Chewing Gum Could Make for an Easier Prep



Everyone knows that the downside of a colonoscopy is the prep. No one likes the idea of a liquid diet or drinking laxatives mixed with Gatorade. Some people have no trouble stomaching the polyethylene glycol solution, but others complain of nausea, bloating, vomiting, and abdominal discomfort.

Now with the split-dose prep, patients can consume a lower volume of liquid in two intervals. One dose is taken the night before the colonoscopy, and the next dose is taken the day of the procedure. Many veteran colonoscopy recipients have some tried-and-true methods that make colonoscopy prep more palatable. Some of these tricks include:

  • Making the prep solution as cold as possible
  • Mixing the prep with orange Crystal Lite
  • Drinking the solution through a straw
  • Trying to drink the solution as quickly as possible

A recent study in Seoul, South Korea, led by Jisun Lee, R.N., and colleagues, found that chewing gum could help the undesirable side effects of colonoscopy prep. The team asked 66 participants to chew one stick of sugarless gum during the pause interval of drinking a polyethylene glycol solution while 65 patients (control group) did not chew gum.

The gum-chewing group had significantly fewer complaints of nausea, abdominal discomfort, vomiting, and bloating. They also consumed their solution at a faster rate than the control group.

The authors concluded after the study, “Gum chewing was demonstrated by this study to be a potentially effective nursing intervention that is easy for patients to perform with simple instructions and is low cost with no side effects.”

If you are getting ready to have your colonoscopy, it might be time to go buy your favorite flavor of Juicy Fruit, Hubba Bubba, Wrigley’s, or Big League Chew. Smack it, pop it, blow bubbles, and indulge. You might just be making your colonoscopy prep a little easier and a lot more fun (Source: Medical Xpress).