Many doctors are recommending using Miralax (PEG 3350) or GoLYTELY (PEG 3350 with added electrolytes) for colonoscopy prep or constipation clean outs. Over 25,000 reports of adverse side effects, including 160 deaths, have been reported to the FDA from PEG 3350 use. Common side effects from Miralax include tics, hallucinations, anxiety, OCD, panic attacks and seizures after a PEG 3350 clean out. There are safe alternatives that you can use.
If you are hospitalized for a clean out, please research PEG 3350 and ask your doctor for other alternatives. Hospitals used Magnesium Citrate before Miralax was invented for colonoscopy prep, so that is a good alternative to ask about and one that many doctors will have experience with and be comfortable with.
Some Magnesium Citrate products still have PEG in them so always read the ingredients list prior to using. If you are interested in learning more about Miralax, please read my article Is Miralax Safe to Give to My Child?
Magnesium Citrate is generally recognized as safe and effective. Natural Calm Magnesium Citrate (Click Link to Check Price on Amazon) is a high-quality magnesium citrate that doesn’t use any artificial sweeteners or colors. I have used it personally and have used it with my family including my young son. Our favorite is the lemon flavored but there are many different flavors to pick from. You mix it with hot water and it will fizz up. Once it is done fizzing, you add cold water and lots of ice. I think it tastes best when served extra cold although some people do drink it warm. You can also mix it into juice or lemonade instead of more water if you don’t like the taste as is. The Natural Calm Powder comes in Original, Lemon, Raspberry Lemon, and Cherry.
If you want to use Natural Calm Magnesium Citrate for a clean-out for colonoscopy prep, mix 2 tsp for your initial dose and then keep dosing an additional 1/2 tsp every two hours until you get loose stools. Your goal for colonoscopy prep is to get all of the solid stool out that you can and to pass clear to yellow liquid stools.
You can also get Magnesium Citrate as a drink like Magnesium Citrate Saline Laxative. It is important to always read the labels on these drinks because many of them contain PEG. Sometimes one flavor by a company won’t have it but another will! Every one I have looked at on Amazon and in drug stores has saccharine which I avoid because it is a potential carcinogen. For a short-term clean out, it is still a much better option than Miralax, in my opinion.
Many members of the People Against Miralax group have had good success using my Homemade Electrolyte Drink (click link to be redirected to my article on the electrolyte drink) for colonoscopy prep and for clean outs. The drink has Celtic Sea Salt, Orange Juice for Vitamin C, Epsom Salt for Magnesium Citrate and Creme of Tarter for Potassium. You can use Celtic Sea salt on its own to flush but the electrolyte drink keeps your electrolytes balanced while doing the cleanout instead of just using magnesium or salt. How much it will take to do a clean out will depend on how depleted you are in the vital minerals that are in the drink. It could take 4 ounces or 4 recipes worth to get things moving. The drink includes Organic Epsom Salt which is magnesium sulfate. Epsom salts have been used by mothers and grandmothers for generations to help their constipated families to go. Make sure any Epsom salt product you use is approved for internal laxative use and doesn’t include any scents or other ingredients. The drink will help keep you hydrated while also working as a laxative and has a good balance of minerals.
Vitamin C can also be used for a clean out for colonoscopy prep. Buffered Vitamin C is more gentle on your stomach than Vitamin C tablets but either can be used. Buffered Vitamin C also includes Magnesium, Calcium, and Potassium so it is more balanced and less likely to cause an electrolyte imbalance than straight Vitamin C. Some people do really well on a Vitamin C flush. Vitamin C can cause gas and cramping plus the stool can be acidic and burn the skin on your bottom so some people don’t find it as comfortable as other clean out methods. If you experience burning stools, use coconut oil on your bottom to protect the delicate skin. I would break up the Vitamin C into small doses and dose every hour until you get loose stools. Consult your doctor for dosage recommendations if you are interested in doing a Vitamin C cleanout. Vitamin C is water soluble so your body will flush out extra through your bowels.
When you reach bowel tolerance for Celtic Sea Salt, Magnesium or Vitamin C or a combination, there will be a flushing from your bottom like after an enema. It may be hard to control and make it to the bathroom so make sure you are close to home when attempting a cleanout or colonoscopy prep.
If you are seriously impacted you may need to do a top-down (oral) and bottom-up (enemas or suppositories) program. Fleet Enema or Fleet Suppositories will help you to break up hard stool that is blocking you and making it hard to get the stool out. It isn’t fun for you to do an enema but it may be what needs to happen to break up a hard ball of stool. You can rub some Organic Coconut oil around the outside of your anus and then gently insert the enema tube into the anus. Aim towards your belly button. Gently squeeze the enema to flush the liquid into your colon. Lay down and hold the enema in for at least 5-10 minutes to give the Enema time to work on softening up the hardball of stool. Then sit on the toilet to release the enema liquid and stool. It may take more than one to get the stool soft and moving.
Glycerine suppositories will help lubricate the stool to come out easier. Fleet Glycerin Suppositories are a good option. These are generally effective in producing a bowel movement in 15 minutes to one hour. The glycerine will soften and lubricate the stool to help you to expel it.
It is impossible for anyone to give you specific dosing information for any of these methods. The cleanout dosing isn’t really based weight or size. It depends on how constipated you are and how deficient are. Is there a hard ball of stool that needs to be broken up or do you just have a lot of stool in the intestines? It will take experimentation and persistence to figure out what you need to do to get completely cleaned out. Your end goal for colonoscopy prep is to have clear to yellow liquid coming out after releasing a significant amount of stool. Unless you are very regular, this will include multiple trips to the restroom.
Make sure you drink a lot while doing the cleanout to stay hydrated. You will be passing a lot of liquid and you don’t want to become dehydrated. Consult your physician for their recommendations on dosing of magnesium, Celtic Sea Salt or Vitamin C for your colonoscopy prep or constipation clean out.
If you are doing a clean out because you are How To Relieve Your Chronic Constipation Naturallystrugging with chronic constipation my step by step guide to helping end chronic constipation can help you,
If you need to do a cleanout for a child, please read my article How to do a Clean Out for Your Constipated Child
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*DISCLAIMER, I AM NOT A DOCTOR OR MEDICAL HEALTH PROFESSIONAL. ALL IDEAS DISCUSSED AND DESCRIBED IN THIS POST ARE MY OWN AND ARE NOT MEANT TO TREAT OR DIAGNOSE. IF YOU HAVE A MEDICAL CONDITION PLEASE SPEAK WITH YOUR DOCTOR.
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