Has anyone on here had a Colonoscopy ... - Gluten Free Guerr...

Gluten Free Guerrillas

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Has anyone on here had a Colonoscopy without any adverse side effects

loobylou123 profile image

My hubby who is very sensitive to Gluten and Wheat is having a Colonoscopy next week, he is quite concerned about the diet and the laxatives that he has been told to take before the procedure, this will be over four days andhe is concerned that it will effect him after the procedure and upset his system, has anyone had this procedure ? if so how did you recover from it ?

30 Replies

I've had a colonoscopy and was absolutely fine after. It is the norm to take a liquid that empties your bowels so the doc can see the lining of the bowel clearly. A DIY enema! That was the only part I wasn't keen on, not because of any discomfort but I needed to be near the loo! Do not go to work or travel out anywhere! I had no after effects at all. I am not coeliac but I am sensitive to wheat. Good luck xx

I have a pre assessment in April for mine so am also interested on procedure.

I have had a colonoscopy and so has my husband. We were sent a pack with instructions, a list of foods that we could eat 2 days before the procedure which seemed to be white food ie mashed potato, fish and white bread etc., some laxatives and 2 sachets of a powerful laxative for preparation to clear the bowel.

- 2 days before the colonoscopy we had to eat only food from the list - I made fish pie and ate brie.

- the day before, as our appointment was in the morning the following day, (different instructions for afternoon procedures) we were allowed breakfast then nothing else to eat after that, but if I remember correctly we were allowed clear fluids. At 2pm we had to take about 10 laxatives, then at 4 pm a special mixture that was very powerful .... and another one at 7pm. We were only allowed to have clear fluids after that (I did ring up to see if gin was classified as clear liquid!)

- On the morning of the procedure nothing to eat.

I chose not to be sedated for the colonoscopy. I recovered very well - did not find it that bad and was able to go home really quickly although I was really anxious beforehand. I got the doctor to let my husband come in with me for the colonoscopy! The consultant said he had never had this request before.

When my husband had his procedure several months ago he certainly knew what to expect, I did not go in to the procedure with him! he was sedated and took longer to recover than me but was fine too. We both found the preparation worse than the procedure, the food is pretty limited and the laxatives are not pleasant, although the gin helped me get through the anxiety! The laxatives and the special drink were very effective - and we certainly had to be at home once you take them and definitely near the loo. Also it is important to be off work the day after the procedure - especially if you have been sedated, but I was out with my friends an hour after I left the hospital and then went to Tescos. Neither of us had any bleeding or adverse affects. My husband is not coeliac. I am NCGS and wheat intolerant. You have blood pressure, pulse etc taken after for a while. They did offer tea/coffee and biscuits after - so good to take your own as I think they offered digestives and custard creams. Your husband may feel hungry after doing without food for so long but he may not I wasn't. Some people who were sedated slept for some time after. Also they gave us the results straight after so it is good to have another person with you to absorb the info. I don't know if different hospitals have different procedures I am sure you will be advised. Do ask me questions. Hope this helps.

thank you so much feel much better now, we booked the procedure on a Friday so he has the weekend to get over it and the day before he is at home, as he is self employed taking time off is not his favourite pass time :( Just thinking of what to feed him etc he is such a fussy eater at the best of times x

flirtygert profile image
flirtygert in reply to urbangirl

interested to read you are NCGS - Thinking down the same lines myself as have spent 4 years of morning diahorrea, fatigue, cramps, nausea which has eventually been diagnosed as functional bowel disorder. Did you just cut out gluten to find out and for how long? how did you discover you were wheat intolerant. what were your symptoms???

My hubby was very very bad to the point of organ failure, he was basically starveing to death because the damage to his small intestine was so bad it was all going straight thro him, and he was severely de hydrated too, the consultant thinks that half his bowel was working ok for a number of years and then a bought of food poisioning/tummy bug was the final straw. It took them along time to even contemplate that he had an intolerance to Gluten and Wheat etc and the ironic thing is his blood test came back negative, his biopsy didn't. This was nine years ago and he has never regained all his weight and still has problems. The best test of all is to go Gluten and Wheat free for about six weeks and then eat a bowl of Pasta (Wheat) if it makes you ill you are definatley Gluten and Wheat intolerant. If you decide to not eat Gluten and Wheat for any length of time the blood test is pointless as it will def come up negative. The blood test is only and indication anyway. Hope this helps x

thanks. Think I will go back to my GP and see if I can be referred to a dietitian as I defo think my problems are all food related (with stress playing a part too)!!!

urbangirl profile image
urbangirl in reply to flirtygert

I didn't have a colonoscopy for NCGS I just got picked up during an out-patient visit for something else. The hospital routinely sends patients over 50 (or 55 I can't remember) for sigmoidoscopy. I had one of those where something was discovered and referred for a colonoscopy. All was clear.

