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Are you due for a colonoscopy? A study published in the December 2009 issue of the American Journal of Gastroenterology offers some information that may decrease your discomfort. The study sought to find out if drinking warm water prior to the procedure would reduce the incidence of "colonic spasm".

According to the study abstract, patients who were to undergo unsedated colonoscopies were given one of three solutions to drink - warm water and sodium phosphate, cold water and sodium phosphate, or sodium phosphate alone. Each group contained 64 patients. Information was gathered regarding "patient demographics, procedure-related factors, and degree of spasm, pain, and technical difficulty".

The group that drank the warm water solution had significantly shorter procedure times, as well as lower levels of pain during the procedure. The benefits of drinking warm water were especially noted in individuals less than the age of 40 and those who suffer from IBS.

I love to hear about an intervention that is simple and painless, yet reduces discomfort. One must keep in mind that it is not typical for a colonoscopy to be performed without sedation. I am guessing that drinking a warm water solution prior to sedation would not be allowed. For those individuals who cannot, or choose not to, be sedated, this seems like a nice way to make the procedure more tolerable.


[sub]Lee, H., "Effectiveness of Warm Water Consumption to Reduce Patient Discomfort During Colonoscopy: A Randomized Controlled Trial" American Journal of Gastroenterology 2009 104:2935-2941[/sub]

Warm Water, Colonoscopies, and IBS originally appeared on Irritable Bowel Syndrome on Wednesday, January 13th, 2010 at 05:00:41.

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