14

votes

colonoscopy and gut flora

Answered on September 02, 2015
Created July 07, 2011 at 4:14 PM

I'm at the age where colonoscopies will become a regular thing, or at least an occasional thing. As prep for the colonoscopy, you drink this liquid which "cleans you out" so they can get a better look. Does anybody know if this wipes out the gut flora? If so, beyond eating paleo and maybe having extra fermented foods and taking some probiotics, is there anything I can/should do? Will the gut flora get back to normal on their own with this regime, and if so, how long would that take?

Maybe my clean eating would argue for less frequent colonoscopies than standard, depending on how harmful they are, but I don't imagine there's any good data that would help me make that decision ...

Cbb1134f8e93067d1271c97bb2e15ef6

on August 18, 2011
at 04:02 PM

Thanks, Rose. Glad it feels helpful. I'd check with your Doc to make SURE that you get the prep mix with non-nutritive sweetener. It weems pretty standard now, but for those of us for whom a BIG blast of sugar like that is truly POISON, it's important enough to check! Can double check with pharmacist as well b4 picking it up. I ws bad and did mine late...and was really pleased with how smooth/sell it went.

3aea514b680d01bfd7573d74517946a7

(11996)

on August 18, 2011
at 03:24 PM

Mem, I so appreciate your knowledge of this stuff. I just said "no" to my first colonoscopy appointment, but maybe I'll reverse that decision. Magnesium citrate and mineral oil don't sound all that toxic, and it's probably better to be safe than sorry (Dad died of colon cancer, so have a family history that should be taken seriously, I guess). Sigh.

Cc7381bd787721575ea9198048132adb

(5541)

on July 07, 2011
at 04:16 PM

Would love the answer to this one. Good query sir.

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8 Answers

4
Medium avatar

(3259)

on July 07, 2011
at 06:40 PM

My gut flora seemed fine after a recent scope.

I'm 40 and was advised to have one due to my high risk - my mother, father, 35 y/o sister, and grandparents have all had polyps removed a number of times. My doc said that I was at an even higher risk based on my diet. After the drugs wore off, I asked the doc what he saw. "Perfectly normal colon - not a single polyp".

Of course I'm not suggesting that there's a direct link between my diet and my colon health (ok, I am), but I think everyone was waiting to say "I told you that caveman thing would kill you...", and it's smugly satisfying to strut my pristine digestive system around while gnawing on jerky instead of whole grain bagels.

2
724f0f45eb53919b8c617c3c1ec5fbc5

(830)

on July 07, 2011
at 05:25 PM

The prep for colonoscopy is basically to use really strong laxatives to give you horrible diarrhea, thus "cleaning out" your tubes.

While it's not fun, and probably doesn't improve your gut flora, there's nothing about it that strikes me as deadly to your gut flora, either. It doesn't involve antibiotics or antifungal drugs.

1
Cbb1134f8e93067d1271c97bb2e15ef6

on July 08, 2011
at 04:37 AM

The typical prep used currently is a combo of primarily mag citrate (oldie but goodie) combined with mineral oil and artificial (nonnutritive - not sugar) sweetener that makes it taste ghastly sweet.It's a premix that you just pour and gulp.

God awful stuff that was like sweetened motor oil and water was standard at one time and you had to consume a BIG jug of it over a number of hours. MUCH worse prep. And it had the cute name of : Go Lightly. ;)

I'd say the current prep is a cakewalk, comparatively, and not all that disruptive either...and then there's the mag benefits...although how beneficial i don't know, since it's all running through your intestine like lightening in short order.

I just have my first one several years late and don't have to go back for 5 years.

Miralax isn't enough of a super cleaner...and the mag citrate you'd purchase would be in liquid form and is the same stuff that is combined with a bit of oil in the standard prep.No substantial diff.

Cbb1134f8e93067d1271c97bb2e15ef6

on August 18, 2011
at 04:02 PM

Thanks, Rose. Glad it feels helpful. I'd check with your Doc to make SURE that you get the prep mix with non-nutritive sweetener. It weems pretty standard now, but for those of us for whom a BIG blast of sugar like that is truly POISON, it's important enough to check! Can double check with pharmacist as well b4 picking it up. I ws bad and did mine late...and was really pleased with how smooth/sell it went.

3aea514b680d01bfd7573d74517946a7

(11996)

on August 18, 2011
at 03:24 PM

Mem, I so appreciate your knowledge of this stuff. I just said "no" to my first colonoscopy appointment, but maybe I'll reverse that decision. Magnesium citrate and mineral oil don't sound all that toxic, and it's probably better to be safe than sorry (Dad died of colon cancer, so have a family history that should be taken seriously, I guess). Sigh.

1
0a2dd50f2d3951bf3fb83fc4638c9512

(1960)

on July 07, 2011
at 05:03 PM

I'd guess that the medical community would argue that any risk(s) associated with occasional colonoscopies pale(s) in comparison to those presented by undiscovered/untreated colon cancer.

0
C78e62e5712677f6b032b4c02ceca8a3

on September 02, 2015
at 04:51 AM

I would like to know if I can develop a beneficial microbiota community after a colonoscopy. If the theory is true that the MB is controlled/cultured by what you consume then I wonder how much of a change can be made as a side benefit of the colonoscopy. IE: Is there some way I can reboot my presently not-so-nice microbiota community?

0
3c6b4eed18dc57f746755b698426e7c8

on July 08, 2011
at 04:17 AM

A few years ago they had preps that would take out your kidneys. These preps are not a joke. I would investigate them thoroughly and if you find they are too strong, I would ask the doctor if you can sub magnesium citrate or Miralax, over the counter laxatives that are arguably safer than these prescription-strength preps.

I believe my gut flora was damaged when I had my colonoscopy done 1.5 years ago. The prep I took was called "Moviprep". I could be wrong, since I was also taking NSAIDs (naproxen) occasionally for my gout/RA attacks. Other factors may have contributed also (my supergluten diet). But I would be careful and do a google search.

There is risk in every treatment. And the cure (or treatment) is sometimes worse than the disease you may or may not have.

Always balance the risk of complication (or mortality) from the treatment with the mortality arising from the actual disease. If colon cancer affects only 2% of 50 year old males and the mortality/complications of the procedure is 5% at the hospital you're being treated, well, you might want to rethink the procedure.

These are just made-up numbers and there are good reasons for having colonoscopies, obviously. But let's not forget, 90% of all heart bypasses are useless and performed at the behest of cardiologists who twist the facts; they ultimately do not lower the risk of heart disease.

0
1ccc0b0b7a756cd42466cef8f450d0cb

(1801)

on July 07, 2011
at 06:42 PM

I recall Art Ayers of the Cooling Inflammation blog suggesting that the laxative could be used to disrupt harmful biofilms.

0
345c1755efe005edd162b770dc6fb821

(8767)

on July 07, 2011
at 05:43 PM

been there, done that. Always sends me into a tizzy afterwards so my guess is that it will wipe out some of the good stuff. But its usually a 2 part prep and you should take some measures to get back on the right track without any issue afterwards.

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