Colonoscopy upgrade: Building a better laxative - KSBY.com | San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara Area News

Colonoscopy upgrade: Building a better laxative

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A doctor performs a colonoscopy. (NBC photo) A doctor performs a colonoscopy. (NBC photo)

A colonoscopy isn't the most savory of topics, and the concoction patients have to drink before the procedure might be the least savory of all.

Colonoscopy prep can mean drinking up to a gallon of a laxative to clean out your bowels. 

Fortunately, doctors and scientists are working with a company called "Colonary Concepts" to make the prep process taste better.

One of the researchers is Dr. Douglas Rex of the Indiana University School of Medicine. 

"We think it's going to be a significant advance in tolerability over the current preparations," he says.

The experimental prep could include food bars and shakes that contain laxatives, followed by a sports drink with electrolytes to balance out the system.

Colonoscopy is not the only cancer screening method, but many people who qualify for the procedure don't get it. Some say it's because they can't stomach the prep.

"We're simply trying to make that part of it, which is absolutely essential. We can't get away from it to have an effective colonoscopy, we're just trying to make it easier," Dr. Rex says.

The American Cancer Society recommends starting colorectal screening by age 50 or earlier if you're at high risk. 

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