Ileostomy and Colonoscopy: Prep Confusion and Diet Advice

Jul 21, 2013 6:37 pm
I am scheduled for a colonoscopy on Thursday and pretty confused. I still have my colon, but due to abscesses on my colon and a fistula, I was given a (temporary?) ileostomy. Trying to get a correct diagnosis. My question is: why do I need to do this movie prep and fleet enema when my colon should be empty from all the testing they did in my two-week stay at the hospital.

Also, can anyone advise me on what I can eat that won't go right through me so fast? I eat bananas, breads, pasta, pectin jelly beans, crackers, peanut butter, and cheese and still ended up emptying my bag and my watery stool about every hour.
Jul 21, 2013 8:32 pm
Hi Michspo.

Firstly, I hope you're coping well after your ileostomy formation. The only thing I could think that they would need to prep your colon for is due to the mucus that is still created by your colon. This is possibly so there is a clearer view of your colon wall during the colonoscopy.

It can be difficult to know how your system will digest certain foods. I tend to find that foods that can be harder to digest will initially make me pass more watery stool, possibly as more digestive fluids are produced to break food down. Foods like eggs, bananas, and skinned apples help me. If all else fails, a dose of Imodium can help to slow things down.

Good luck for Thursday.
Gray Logo for MeetAnOstoMate

Why Join MeetAnOstoMate?

First off, this is a pretty cool site with 35,000 members who truly understand you.

It's not all about ostomy. We talk about everything.

Many come here for advice or to give advice, others have found good friends, and some have even found love. Most importantly, people here are honest and genuinely care.

🛑 Privacy is very important - we have many features that are only visible to members, ensuring a safe and secure environment for you to share and connect.

Create an account and you will be amazed by the warmth of this community.

Jul 21, 2013 10:36 pm
Hello DiderleyD:

Thanks for your response. This is all so new to me. I love fruits and veggies but scared to death to eat them. I'm afraid of everything basically. I just got one of those Nutribullets and going to give that a whirl, in hopes that I will absorb some nutrients. I am so tired and weak.

As for this colonoscopy, I am scared that I might have a lot of stool coming from my stoma. The doctors do not really tell you a lot. I just want to get this done and over with. First, I was told this all happened because of something I ate in MX., then I was told I have diverticulitis and then Crohn's.

The surgeon told me "it's a good possibility that I will lose my colon?" Without actually looking in my colon, which has made me a nervous wreck.

It's nice to have people like you to be there for support. I am 55 and never had any problems, until now. I'm confused.

Thanks again,
Jul 22, 2013 4:30 pm

I wouldn't worry about any output from your ileostomy during the colonoscopy. They're not linked in any way so your doctor probably wouldn't need to go anywhere near it. It's something they are probably used to. )

One thing I forgot to mention, if they have given you medication to clear your colon that you take orally, I would double check they have given you the correct meds. If you are given anything orally to take for your colon it won't work as your ileostomy is negating the need of it at the moment. Most importantly you need all the fluids you can get, so taking any form of laxative might dehydrate you. I'm just going by experience, so it's probably best to double check with your doctor before taking anything.

I wouldn't avoid eating anything in particular. Things like nuts, mushrooms, leafy veg can cause issues if they are not chewed properly, but fruit and veg should still be an important part of your diet. If your ileostomy is quite new, just try little bits and often to see how you feel with things. I know it's a big change, but try not to overthink it too much. It's probably better to skip certain veg unless it's cooked well and chewed thoroughly. Bear in mind you've been through a major operation so you will feel tired for a few weeks. Don't worry though, it will all settle and life will return to normal. I would try not to pay too much notice to doctors' opinions until you have a firm diagnosis. It's not really fair to speculate on the cause of the problems.

When you visit the doctors, have a list of questions you want them to answer. Write them down in case you forget anything and make sure they do give you answers. There is nothing worse than not knowing. )

Jul 22, 2013 6:16 pm

I just recently went through the same thing, was ordered a bunch of prep because my ileo is a "temp" as well and I still have all my parts... but the prep is not correct. After going rounds and rounds with the idiot secretary at my GI's office, I finally asked my colorectal surgeon what he would recommend and he said NPO for 12 hours and no fleets - just plain lukewarm water enema is fine. And that's it! Taking the prep can dangerously dehydrate someone with an ileostomy.

Keep eating all those foods to thicken your output; I personally find peanut butter crackers and white rice to be my best friends in those times. You know what else works really well? Cheetos LOL. To slow motility somewhat, pop a couple Imodium. I have to take 2 - taking 1 doesn't do anything. Hope that helps!

How to Manage Ostomy Leaks with LeeAnne Hayden | Hollister
Jul 22, 2013 10:47 pm
Hi Miss Megan M,

I just had a GI doc call me. He said to only do one movie prep and two Fleet enemas. I don't get it. There is no way that I have anything left in my colon. I don't know about enemas. I might just skip them. Now the pharmacy just called; 74 bucks for the "kit." They only want me to drink one liter. I'm going to the pharmacy and get something over the counter. This is BS. Sorry for my French. I am not made of money. I have a big plastic baggie filled with antibiotics that did not work when I first got sick. All these pills did was cause me lots of painful cramping. And they did nothing but put me in the hospital. Oh, I am so mad right now!

I just left a message at the doc's office, of course no one was there.

