Hypoglycemia (Colonoscopy Tomorrow) And I HAVE to eat FOOD every 2 hours ... what now?

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New Member

Date Joined Aug 2009
Total Posts : 9
   Posted 8/2/2009 4:45 AM (GMT -7)   
Hiya everybody ... I'm new here today. I'm very worried about what to do. I'm scheduled for a colonoscopy tomorrow at 10:30 a.m. ... and was told to be on liquid today, and not eat 'food' after I start the prep. WELL ... my GP just diagnosed me with having hypoglycemic episodes, but not completely sure why yet ... they just started happening about 3 months ago.

With my episodes, if I don't eat solid food, nothing brings it up ... or at least nothing stops the shaking, rubber legs, confusion and horribly weakness. I tried it several times this week, to see how I'd do today .. and no matter what I drank, it wouldn't stop and got worse, to the point, I HAD to eat food, or I felt like I would go into shock.

I called the Gastro yesterday, and she just suggested eating soft today, but not eating after the prep. WELL, I'll still not be able to do that .. so I don't know what to do. She had no suggestions. eyes

The bleeding that was the reason for the Scope, has stopped ... I have several outside and inside hemorrhoids, so not sure I should postpone the test or try to go through. By the way, I'm 57 and have never had one.

I just don't see how I'm going to do this. She said I could drink clear liquids up to 2 hours before, but I know I won't get through more than 2 hours without solid food. PLEASE any suggestions!?

If I can eat soft today, that's good, but I'm worried about after the prep time, which is a LONG time to go without food, and well, I know from testing myself, I can't do it. Should I ask for a different type of test instead, one that doesn't require going without food? I'm just really confused, tired of worrying ... and just plain tired.

Thanks for listening to me ramble. turn


New Member

Date Joined Aug 2009
Total Posts : 9
   Posted 8/2/2009 8:51 AM (GMT -7)   
Anybody ?

Lanie G
Forum Moderator

Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 6030
   Posted 8/2/2009 9:11 AM (GMT -7)   
SugarBlues, I'm sorry there have been no responses.  Sometimes Sundays are slow days.  You have a specific situation that many people might not be familiar with.  Your procedure is tomorrow.  If you had asked this question earlier last week, maybe there would have been more responses.   I can only suggest the liquid meal replacements that are available; some have more carbs than others so you'd have to monitor your blood sugar as always.  You're dealing with blood sugar as well as certain diet restrictions for the procedure tomorrow.  I wish the doctors' offices could have helped you more with that.  Can you eat jello? Drink Gatorade?
forum moderator - diabetes
diabetes controlled so far by low/no carb diet and exercise; no meds

New Member

Date Joined Aug 2009
Total Posts : 9
   Posted 8/2/2009 10:13 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Lanie,

I would have asked sooner, but I was bumped up from September, because of a cancellation ... so it all came on so fast!

I did call back the doctor ... she just suggested eating as little as possible of soft foods today, until bedtime, if I can't go more than 2 hours. In the morning, she said to call the doctor who's doing the Scope and ask him if I can eat a tiny bit to hold me until the test. If he says no, and I can't go without ... I can't have the test. :-(

That means, there's a chance I'll do the prep tonight, be cleaned out ... for nothing. Well, except I'll be cleaned out. :-)
Hate to go through it and then no test though.

I'm scheduled to start the drink in 4 hours ... so I'm at a loss as what to do .. except do it, and call doctor in a.m.

It's funny .. but the bleeding stopped a few days ago .. but then again, I'm still having crampy gassy movements, so I do need to have this done.

I appreciate you replying. :-)

Will let you know what happens.

New Member

Date Joined Aug 2009
Total Posts : 9
   Posted 8/2/2009 5:33 PM (GMT -7)   
Well, I'm 3 1/2 hours into drinking the solution ... runny bowels now, getting lighter each time.

My sugar seems ok ... I've been sipping on chicken broth and apple juice. Going to stop the broth soon though and go with just the apple juice.

Have a question: friend of my husband's ... who works in one of the hospitals, doing this ... says I can't drink anything, not even water ... 8 hours before procedure. But my instructions say I can drink clear up to 2 hours before.

