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Recently, Jimmy Kimmel turned 50. To celebrate this milestone, he had a colonoscopy. He had a clean colon. Average risk persons should be screened for colorectal cancer starting at the age of 50. There are several ways to screen for colorectal cancer but colonoscopy remains the Gold Standard. It is the only test that allows the physician to remove colon polyp or early stage cancer at the same time as the test.
In the video, Jimmy Kimmel colonoscopy revealed a clean colon (bowel prep). A clean colon allows the physician to see the inner lining of the colon. The adequacy of bowel cleansing is scored during colonoscopy using several bowel preparation scales. Adequate bowel prep is one that can detect polyps 5 mm in size or more. Inadequate bowel prep is associated with a reduced chance of detecting pre-cancerous polyps. It leads to longer procedure time and aborted procedure. Ultimately, it leads to higher healthcare cost.
How to get a clean colon like Jimmy Kimmel
- Adjust your medications. About 1 week before your colonoscopy, stop taking fiber supplements such as Metamucil, Citrucel, Benefiber. Also, stop taking iron tablets or products that contain iron. Avoid medications used to stop diarrhea such as Imodium, Lomotil and Pepto-Bismol. Stop taking fish oil about 2 days before colonoscopy.
- Change your diet. Start eating low fiber foods 3 days before your colonoscopy. Most physicians also recommend a clear liquid diet 1 day before your colonoscopy.
- Split your bowel cleansing agent. There are many medications approved by the Food and Drug Administration for bowel cleansing. These include Colyte®, GoLYTELY®, NuLYTELY®, TriLyte®, HalfLytely®, MoviPrep®, SUPREP®, OsmoPrep®, Prepopik®, and CLENPIQ®. Regardless of the bowel cleansing agent used, the split dose regimen has been proven in multiple studies to be the most effective way to use the medication. In the split dose regimen, half of the bowel cleansing agent is taken the evening before the colonoscopy. The 2nd half is taken 4 to 5 hours before the scheduled colonoscopy.
- Keep hydrated. Drinking plenty of fluids prevents dehydration and improves the cleanliness of your colon. In most cases, you can drink clear liquid fluids up to 2 hours before your scheduled colonoscopy.
- Finish your bowel cleansing agent. You may be tempted to not finish your bowel cleansing agent because you think you may be clean. Please, don’t. Finish all your bowel cleansing agent. Read how to tell if your bowel is clean prior to colonoscopy.
How to prevent colorectal cancer
- Know your family history.
- Get screened.
- Avoid tobacco.
- Drink alcohol in moderation.
- Consume less red meat and processed meat.
- Eat more fiber.
- Lose weight.
- Be physically active.
- For more information, read 3 ways to prevent colorectal cancer.
- How to hack your colonoscopy.
- How to use your bowel cleansing agents for colonoscopy.
- Colonoscopy secrets you need to know.
- Bowel prep and colonoscopy frequently asked questions (faq).