I have worked in the restaurant industry for 40 years and waited on lots and lots of pharmaceutical parties; these doctors were eating steak, lobster, crab, oysters, etc. at like 50 to 70 bucks a head. Because I do believe that there is a kickback for these docs to prescribe their products. So they don't care how much things cost. They just take out their pad and write away. GRRRRR!
Jul 23, 2013 2:06 pm

UGH. Don't drink the prep - you don't need it. I was told the same thing by my GI specialist; it was my colorectal surgeon that corrected it. And I trust his opinion more; he's been practicing longer than my GI and has seen and done these frequently. He told me NPO for 12 hours and 1 lukewarm water enema. Not pleasant, but he said Fleets are not good for people like you and me and after reading the material on the Fleets website, I believe him!

Jul 23, 2013 3:30 pm

Miss Megan M
Talked to the doc yesterday and he told me to still drink one of the movie preps and still do the enemas. You are so right, I am aware of the risk of getting dehydrated but it does not seem to bother him. Still waiting for a response. I have called and left messages and even sent him an email. Still waiting. If I have to, I will go to the pharmacy and get something over the counter. Plus, why buy the whole kit when I only need half? That stuff is not cheap!

Jul 23, 2013 4:22 pm

No, it isn't, and in my experience, doctors don't know diddly about bowel diseases and especially ileostomies (they seem to be more familiar with colostomies, for some reason). So I learned the hard way to do my own research and trust my own instincts. I don't listen to someone just because they have an MD next to their name - all that means to me is that somehow you had enough money to go to college for 8 years. I'm not stupid and I have the internet, LOL. Considering it was a doctor who almost killed me and made my having an ileostomy necessary in the first place, I take what they have to say with a great big grain of salt. Good luck!!!

Jul 23, 2013 4:54 pm

Miss Megan: I sure can relate to what you are saying. Twenty years ago, after two c-sections, I decided to have a tummy tuck; the skin was just hanging and caused me lots of back problems. Well, this jerk didn't put any drains in, and I ended up with gangrene. That one surgery turned into three. Then back in March when they drained, supposedly, my abscesses, they did not give the sedative enough time to take effect, and I felt that long friggin needed into my right buttock. But still, they kept doing the procedure.

I do not trust any doctors, to be honest. It's all about the numbers and the money. I am not looking forward to this procedure on Thursday. I am going to go to the pharmacy and just get something not so intense to clean my empty colon!!!

Will keep you posted.

Jul 24, 2013 4:45 pm
Well, I started feverishly making phone calls and finally got some information about my ileostomy. No one ever told me that I was given a "loop ileostomy." The ostomy nurse really calmed me down somewhat. I was never told to get some ointment or baby wipes during this cleanse. I was prescribed Movie Prep, but told I didn't need to take both liters. Then why not order me something else, so I don't have to throw away 37 bucks; half of what it would cost me out of pocket to buy this. I started calling the GI doc's office Monday afternoon, leaving messages and even took a trip to his office, looking for some answers, to no avail. Finally, the ostomy nurse paged him and what do you know, the manager of his office called me. I am not financially wealthy, and haven't worked since the beginning of March.

When I first got sick, I was ordered so many antibiotics from a few different doctors which did nothing but cause me pain. I still have them in a large ziplock bag, about $700.00 worth, after my insurance discount sitting in my closet. So tired of paying for medicine that doesn't work. Two hospital stays and still do not have a diagnosis.

Getting ready to prep for this colonoscopy very shortly. Not sure what opening this stuff is going to come out of. Stoma or butt! How can there be anything left in my colon after everything I had gone through the past four months? Guess I will find out very soon! UGH!
Jul 24, 2013 7:16 pm
Well, keep me posted..........they wanted to do scopes on me but I am not planning for a reversal at any time in the near future so I don't see the point - I've already been down Bowel Perforation Road and I'm not looking to make another trip any time soon. So I refused the scopes in the end. Scopes aren't going to treat my disease or make it any better, so personally I feel the less poking around in there that takes place, the better. But if I decide to try reversal, I'll be in your same shoes.

Good luck!!!!
Jul 24, 2013 9:50 pm

Still don't understand why you have to take prep as your colon won't have anything going through it. It's technically not attached at the moment so the prep won't reach that far. Your ileostomy is the temporary exit, so what goes in will come out there.

Good luck for tomorrow. Hope it all goes well. I'm pretty sure your stoma will be quite busy so keep your fluids up.

Take care.

Jul 25, 2013 9:45 pm
Hello Ms. Megan: Well, I made it through the whole ordeal. I didn't have anything to clean out of my bowel, nothing after the cleanse and first Fleet. I had a little, little stool after the second; it could fill a thimble. The doc assured me that I would be okay. I appreciate your support because I didn't know. I am new to this. All this had happened so suddenly, I was totally stressed. I never got a right diagnosis until today. They put me out and went through my colon and ileostomy too. I am so relieved, no Crohn's or diverticulitis. I will lose about 8-10 inches of my lower colon though. And I will have to have my uterus removed too. So I will be able to get the reversal. I need to get strong now. Maybe since all the anxiety is gone, maybe I can gain some weight. I was smoking like a chimney thinking about all this.

MY HEART goes out to everyone who is suffering from all the bowel diseases out there. I love you all for helping me through this situation. My thoughts and prayers will always be with everyone.

Keep the faith,
Jul 26, 2013 12:28 pm

Good! I'm so glad everything went well for you!!!

Now it's time to walk the protein to you - it helps repair tissue and will make you strong for reversal. Start getting exercise, eating want to be in the best shape possible when you have your ileostomy reversed. They say that I can have mine reversed too, but I have Crohn's.......and I haven't had any problems with it since my surgery. So I don't know if I want to do that or not. I'd rather have an ostomy and not be sick all the time

Good luck!!!!