Johns Hopkins Health Alert
Colonoscopy Prep Advice
Before you have a colonoscopy, it's essential to get your colon completely clean. But a recent study published in Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology (Volume 7, page 670) finds that standard bowel preparation doesn't work as well in people who are overweight. This is a concern because any residue in the colon can mask polyps and cancers during colonoscopy.
Researchers evaluated bowel preparation in 1,588 colonoscopy procedures and found residue in the bowel about 25 percent of the time. The heavier the person, the more likely the researchers were to find residue. Inadequate colonoscopy bowel preparation was seen in more than 43 percent of the people who were obese, compared with 33 percent of those who were of normal weight. Other factors that increased the risk of inadequate bowel preparation were being male, smoking, drinking alcohol, using antidepressants or other drugs and having diabetes.
Bottom line: If you are overweight, ask your doctor before your next colonoscopy whether you would benefit from starting a liquid diet a day earlier than is typically recommended. Another possibility might be to take additional laxatives.
Posted in Colon Cancer on January 18, 2012
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