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The Colonoscopy What You Should Know

The  Colonoscopy - What You Should Know by Steve Meyerowitz, Sproutman® I just had my colonoscopy. I did it without any drugs. I used my own method of cleansing. I made some mistakes. I learned some things. And I recommend you do this even in some cases when you are young. What It Is and Why You Need One You take your car in for an inspection once a year. You’re required to do it. But it’s a good thing anyway, right? After all, you depend on your car. When you have to go somewhere, you need it to function normally and if it doesn’t, it can ruin your day.

You also depend on your body to function normally. If it gets diseased, it does more than just ruin your day. It can alter your life. The colonoscopy is an inspection of your colon. That’s the lower half of your digestive tract. It’s also something you use daily and depend on. Colon cancer is the number three cancer after lung and breast cancer. One out of every five (5) people over 55 contract it and approximately 50,000 of them per year lose their lives. I lost one of my best friends to it. The good news is that when caught early, 90% of the cases are completely curable. These inspections, along with your diet, are your best means of protection. The Preparation Obviously, in order for the doctor to see, you need to clean out. The colon is about 5 feet long and it is preceded by the small intestine which is about 23 feet long. Since the small intestine automatically feeds into the large intestine (colon), you start at the top. At the very top of the tube is the mouth. In fact, the wall of the inside of your mouth actually looks the same as the wall of your colon. (I realize that may be a hard concept for some of you to digest!) So you start by drinking a gallon of water over the course of several hours along with a laxative product that sucks water out of the intestines. The result is a waterfall.

A flush. Now, I’m pro-cleansing, so in my opinion, this is a good thing to do every once in a while anyway. Nevertheless, I chose a different route. Instead of working from the top down, I wanted to get there from the bottom up. I took a colonic. For those of you who don’t know, a colonic is a kind of professionally administered enema. Both take approximately 45 minutes to an hour, but the enema uses half a gallon of water and the colonic typically uses 15 gallons. An enema usually goes only about one-third of the way into the colon, while a colonic washes out the whole tube. The Drugs There are two drugs that are typically used during the colonoscopy exam. One is an anti-cramping medicine (Fentanyl) and the other is a sedative (Versed). The colon wall itself does not have nerves that transmit sensations. So you wouldn’t feel any pain from the probing. But the doc needs to pump air into the colon to stretch the colon wall for better visibility. That insufflation creates the cramping. Both an enema and a colonic stretch the wall with water pressure. That also creates cramping. Most people don’t like cramps, even minor ones and you will definitely get both major and minor cramps from this procedure. Fentanyl is administered intravenously and you can have them give you the minimal dosage. It’s easy to add more if you need it. You can investigate this drug on www.Drugs.com or similar sources. It is not considered a dangerous drug. Versed is the sedative (a type of anaesthetic) which doctors use because many people are so phobic about this procedure. Some folks don’t even want to be awake for it. So this sedative puts them out or mostly so and they barely remember anything. This is also preferred by the docs because an uptight patient makes their job harder. Versed has side effects but the risks are low and the drug wears off by mid-day or evening. Depending on how big a dose you get, you may need to take the day off. How Bad Was It? The actual time inside your colon is typically only 20 minutes. The instrument is basically a light with a camera that worms its way through the tunnel. Although I feel completely positive about it, the experience was intense. And even though I tolerated the cramping very well, I can best describe it as “severe.” In comparison, all my children were born by natural childbirth (without any drugs) at home. From my perspective as an observer, childbirth takes longer and the peak cramps are more intense. But this event was indeed a workout. My heart rate went up to 120, but only because of the anxiety. Not knowing just what I would be facing, my anxiety was high. But my peak heart rate according to my age, weight, and height is 160. I can push myself to that number on a treadmill. So that tells you that it wasn’t that much of a workout.

