diarrhea after colonoscopy

Diarrhea after colonoscopy is not very common but it can happen. For some people, they complain of no stools after colonoscopy. These changes may be related to change in the population of bacteria in the colon or other things.

Diarrhea after colonoscopy

Diarrhea after colonoscopy can occur. The most likely reason is the change in the bacteria population of the colon caused by the bowel cleansing agents. Bowel cleansing agents can cause an immediate and significant change in the bacteria population of the colon. The total bacteria population is reduced 31 fold according to one study.

The diversity of the bacteria is also reduced. Most people will recover their bacteria population within 14 days. Recovery of the bacteria population is related to the dose of the bowel cleansing agent.

Patients that split their bowel cleansing agents into two are more likely to recover faster.

What causes diarrhea after colonoscopy

  • The bowel cleansing agent may still be working through your system.
  • Change in the population and diversity of the bacteria in the colon caused by bowel cleansing and colonoscopy.
  • Colitis. If you have colitis, your diarrhea may appear worse immediately after colonoscopy.
  • Infection. Infection from contaminated equipment is very rare.
  • Medications. If you take certain medications before, during or after colonoscopy, diarrhea can occur. Antibiotics, acid blockers, anticancer and many other medications can cause diarrhea.

What can you do to stop diarrhea after colonoscopy


No stool after colonoscopy

For some people, they have no stool for a few days after colonoscopy. The same things that cause diarrhea after colonoscopy can cause constipation after colonoscopy.

What causes constipation after colonoscopy

  • Change in population and diversity of the bacteria in the colon.
  • Medications. Drugs like fentanyl, a pain medication used during colonoscopy can cause constipation.

What can you do to stop constipation after colonoscopy

  • Nothing. Constipation after colonoscopy may not last much.
  • Split your bowel prep.
  • Keep hydrated.
  • Talk to your doctor.


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