Colonoscopies are tests completed by gastroenterologists so the lining of your large intestine and colon can be examined for irregular formations. The physician will look for ulcers, tumors, and polyps, and the test is completed to identify precancerous and cancerous cells before they are able to spread. A colonoscopy should be completed about every 5 years, starting when you turn 50. You will need to prepare for the exam by cleaning out your intestines. It will take one to two days to do this and you will be given a drink to consume to assist with this. The drink can be somewhat unpleasant. There are some things you can do to make the drink go down a bit easier.

Add A Citrus Fluid

The preparation drink that you will need to consume contains the active ingredient polyethylene glycol. Polyethylene glycol is an osmotic laxative that forces fluid to remain in your bowels mixed with your fecal matter. This allows the stool to remain liquid so the intestinal tract can be cleared easily. This helps the physician see the intestinal lining clearly. 

You will be given either a powder or a premixed liquid to consume, and it will have an orange, lemon, or a salty flavor. Speak with your physician before you are given the drink and ask for the powdered version. Once you have the powder, you will need to mix a fluid with it to create the drink. If you are given a lemon flavored powder, then purchase a citrus soda to make the fluid palatable. Sun Drop, Citra, Fanta Citrus, Banta, and Slice are a few good options. If you do not like sodas, then lemonade will work well. If the powder is orange flavored, then purchase a bottle of Orangina, Orange Crush, or Minute Maid orange soda. Add some orange juice if you do not want the carbonation.

Read the directions on the powder to see how much of the fluid you need to add. Make sure that the soda or fluid is cold before mixing it with the powder. Research suggests that drinks taste better when they are cold because signals are sent to the brain to tell it that you are hydrating your body. Since this is a positive thing, your brain makes the sensation of drinking feel pleasant.

Plug Your Nose And Use A Straw

If the mixture you have created tastes unappetizing, even after you have added the soda, then consider using your fingers to pinch your nose while you drink. The sense of smell and taste are closely related, and what you think of as taste may actually be smell. As you eat or drink, you open and close your mouth to chew and swallow. When this happens, you force some air up into your nose through the back of the nasal passages. Small particles of food are moved into the nose with the air and you smell what you are eating. Pinching your nose can greatly reduce strong sensations as you eat, so pinch it just before you drink the preparation fluid.

You can also try to bypass most of your taste buds while you drink your concoction by placing a straw in the fluid and placing the straw at the back of the mouth. Slowly suck on the straw to consume the fluid. If the taste of the preparation drink is left in your mouth after consuming it, then suck on a peppermint candy afterwards. Also, place a few drops of peppermint essential oil underneath each nostril. The peppermint will overpower the lingering citrus taste. If you feel a bit queasy, then opt for a ginger candy or sip on some ginger ale. Ginger has the benefit of calming an upset stomach. 

For more help, contact a clinic like Northwest Gastroenterology Associates.