My Colonoscopy Calamity!

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Going back to 2018,  for nearly six months, I had been dealing  with the fallout of a colonoscopy procedure gone bad. I’ve had a few of these procedures with no adverse effects, but this last one was different, and I want to share what happened and my concerns.  Given my quest for healthy living, this recent procedure has negatively impacted my health enough that I’m definitely rethinking future procedures. Please read this, it’s pretty important.

Christy Begien | Christy's Non Toxic LifestyleMost of us at some point have to undergo a colonoscopy procedure due to health risks, gut issues and/or age. The most unpleasant aspect according to those who’ve done it is the bowel prep which typically includes drinking a ridiculous amount of liquid (typically 4 liters) laced with a strong laxative to “clean the pipes” (to put it nicely). We get to do this usually the night before.

As I mentioned earlier, while no picnic, my previous experiences with the prepping caused no unusual or lingering effects and my gastro guy got what he needed in terms of seeing the colon clearly. This past September, however, I was given a “new” prep called Suprep Bowel Kit, a two-dose kit. I was told it’s the latest and greatest prep kit as it does an even better job of “cleaning the pipes” and the docs have an even better view of the colon. Okay, that made sense.

In doing research, many folks complain about the nasty taste and having to get up in the wee hours to drink the second round. I guess it “is what it is,” part of the many procedures we endure to stay healthy and on top of potential serious issues.

Christy Begien | Christy's Non Toxic LifestyleOkay, so here’s how this new prep impacted me. It’s important to remember that when we flush our digestive tracts with laxatives, we’re also flushing out very good bacteria in our stomach linings, essential to optimal gut health. When we do that, we’re leaving our guts exposed to any and all sorts of the bacteria. Many of us take probiotics to support and enhance the good bacteria in our stomachs.

A couple weeks following the procedure I wasn’t able to enjoy my healthy food because my stomach hurt most of the time. I’ve never had stomach issues (except with spicy foods), so I spent a good couple of months tending my stomach which just wasn’t getting any better. In November I finally realize I need help, so I went to see my naturopath.

Christy Begien | Christy's Non Toxic LifestyleA brief history first. A year ago, through blood work, it appeared I had a very mild case of SIBO. It means Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth. Since mine was so mild and I was eating so healthy and using probiotics to keep good bacteria in my gut, my doctor felt I was doing all the right things to keep it at bay.

Fast forward to November again. In describing my situation, my naturopath concurs that the colonoscopy procedure was the culprit in all this. First, the new bowel prep (like most of them) in doing its job, totally wipes out all the good bacteria (much like antibiotics). With even a slight amount of the SIBO in my gut, the tubing actually pushed the bacteria further into my small intestines and without good bacteria to keep it under control, the SIBO went crazy. Thus, my chronic gut issues.

Christy Begien | Christy's Non Toxic LifestyleAfter being on certain herbs for a month, my gut started improving. I was thrilled. Then routine blood work came back and revealed elevated liver enzymes, most likely due to the herbs. Given that liver numbers had been normal prior to the herbs, this was the deduction. Also, important to note that herbs and other supplements can elevate liver enzymes. I want to share that it’s important to be mindful. Also, it is a good idea to check those numbers every so often with your doctor.

Christy Begien | Christy's Non Toxic LifestyleI’ve gone off the herbs, and straight into food healing . After reading, Anthony William’s Liver Rescue, I embarked on his celery juice protocol, along with lots of raw ginger, garlic and onion and apples as they all have antibacterial properties. I have to admit my gut is feeling better. (Click the book to order from Amazon.) Staying current with peppermint mints is key with the onion and garlic breath! 🙂 Anthony’s celery juice protocol has been getting tons of great press and while I’m new to this, I figured what did I have to lose by ingesting celery juice too. Trust me, I was getting desperate and discouraged.

I’ve also eliminated dairy and alcohol from my diet for the time being. This seems to be quite a price to pay for a colonoscopy six months ago. To add to this, the doc found and removed a couple of polyps and said he “couldn’t see everything clearly” even though I followed the prep to a tee. They want me to come back for another procedure in September. Seriously??

I certainly don’t want to scare any of you, readers, but I feel it’s important to share my experience with this new double dose prep. I’m being honest when I say I’m not the only one. While at a routine physical in December, my doctor noted that several of her other patients were experiencing digestive distress following their colonoscopy procedures. Makes me wonder. I do believe that many gastroenterologists are switching to the double dose prep, even though it may not be 100% effective and can really wreak havoc on the gut.

Christy Begien | Christy's Non Toxic LifestyleCertainly, with all of this discomfort and effort to heal my gut and bring back the healthy flora, I am beyond hesitant to comply with another of those preps for that procedure. I’m currently researching other prep procedures to avoid going down this road again.

Continued research for myself includes:

  • Asking my gastro guy if it’s absolutely necessary to re-do the colonoscopy in Sept. Is there a real concern with the polyps removed? If so, wouldn’t he have wanted me back within a few months?
  • If procedure is necessary, explore more natural cleansing, perhaps a water colonic along with increased probiotic protocol both before and after procedure
  • If procedure is necessary, go back to the old 4-liter prep

Okay, in summary, this blog post is for all of my readers and your family and friends. For you all who have had sensitive gut issues, I urge you all to consider and talk more with your doctors about the two-dose bowel prep kits if and when you are encouraged to have a colonoscopy.

Our guts, as you know, make up 85% of our immune system. I’m not in any way encouraging anyone to NOT have the procedure, just to be aware of possible implications. If you’re not at risk Christy Begien | Christy's Non Toxic Lifestyleand have not had issues, perhaps the old 4-liter protocol is the way to go. I have friends who simply refuse to have the procedures at all since they are low risk.

I will let you all know how I continue to heal my gut and what I decide in a future post, as this is important stuff. Thanks for reading, sharing, considering. While western protocols have a wonderful place in our medical community, sometimes the protocols can be more damaging than intended, with lingering repercussions. Ask questions, any and all questions. Remain open, choose wisely.

Peace and Good Health,

Christy Begien | The Non Toxic Lifestyle




Anthony William “The Liver Rescue”

Economic Times: Prebiotic Power: Diet rich in garlic, onion, apple can keep your gut healthy

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  1. Barbie  March 26, 2019

    Christy, Thank you for sharing your story. I’m so glad you’re ok now, but it definitely shouldn’t have been something you experienced. I had traditional prep and no problems, luckily. I will definitely let others know about this prep so they can make an informed decision. I’m so sorry you couldn’t have your wine! Take care, Barbie

    • Christy Begien  March 26, 2019

      Thanks so much for your feedback, Barbie! And yes, I think the traditional preps are better. So appreciate your kind words. Just wanting to get the word out so we can all make educated decisions. Be healthy and well! Warmly, Christy

  2. Irene  March 29, 2019

    My Naturopath recommends alternating 3 or more types of probiotics (#1 on Monday,, #2 on Tuesday , #3 on Wed. ) for a month or so. She also said I should probably take one every 3 hours for a few days after the procedure. Plus negotiate for a Miralax Prep. (Miralax and Gatorade.. tho I use Vitamin Cottage’s version of electrolyte drink as it contains only fruit juice no sugar added and Dulculax stool softener).

    I am sorry that you had this experience. Wishing you continued healing.
    Irene S.

    • Christy Begien  April 2, 2019

      Great suggestions, Irene! Thanks so much for sharing! With Gratitude, Christy