My symptoms had been present for years in as much I could not eat bread or pastry so virtually cut flour out of my diet although at times would rely on it for cooking. The first symptom was always heartburn. About 18 months ago I was really busy and spent a month dashing around and making lots of food for family parties. Prior to this I was having extraordinary cramps like contractions in my stomach - not my bowel, during the night. Then I ate all this food with flour and stuff in and felt so bad with heartburn, going to the loo 12+ times a day (the content was not nice!) and had terrible muscle ache all over my body, I could not bear to be touched and had these weird stomach contractions. My GP did tests which were negative but advised me to consider not eating gluten. I stopped eating gluten in November 2012 and within a week my muscles felt better, I never got cramps or had to go to the loo++.

But whenever I ate wine gums, which was not very often, I always got heartburn. I also suffered when I ate oats, anything containing glucose syrup and Free From products. My GP referred me to a dietician who supervised me doing a FODMAPS elimination diet which was very helpful as I was able to identify foods that aggravated me. I think I have IBS too. So I was able to eat things that would not hurt me which was such a relief. However - like others I have had occasions when I have unknowingly eaten gluten and been so violently ill - usually it has been in the night time and when I have been away from home. I can feel the gluten going through me and know what is in store, I cannot leave the bathroom for 4+ hours, and need to be near one for 6 hours, but thankfully I recover quite quickly once the gluten is out, although I am usually shattered. My GP thinks I am coeliac but I don't want to eat gluten for 6 weeks and I am satisfied with eliminating gluten and wheat from my diet as I feel so much better and only get ill when I eat something dodgy! Hope this helps.

flirtygert profile image
flirtygert in reply to urbangirl

thats good to know thanks. I have had sigmoidoscopy which just discovered few diverticuli which specialist said could be playing up sometimes when I have the pain..... will see gp again - has given me antidepressants (mild dose) to see if will help with nervous stomach..

Watch our for the discomfort caused by air pumped into the bowel to expand the walls, so the doctor can see clearly. I also found when the equipment turned around the major bends in the colon was especially uncomfortable, if not painful. The doctor said that was usually the case, given how far it travelled.

A couple of precancerous polyps were however found and removed, so that put the pain into perspective!

Hi, I'm with urban girl - the worst part is the prep. My laxative was a salty drink which was disgusting. I found it took me ages to just get it down. The procedure itself you are completely unaware, but awake quickly afterwards and no side effects. If you have had a sedative you can't drive afterwards, even though you feel OK. Straight back onto normal diet and all OK.

I found that after the procedure I had about 6 weeks of being totally pain free. I had no discomfort at all. It was as if after having a clear out my insides had a fresh start

I had one 18 months ago with no problems. Just absolutely famished afterwards!

Sadly it's not very nice take time off if your working is my advice as u don't want to be far from the toilet :( I actually found the dye worst :( drink lots water and count down till it's over and hopefully symptoms calm down quickly for him

seibbo profile image
seibbo in reply to seibbo

I didn't react to solutions and I'm very sensitive to gluten to be fair I think being cleaned bowel wise did me a bit of good as I felt less bloated than I had done in years. ! Just when u got to go you really do need to go

I had colonoscopy a few years ago, and once I had the sedative I knew nothing until it was over. It put me in fairyland, which was a good thing. Worse part was the laxative. Don't leave the house once you have taken it. I had no effects from it at all, apart from being very hungry. Good luck

Hi, I have colonic irrigation the day before I have these procedures, because I react quite badly to the laxatives....it's a more natural way to clear your system out and no pain at all. Good luck.

I had the colonoscopy and endoscopy on the same morning

Just took the laxatives as instructed everything was fine as I expected really

Did have the sedation which was fine just helped me relax

All went well no problem but the endoscopy was uncomfortable but the colonoscopy was fine

Bit of discomfort to hopefully find a diagnosis...... Worth it

Feel better every day

Good luck


I had mine last week, the appointment was at lunch time. I found the laxatives the worst of it all. I managed to get the evening one down ok, but the following morning I was sick with it. don't move far from the toilet after taking them as you do need to move fast once they start working. I had sedation and felt fine during it. afterwards I felt ok and just carried on as normal. I did stay near a toilet as the air they pumped in did have to come out. the following day I had some pain in my left side which was gone after a couple of days. I drank lemonade a few times, full sugar, as I had read from others this was a good thing to do if your diabetic, this seemed to help. I would however say take the sparkle out by stirring it as it can give you extra gas which is not pleasant .

loobylou123 profile image
loobylou123 in reply to sapphy

Thank you, just hope he is ok to turn the horses out with me the day of his procedure before we go, mind you we are both made of tough stuff as long as he doesn't need to rush to the loo in the morning x

sapphy profile image
sapphy in reply to loobylou123

as long as the laxative has finished doing its job, he should be fine.

hi, the worst part for me was the 2 weeks of eating gluten. Yes, the laxatives weren't nice and I had to be near a toilet from 4 hrs after taking the first one. It confirmed that gluten has a horrendous effect on me which although was horrible to experience it helped.