Hmmm .... why the difference? She's saying that there's a chance for aspiration into the lungs, if I'm sedated.

You guys know anything about that?

Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 1522
   Posted 8/3/2009 10:02 AM (GMT -7)   
I have the same problem. They used to sell a food product that would be perfect for you but they stopped making it. I had surgery last Tuesday and had to do a liquid diet on Monday. I broke the rules a bit but I survived the prep.

I ate a large turkey sandwich (no cheese) just after midnight on Sunday night. I stayed up as late as I could so I could sleep late on Monday. I woke up at 10:00 and ate a protein bar that matched the ingredients of the ones I used to get in the prep kit. I discovered a drink called Isopure that is low carb (2 g) but high in protein (>40G). You have to get the expensive, ready to drink bottles, the powder isn't clear. I drank this along with Gaterade (for carbs) all day. Don't mix them, it's awful, and always drink the Isopure first. I kept drinking the Isopure/Gatorade throughout the prep and continued until about midnight, when I went to sleep.

I went to the hospital at 6 AM and was hooked to an IV. At that time my blood sugar was 87 (I had guessed 89). That's much better than the 42 reading I had once before surgery.

Sorry this is too late to help you but hopefully, it can help someone else. If you are hypoglycemic, always insist on the first time slot in the morning.

Some docs let you drink clear fluids up to a few hours before the procedure, some don't. Follow your doc's directions and don't worry about it. Good luck.

New Member

Date Joined Aug 2009
Total Posts : 9
   Posted 8/3/2009 4:25 PM (GMT -7)   
Thought I'd drop in before I go lay down again ...

I did pretty good. Sugar started dropping about 8:00 this morning, so husband suggested we go early. Got there and legs were rubbery, pretty shaky all over. Told them about it, so they got me in a room pretty quickly. My veins wouldn't cooperate. She had to put hot packs on my hand, and then finally got one. The prick DOES hurt!

With all the questions over and signed ... the doctor introduced himself .. didn't stay long. I kept asking the nurse where the 'drug pusher' was. LOL

My heart started pounding then, they took a prick, blood sugar was 112. Started to get nervous, cause she was preparing all the 'tools'. UGH ... but then she positioned me and gave me the injection. I got pretty oozy, but was still awake and aware.
I said she'd better give me enough! LOL

She gave me a second injection, and then I don't remember much .. I DO remember ONE episode though! OUCH!
It's fuzzy now, but I felt PAIN really bad at one point, twice .. and all though my memory finds it hard to completely describe it, I KNOW it happened! I must have yelled out, I remember saying something LOUD .. and then I was OUT. So they must have given me more.

When I was in recovery, I was quite sick ... felt very weak, sick to stomach, just lousy. I sipped some cranberry juice she gave me .. and then some water. Didn't help too much ... felt like crap. Dizzy too.

Husband came in ... didn't help much, he's NOT good with this stuff. Nurse tried to joke with me, to help me feel better, didn't help much. Finally I asked if I could have my 'survival kit' I made up. It was a few pieces of cheddar cheese and a few roasted almonds. I ate 2 very small bites of cheese and about 3 almonds .. and knew that wasn't gonna work.

So she asked me if I can get dressed .. well .. uhmmm NO .. but I guess I have to. So I'm really dizzy, and weak .. but manage to get my jeans on. Wheelchair comes, and out we go. I don't remember the ride home much, which is best, since husband drives like a maniac. tongue

Got home, drank juice ... laid down, cat joined me .. GONE!

Wake up ... cat still there (bless her heart), husband online .. of course, call husband in, he says .. well, you look like you're gonna make it. I get up and have him go buy McDonalds. I eat 1/2 and I'm full. Have been drinking lots of water, sipping juice .. but not all that hungry. Strange, since I haven't eaten since 12:00 yesterday. And sugar has been good, strange.

Been on internet for awhle, husband gone ... so now I'm ready to lay down again.

Findings so far: One polyp that they removed and is being tested. Hemorrhoids. NO KIDDING, I knew that! LOL

So there you have it! I'm home and alive. smilewinkgrin

Thank you all so much for being there for me.

Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2006
Total Posts : 547
   Posted 8/5/2009 7:36 AM (GMT -7)   
Glad to hear you managed to get through it OK. Those experiences are always an ordeal for a diabetic. Hope you're feeling better soon!
- Phishbowl (Type 1 since Jan'05 - Levemir, NovoRapid)
"What's Not Measured Is Not Managed"

"It is impossible for a man to learn what he thinks he already knows"-Epictetus

New Member

Date Joined Sep 2009
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 9/4/2009 9:09 PM (GMT -7)   
I have reactive hypoglycemia and on a regular day it is not a problem but I have had 2 colonoscopies in the past and have really suffered. This time I did a lot of research including talking to R.D.s, Drs., and research on the internet.
The best advice was Daggers on 8/3. I followed his suggestions almost exactly and this time I did not suffer (well - the movie prep now was my biggest complaint.) I did not have any low blood sugar problems. Plus I never felt hungry.  
The few things that I did different is that I had a can of enusre boost in the morning of the prep around 9:30. An R.D. suggested that I carbo load a few days before the test, and to make sure that I was not dieting the week of the test. In addition the night before the prep I had yogurt and almonds around 10:00 p.m., around 9:30 a.m. the day of the prep I had a can of ensure boost, and around 2:00 I had homemade fat free chicken broth. The rest of the day, during the prep, and until midnight I just alternated sips of Isopure and Gatorade. My Dr. said that I was completely cleaned out.  
Except for Dagger, no one had mentioned Isopure. One refridgerated bottle is all you need to buy - 40 grams of protein, and it tastes fine.
Hope this helps someone else -

tangerine bear
Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2005
Total Posts : 941
   Posted 2/3/2010 8:59 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi SugarBlues,
I am diabetic, but was hypo before I flipped. I'm your age and I recently had my second colonoscopy (four years after the first where they found and removed 3 precancerous polyps), but this time they only found 1 and it was NOT precancerous YAY so I get to wait 5 years before my next one. The prep is miserable... just plain miserable... period. I had cream soups all day the day before, until prep time, and then had apple juice between the prep drinks.. gag. I know you are glad it's over, but just know it must be done at our age and it's worth the misery. My bf passed away from colon cancer, so, the 1 day of misery is worth the alternative. (((hugs)))

"It's a jungle out there....." 
Theme song from "Monk" by Randy Newman
OCD: Obsessive...Compulsive...Diabetic
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New Member

Date Joined Jan 2011
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 1/25/2011 3:24 PM (GMT -7)   
I hope this will help anyone who is going to have a Colonoscopy that are Hypoglycemic
I just had a colonoscopy this morning and everything went better than I expected.
I was going crazy for about a month or so before my procedure as I did not know how to handle the fasting with no solid food for a long period and I could not get a straight answer from anyone even a number of doctors, so here is what I did and hope it will help you.
First schedule your procedure to be the first one usually at 7:30 am. Let them know of your problem for requesting the early scheduling.
The day before your procedure load up on proteins, eggs, beans milk etc. usually up to 10 am.
Then eat Jello (non with red die) the sugar kind not sugar free, eat about 3 or 4 cups usually to 3pm. (the sugar in the jello will keep your blood sugar from falling too much.
Usually that's when you start your good tasting prep.
Continue eating jello till about an hour before you retire, ( 9 pm was when I went to sleep cause I wanted to get up at 2:30 to finish my prep as you need time to finish getting clean, but check your blood sugar to make sure it's not to high, keep it between 80 and 120. If it start going high eat less jello.
Check your blood sugar every hour to two hours, it should be OK.
The morning of the procedure when you get up check your blood sugar, if it's around 80 put a cube or 2 of sugar in your mouth doing this every 45 min or so til you get to your procedure.
Once you are there make sure you tell the nurse that you need sugar in your intravenous drip.
My procedure went without a hitch.
What I did may not be for everyone so check with your doctor first. I hope this will help some people.

