to embrace the clean slate and come up with a new plan on how to fight it. Diet and Excersize is key, I had to change my lifestyle almost 10 years ago now and although it was challenging at first....nothing felt as good as being healthy and symptom free. GOOD LUCK!! :)

    Christina
    BeautyQueenBlog.com

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  34. Have never commented. I'm not sure *what* I have but have had a billion tests (including colonoscopy, which is not bad!). Look into taking enteric coated peppermint capsules/pills/gels. I use the NOW brand in the orange bottle. They have helped me SOOOO much. They don't open until they reach your intestines, and the peppermint helps calm things and keep things moving. I can't even tell you how much these have helped me.

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  35. I echo everyone else that it's not that bad. I also found out I had Crohn's disease through mine. I go through Ups and downs of it. When I was diagnosed my colon was inflamed currently my esophagus is inflamed. Different symptoms equally bad in their own ways.

    Hit me up if you ever want to discuss, it can be not the most fun convo to have but I've been there done that. I feel you. Feel better soon. I still have my {should I use that pun... probably not} bad days, weeks whatever but this just reminded me I've never even mentioned it on the blog I guess because I got diagnosed with it when I was 20 and I have just learned how to deal with it.

    best of luck, it's no big deal but it's not the best way to spend you day!
    xoxo amber
    Amber's Notebook

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  36. I thought I left a comment did it not go through? If not I've had one, no tha bad, and I have Crohns if you ever want to chat.

    best of luck!
    -Amber
    Amber's Notebook

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  37. Hi V!
    My mom has Crohn's disease and my sister has IBS. It's good that you are going to get these tests now. My mom was sick for many years before they figured out what was wrong and as a result she has a pretty severe case and takes lots of meds each day. My sister was really proactive like you and able to control hers just by diet. Good luck!

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  38. Both my dad, sister, and I suffer from IBS. We have all been able to control it with diet, but I remember the first few years of it were tough on me. I cut out all dairy and stopped drinking alcohol and it helped immensely.

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  39. It's not bad! The night before is the worst part. Especially with IBS. The stuff you drink makes you feel awful, but the next day and the procedure itself is not bad. It's worth doing to get a definitive answer.

    I posted before about a web site for IBS. I know it is SO hard to adjust your diet. I've been making small changes and I can tell a big difference. If you need a diet IBS buddy, I'll be your buddy. I think if you make changes to your diet, you'll feel better immediately. Good luck! Your stomach thanks you!

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  40. I have Crohn's (dx at 21) & have a colonoscopy every year. Like everyone said, the prep is the worst part & even that has been getting better (last time I did Miralax/Dulcolax and it was easier than the gallon of GoLytely). I hope you get some answers soon!

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  41. @wendy---you are so sweet! I will definitely look to you for eating advice when this is all through.

    thank you so much everyone for your sweet comments and advice :)

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  42. Hey Girl! I am in the process of figuring out what is wrong with my stomach right now as well. Last week i had a colonoscpy done and it's seriously nothing! The prep really isn't that bad at all...I don't exactly know what you have to do- but I had to take Miralax which you can put it anything and can't taste it at all. Good Luck with everything!

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  43. OH MY DEAR!!!! i read your tittle and i was like WHAT!!!! I'm so happy you are not afraid and I know this is going to help you get better. Good luck and let me know if you need anything =)

    ~M
    Classy & Fabulous
    http://classnfab.wordpress.com

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  44. I have had stomach issues my entire life but have never really gone to a doctor for it. Once my health insurance kicks in, I think I'll have to. It doesn't hugely affect my life and I don't have IBS, but I still have some other symptoms. Good luck with everything V! I know you'll be fine and relieved.

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  45. There's a blood test for Celiac disease -- I don't think a colonoscopy would narrow it down as well.

    GL to you, I hope you get some answers so you can feel better soon.

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  46. @anon---i just got all of the bloodwork done this week so my results will be back before the colonoscopy :)

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  47. I had the procedure 4 years ago and it really wasn't too bad. like everyone else said, the worst part is the stuff they make you drink and having to spend the 24 hours before the procedure on the toilet. I mean, I'm not gunna lie... it's pretty painful. you might as well take a book and your laptop into the bathroom and keep it in there. oh, and use baby wipes. TMI, I know, but it will really help.