Ive had a few colonoscopies , am diabetic, low allergy to wheat and intolerant to lots of stuff etc was told not coeliac by my consultant who did the blood test but that was after a gluten free diet of several years so not sure if that would have been a true result. Colonoscopies really did save my life...The picolax laxative that you take prior to the test is a bit harsh and you need to be near a loo but it totaly clears your system of everything and gives a much clearer view. plenty of water, follow the light diet and if diabetic have coca cola (with sugar) handy as it helps keep levels up...it all sounded so scary but the procedure really works well if you follow the instructions. Myself I didnt feel any discomfort and found it fascinating to watch and of course the staff are amazing and make you feel at ease,,,,the puff of air can be a bit embarrassing but the staff always say its 'their fault not yours!' haha bless them! I had a little sedation because I wanted to watch the procedure and it was fine I did have trapped wind afterwards and the easiest way is to keep 'burping' so it can clear...it soon passes but a bit uncomfortable across the high stomach area. Im sure things will be fine and its easy for others to say but hopefully these reviews help. I wouldnt be here today if it wasnt for colonoscopies and that is a fact! I had bowel cancer and the tumour was on the other side of the walls so wasnt showing up on the colonoscopy...all that was picked up was an indentation and the Doc had seen this once before in his career and it wasnt good. I went in to have my polyp removed (which was one of the flat ones) and the tumour was on the other side of the wall..I was looking at my last Birthday!!! I survived...so for me colonoscopies are a life saver and puts things into perspective. By the way I am the worlds worst for having tests done..Im a wimp! lol Good Luck...Im sure all will be fine! x

Wow Thanks everyone for their input especially Cas4u2 and Sapphy and Urban Girl, very helpful as the consult mentioned having to control my Diabetes per op and see that you managed that as well which I was worried about as I take my insulin in once dose at night. So pleased for you Cas4u2 that it was such a good outcome for you. General consensus is the per procedure is the worst bit to go through. Just hope it gets the results I want from it . Once again shows how good this forum works xxxx Myrab.

Thank you all so much for your comments, this has really helped, my hubby so worried about the after effects of the laxative etc. He is self employed so really can not afford to have problems afterwards, especially with going to the loo etc. Did you all find that you got to the hospital ok without having any accidents etc his appointment is at 9.30am but it is a good 25minutes drive away

cas4u2 profile image
cas4u2 in reply to loobylou123

LoobyLou123 there were no problems getting to the hospital at all....by the time youre ready for that journey your system is completely emptied and settled down ready for the test. Hubby will be fine...Always scary the first time its just the unknown. Probably a good idea to get someone else to drive home after having full colonoscopy especially if having sedation! Will be looking to see if all went well xx Thank you myrab life is so precious now..I was cleared November 2012! This forum is a great support and lovely people xx

After having those powerful laxatives, the last being at 7pm the night before the procedure and nothing else to eat after breakfast I don't think there was anything left ........ but I guess some people could have residue. I think he has an excellent time for an appointment. I would suggest you keep on the case to be with him after he has had the colonoscopy so you can ask any questions about the results if that is the procedure in your hospital. Although this was the process in our hospital, in actual fact I was overlooked and had to ask to be able to get to see my husband. Because I had had a colonoscopy knew the process and was able to be on the ball. He was dressed and the staff had already gone through his results which were in fact okay - I made them tell me. I had a biopsy taken and because I was not sedated was able to ask and remember when I would get the results etc and what would happen next. Hope things go well for him.

Hi I am gluten, lactose & fructose intolerant. I have had several colonoscopy s. obviously all the meds have to be taken to clear out the bowel as even a small seed can block the camera view. Apart from obviously not working the day or two before as you will need to be close to the loo. Once clean out he should just be passing pretty much clear fluid from the bowel. Post procedure you can be passing wind, just make sure that the nurse has ordered a gluten free meal to eat as you can eat shortly after you have properly woken up. It's not as bad as it sounds & you get to go home the same day. You must drink the fluids they tell you as it helps replace the fluid you get from food & it will help with hunger.... Good luck

Thank you :)

myrab profile image
myrab in reply to Barina789

Good tip about the meal after being GF, thanks.

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