Scleroderma & Raynaud's UK (SRUK)
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Colonoscopy preparation

Had my first colonoscopy today to investigate low iron levels.

Other than a couple of bouts of irritable bowel for no obvious reason, I do not have a history of bowel problems.

I followed the prep instructions to the letter. stopped iron tablets 6 days beforehand (they actually said 5 but played it safe). Started low fibre diet 3 days beforehand (white bread, chicken, no fruit & veg etc). Ate nothing after 1 pm. Started klean prep 3pm. Drank 4 litres/4 sachets of it as instructed, finished 9.15 pm. Bowel movements started about 6 pm, not long after the second sachet. Had some extra plain water and lucozade which was permitted in the instructions. The prep was definitely working, spent a lot of time 'purging', did not feel safe to go to bed until 2 am and my bowels were still not clear. Was up again at 6 am as I had some outdoor work to do and had to come in to the loo 4 times and went again at the hospital at 8.45 am. I told the nurse when I arrived that I did not think my bowels were clear. Started the procedure at 9 am but could not proceed due to presence of soft stools.

Afterwards, continued to have non - clear episodes until 1 pm when it eventually stopped working.

The GI consultant recommended sennatab and moviprep next time.

Any comments or similar experiences? I feel guilty in wasting hospital time but with a check-in time of 8.30 I couldn't even have let them know on the morning that I didn't think I was ready. Is this an issue due to scleroderma? I do not know if I have bowel thickening but I do have reflux and dysphagia at the top end. So now I wait another appointment (the last was 'urgent' ) and go through it all again...

5 Replies

Yikes! Compared to myself......all sounded a bit too late?

You shouldn't feel bad about it..... We cannot all respond the 'same'

way exactly to a prescribed dose...... Our size, age, sex, previous diet

etc. must mean we all react slightly differently?

Your prep maybe should have started slightly earlier the day before?

Never worry. These things happen. Good Luck next time. Fran xxxxxx

1 like

I always have to do a 2-day prep - pretty miserable! I have Limited Systemic Scleroderma. I don't know if this is typical of Scleroderma.


Someone I know had one in another county and she only had the restricted diet for 24 hrs whereas my county has 72 hrs, before the prep laxative.

I have limited systemic sclerosis and I just got a standard printed instruction leaflet

Anyone else had to do senna 2 tabs for 3 nights then moviprep which is what I am expecting next time?


I had an "urgent" colonoscopy six months ago. I have suffered from constipation for a year now and was referred because of rectal bleeding and GI issues. I was concerned that I wouldn't clear properly so I started the Klean prep a bit earlier than the instructions required and it took me right up to arrival to endoscopy suite before I really was more or less clear. I drunk litres.

For what it's worth they only found a couple of large bleeding haemorrhoids.

I have seronegative Sjogrens and if I was also diagnosed with Scleroderma it would be seropositive because of the pattern of my +ANA..

I also have GERD and late onset Raynauds. I started Mycophenolate two weeks ago and have noticed that my constipation has settled down for the first time in over a year- without requiring laxative such as Laxido or Lactulose. Early days of course and may just be a coincidence or short lived benefit, but I'm hoping not.

The only thing I should say about my colonoscopy is that I feel they did not give me nearly enough pain relief or sedative because they had to get us through the procedure, up and out. I asked others in my group if the procedure was as "extremely uncomfortable" for them and it clearly wasn't.

I haven't been diagnosed with Scleroderma yet, only Sjogrens, and previously RA, so again, this could just be me. But you might want to ask for extra pain relief since you have got a second chance here. My husband and daughter in law are both nurses and confirmed that the pain relief and sedation dosages administered were minimal for this procedure in my hospital. It was conducted by specialist nurses so I'm not sure they would recognised hardened skin or scarring - but it felt to me as if this was my issue.


Hi there, and sorry for the late reply. I have had exactly the same experience on more than one occasion and in fact a colonoscopy has never been successful. My iron levels remain low and it was recommended that I have a colonoscopy three weeks ago. I declined. I just can't go through all that procedure again. I had a CT scan but haven't had the result yet.

I've had Raynauds since the 1980s and Scleoderma since the 90s. This year has been awful as I've had a series of other illnesses including shingles and pneumonia. I go into the Royal Free every 6 months for Iloprost, due in again in a couple of weeks.

I really have had a belly full recently.

My bowels have always played up, mainly with constipation. I had some pretty heavy "clear out" meds in the Royal Free last summer but my bowels continue to play up and I have a constant gluey discharge and now a prolapse too. Goodness knows what they will do next, but as far as I'm concerned a colonoscopy is not on the cards.

Good luck with it all!


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