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  48. We have Colon Cancer in the family. My Grandma's brother passed of it. I was having issues and given our history the doctor ordered one at 25 for me. I was terrified but they knock you out and you remember/feel NOTHING. You will wake up with gas though. They pump you full of air. Best advice is to let it go. Do not be bashful...just do it

    It hurts if you try to hold it in.

    The bowel cleanse is the worst part. It's like you are drinking very salty water and you drink about a gallon. The solution comes in flavors and they say lemon is the best. It all tastes the same to me. You may hate water for a few weeks after. I drank it warm and honestly I don't think cold would have helped. Just remember to drink slow and not to get sick.

    Not much else to say but the IV does burn a bit when they give you the sedative. It is about 5-10 seconds before you are out. For me they used Propofol and it was the best sleep of my life :D

    Good luck and take care!! I will be praying for a smooth procedure and a favorable outcome.

    Oh and I adore your blog and really look forward to the motivational/confidence building posts.

    ~T

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  49. @anon---thanks so much for your comment and for sharing your experience. I really appreciate that :)

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  50. Veronika-I LOVE your honesty!! I have an appointment in 2 weeks to discuss what I believe is IBS. I've had problems for a few months and finally decided to see my doctor about it. Good luck with your procedure, and I hope you'll post about how it goes.

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  51. I had one done in 2009. It is true, the prep is the worst part. It's annoying to have to drink so much and within a certain amount of time...meanwhile going to the bathroom. I did "go" quite a bit...and it made me gassy...But it wasn't horrible by any means. Just plan on hanging out at home and doing nothing because you can only do clear liquids and won't have the energy to do anything...plus you'll need to be by the bathroom. As for the actual procedure itself..no biggie. They give you drugs and you are out. You wake up and they're done. Most GI docs order colonoscopies and unfortunately it doesn't come up with many answers for *most* people. Obviously if you had Crohn's or some other issue, it'll find it...but most patients I've had and friends/family members I know that have had them it only rules out things such as Celiac disease, Crohn's, etc. I ended up getting no real answers after having mine...they couldn't find anything to remarkable. So I still have the same symptoms. You will be fine. I promise. No biggie!

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  52. Oh and keep us all updated! Hang in there! :)

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  53. I'm really hoping you don't have either of those diseases. My dad suffered so bad with Crohn's disease and I suffer from the gluten allergy, NOT fun. I would never wish it on anyone.

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  54. Yes, like everyone else said above, the prep is definitely the worst part! The volume of liquid that I had to drink the night before made me very nauseous. The procedure itself was quick and not that bad. And I am saying this having gone through it WITHOUT anesthesia (in my country, colonoscopies are performed w/o anesthesia).

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  55. Like everyone else said above, the prep is the worst part. The volume of liquid I had to drink the night before made me very nauseous. The procedure itself was quick and not that bad. And I am saying this having gone through it WITHOUT anesthesia (in my country, colonoscopies are performed w/o anesthesia).

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  56. Mmmm kefir is sooo good. I'm not sure where exactly to get out in houston though. Its a lowfat cultured milk and theres all kinds of fruit flavors and they taste just like yogurt! They have TONS of health benefits too.

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  57. Definitely the "prep" work is the worst part. The test itself takes just minutes and you are drugged up so you don't have a care in the world. You'll want to get some Crystal Light Lemonade (or something else the doctor approves) to mix the "prep" liquid with and that will take a few rounds to get the ratios right.

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  58. thanks for the tip anon :)do you mean the crystal light powder that you add to water?

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  59. Good luck Veronika! I think I have IBS too. Yeah, it's no fun! I feel ya! good luck! I'd be soo nervous!

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  60. i hope your procedure went okay! I have IBS too, I had that same procedure a year ago to rule out other conditions as well.

    I think it's better to know for sure, and to try to get as many answers as possible.

    for me, it was just a relief to know for sure what I had, so i could move on and try to find out what aggravates it, and how to control it better.

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  61. mikaela---it's not until next week and thanks for your thoughts :)

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  62. best of luck; the colonoscopy is no problem; however, the "sedation" is sometimes a nightmare...the combo that is often used is versed/fentanyl, you are NOT asleep but your memory is "supressed"...this means that when you get home, the fun starts: nightmares, PTSD...Never consent to versed (midazolam).........this drug is bad news.

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