My tolerance for pain is pretty high. But when things got intense, the nurse started rubbing my shoulder. I was amazed at how effective it was to have another human being speaking kind words and intentions and soothing me with touch. It reaffirmed for me the healing power of touch, the power of kindness, that all the holistic alternative therapies such as Reiki, massage, reflexology, craniosacral, myofascial, etc. provide. For issues like pain, injury, inflammation, stress, improving immune strength, increasing energy, etc., these bodywork therapies are my treatment of choice. I worked with my breath the entire time and the deep breathing helped me get through it. In fact, when I sat up, I was buzzing from hyperventilation. But that passed in minutes and there were no other side effects. Basically, the experience—the anxiety, the drama of it, was over. The advantage of not taking the drugs was that I literally sat up, got dressed, and walked out of the hospital. In my estimation that was a pretty good tradeoff. If you think you are a candidate for the drug-free approach, here is my recommendation. Have them insert the IV tube in your arm. That way if you need help from the meds, they will be immediately available. And you could select just the anti-cramping medicine and leave out the sedative. You can also request the minimum dose. Of course, if you need more, you’ll get it. What I Learned I learned a lot and made some mistakes. I learned that it is not always the best approach to be so unconventional. One aspect of my personality is that in some situations, I observe the path taken by the majority and wonder about taking an alternate route. It’s an aspect of my creative mind. It’s how I invent new things. So I’m an unconventional thinker by nature about certain things and medicine is definitely one of them. The preparation for the colonoscopy was one case where being unconventional was unnecessary. I researched the PEG laxative they use in the standard prep and I couldn’t find any toxicity on it. I typically have an immediate distrust for man-made products, but this was not bad stuff. And it would have amounted to about the same amount of work as getting a colonic. The bad news was that the colonic didn’t clean me enough. In speaking with other colon hydrotherapists, I subsequently learned that a minimum of two colonics are required to prepare for the colonoscopy. I didn’t realize that.

One colon hydrotherapist told me she gives four! That seems excessive especially since the standard prep takes one day and costs only $10. The standard prep would have been fast, cheap, and thorough. And my overall doctor-patient experience would have been better. I made my doctor work harder and his job more difficult. That was not my intention. After all, he is serving me! I sabotaged my own results by not being properly clean. Sure I finished the exam and everything looked normal. But if I was cleaner, I could have seen more and learned more about my health. After all, how often do we get the opportunity to look inside our bodies? I need to wait five years to get that opportunity again! I want to take a moment to tell you about Michael Ricciardi. He was a good friend and in my opinion, a giant in the vitamin world. He was, like me, adverse to the ways of conventional medicine. One day, he had an obstruction somewhere in his kidney-bladder. Since his distrust of the medical world ran so deep, he wouldn’t let the docs alleviate the log jam. Sadly for him, that was a fatal mistake. My error in judgment only made my doctor work a little harder. He’s already over it. But next time, I intend to use the PEG laxative to prepare for the inspection. Sure, I will also take colonics especially if I am on a 10 day fast as I was this time.* And I might also consider trying a low dose of Fentanyl to reduce my anxiety. This will allow my colon to be more relaxed and the doctor to get better visibility. And I will get a lot more out of it, too. One other thing, I had a very special opportunity to see a patch of bacteria clinging to the colon wall. You can tell they’re bacteria because they are not free moving. They cling to the wall in a way similar to food sticking to a pot or a jar. I sometimes find my probiotic powder (friendly bacteria) sticking to the sidewall of my blender. The fluid whirling around the walls is not enough to free them—and that’s on glass! So getting rid of bad bacteria from your intestines is harder than just cleaning out food. In the small intestine, bad bacteria have been known to eat through the wall creating a porous situation called leaky gut syndrome. (I list my protocol for reversing leaky gut in my book Food Combining and Digestion. This is one reason why I would invite you to consider doing this inspection even if you are younger than 50 years old.

If you’ve got a history of digestive difficulty; if you have a suspicion about parasites or yeast; if you have inflammatory bowl disease, ulcerative colitis, irritable bowel, Crohn’s disease, then being able to see inside your colon could provide valuable information in your efforts to address these problems. Conventional medicine does a very good job testing your heart, checking your blood vessels, looking at your sugar levels, and inspecting your colon. All these tests are good to have every 5 or 10 years to keep you informed about what issues you’re facing. Success is yours if you catch it early. Prevention is easier than cure. Copyright ©2011 by Steve Meyerowitz *For more on my ten day fast read here.