Reader needs colonoscopy, but can’t drink prep solution
Saint George’s Anglican Church, Lennoxville, at 84 Queen St., celebrates Holy Eucharist every 1st, 2nd & 3rd Sunday at 11 a.m. Morning Prayer is held every 4th Sunday at 11 a.m. Sunday School every 1st & 3rd Sunday at 11 a.m. 819-346-5564.
St. Barnabas Anglican Church, 640 Sherbrooke Road in North Hatley. 9 a.m. Eucharist Service every 1st and 3rd Sunday; Morning Prayer Service (Liturgy of the Word) every 2nd and 4th Sunday. 819-842-2686.
St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, 256 Queen St., Lennoxville, 819-569-3100, Sundays: 10:30 a.m. Worship and Sunday School.
United AYER’S CLIFF - MAGOG
Ayer’s Cliff - Magog - Georgeville Pastoral Charge welcomes everyone for Sunday service at Beulah United Church in Ayer’s Cliff - Worship service and Sunday School 9:15 a.m. and St. Paul’s United Church, Magog - Worship Service and Sunday School 11:15 a.m. with lunch provided each Sunday following the service in Magog. Minister: Rev. Lee Ann Hogle 819-571-7233.
Lennoxville United Church, corner of Queen and Church Street, welcomes you to worship with Rev. Linda Buchanan on Sunday, October 29 at 10:00. Sunday School is available. Refreshments will be served after worship. 819-565-8449; website: lennoxvilleunitedchurch.com
The Richmond-melbourne Pastoral Charge invites you to join us for worship on Sunday, October 29 at 10:30 a.m. in Richmond, 247 rue Principale Sud. Virginia Wallace will be leading this worship service. All are welcome!
Plymouth-trinity United Church, corner of Dufferin and Terrill, 819 346-6373, the Rev. Samuel V. Dansokho, minister. Sunday, October 29, Reformation Sunday, bilingual worship service with Holy Communion 10:30. No service in French. Welcome to all!
Waterville/north Hatley United Church, Sunday, October 29, 11 a.m. Service with leader Shirley Knutson. Sunday School. Rev. Mead Baldwin 819-837-1112.
ASK THE DOCTORS By Eve Glazier, M.D., and Elizabeth Ko, M.D.
Dear Doctor: Now that I’ve turned 50, I need to get a colonoscopy, but I just can’t drink that disgusting prep solution. I’ve tried three different times, but I wind up so nauseated that I can’t finish. Is there any other way to prepare?
Dear Reader: Let us reassure you that you’re not alone in your struggles with preparing for a colonoscopy. Many of our patients say that the procedure itself is a breeze compared to drinking the solution. However, the preparation phase, which thoroughly empties the intestines, is vital to a successful procedure. Alternatives do exist, but they don’t have the same effect, and therefore the results of the colonoscopy may not be as accurate or useful.
A colonoscopy is a procedure in which a gastroenterologist examines the inside of your colon and rectum using a long, flexible tube. Known as a colonoscope, it’s equipped with a lighted tip and a camera. A colonoscopy can reveal whether colon tissues are irritated or swollen, if polyps have formed, and whether cancer is present. When polyps are found, a small wire loop on the colonoscope can be used to remove them.
For the best view, the colon must be clean. In fact, the state of your colon is the most important variable in the exam. Unless every last vestige of fecal matter has been eliminated, it’s possible that polyps, which are small growths with the potential to become cancerous, or other abnormalities may be missed.
And here’s where the dreaded prep solution comes into play. Available under brand names like Golytely, Colyte, Nulytely and Trilyte, these are powders that consist of a laxative, along with essential electrolytes like potassium and sodium. You mix the prep powder with 4 liters of water and drink it according to your doctor’s orders.
The laxative, along with the volume of water, empties and cleanses the bowel. The added electrolytes compensate for those you are losing. Because electrolytes are basically salts, the prep solution tries to compensate for the taste with the addition of super-sweet flavorings. The mix of the two, as you have found, is challenging.
An alternative is a low-volume prep solution that you mix with significantly less water. You still have to drink a full 4 liters of fluid prior to the exam, but other than the 2 cups or so of the lowvolume prep solution, the rest of that 4 liters can be water or any other clear liquid.
But — and this is important — low-volume prep solutions won’t get the colon as clean. Also, there is the risk that your electrolytes can be sent out of balance. If there’s really no other way, then discuss the low-volume prep with your doctor. And if you’re willing to give traditional prep just one more go, try these tips:
— Chill the solution well before drinking.
— Sip it through a wide straw (it’ll go faster) placed far back on your tongue.
— Alternate gulps of solution with sips of something that tastes good.
It’s not fun and it’s not easy, but it’s worth the investment because you’ll get the best results from your colonoscopy. And, remember: When it’s caught early, colon cancer can be successfully treated.
Eve Glazier, M.D., MBA, is an internist and assistant professor of medicine at UCLA Health. Elizabeth Ko, M.D., is an internist and primary care physician at UCLA Health.