Lanie G
Forum Moderator

Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 6030
   Posted 1/25/2011 3:30 PM (GMT -7)   
Thank you for sharing your successful management of this, Westlake.  The medical personal who are doing the procedure must absolutely know the patient is a type 1 diabetic and that they must monitor the blood sugar as well.

diabetes moderator
diabetes type 2 controlled so far by diet and exercise
very low carb way of eating

New Member

Date Joined Aug 2011
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 8/11/2011 9:21 AM (GMT -7)   
First of all, thank you to all of the folks with hypoglycemia who took the time to post their experience on preparing for a colonoscopy.  I read all the information more than once.  And then I started preparing:
#1   Took 50 mg of Chromium every day to help balance my blood sugar.
#2   Purchased a meter to monitor blood sugar.  I practiced until I could quickly test and get a blood sugar reading.  They are not expensive and well worth the $$.  I monitored my blood sugar every hour of my prep day.
#3   Develop your diet ahead of time.  I built three diets based on your input and set aside three days to "try" them out.  I washed out of the Isopure right away.  Gave me a headache - a brains going to blow out of the top of my head headache.  Second plan was rice milk, whey protein and a banana mixed into a shake.  Whey protein gave me the headache again.  (When I checked back, Isopure is whey based too; mystery solved.  I must be allergic to whey.)  Third diet:  9 a.m. - 1/2 cup oat meal.  Noon - One bottle of Ensure.  (The Clinical/Boost high calorie/high potassium Ensure.)  Followed every two hours with water, Gatorade (no more than 5 grams of sugar kind).  5 p.m. sugar free jello and chicken broth.
#4 7 p.m. started HalfLytely.  (Doctor waived the Ducolax; I had a bad experience with severe cramping the last time I used it.)   Did the first three at 10 minutes apart and then had to stretch the rest of the drinks to 15/20 minutes apart.  Right on schedule, within 2 hours I made regular visits to the Little Girl's Room.  At 10 p.m. I fell asleep and worke up at 2 p.m.  Drank more water to make sure I was cleaned out.  When I was satisfied that I was clean (took about 1 hour), headed back to bed for a couple more hours sleep.
#5 Monitored my blood sugar every hour during the day.  I found that when I ingested 5 grams of sugar, my sugar spiked 5 to 7 points.  With that information, I decided to stay away from the Apple Juice - way too much sugar.  Safe zone for your sugar level is between 80 and 120.
Doctor said I was really clean.  Colonoscopy successful - no polyps! 

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2011
Total Posts : 1355
   Posted 8/13/2011 6:13 PM (GMT -7)   
Sorry I missed this thread as I recently had a colonoscopy and might have been able to help. I used glucose tablets to help regulate my blood sugars and drank a glucerna as they were recommended.
Take care

Insulin Dependant Diabetic, Fibromyalgia, Gerd, IBS, Sleep Apnea, COPD, Spondylolistesis, Diabetic Neuropathy, Fatty Liver, High Cholesterol

New Member

Date Joined Sep 2011
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 9/20/2011 1:54 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi I have this problem too. I have to eat protein foods in order for my sugar to go up. Sugar pills or juice will actually bring it down. The docs are dumbfounded my this but that is what happens. I eat about every three or four hours and if I do skip a meal, and the sugar starts dropping, it takes something like chicken, or fish to get it back up. Eating sugar to bring it up will work but it drops within minutes of doing it. I don't have to get a test yet, but will when I am 50 but I will try the suggestions on this site while I do it. In the meantime, I was wondering if anyone else had a problem similiar to mine, in the sense that I need protein usually in the form of food, not liquid to feel balanced. I noticed a person called gretel on this board had this problem and if you see this please write me so we can compare notes. I would love to know if you ever had the colon test done and what you ended up eating or drinking to get through it. I always imagined I would ask the doc to put me on a IV of glucose, sodium, potassium etc. and perhaps that would work. If I miss a meal, I seem to have severe symptoms and they may last for days even after the blood sugar gets stabilized.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 1522
   Posted 9/20/2011 3:50 PM (GMT -7)   
Lemonlyme, I have similar reactions when I eat. I need to eat protein, drinking it doesn't work as well. The docs kept telling me to eat jello and popsicles, and drink apple juice. If I did that, my blood sugar would be like a roller coaster. I had a seizure due to low blood sugar the first time I did a colonscopy prep because I went against what I knew about my body and followed the doctor's orders.

I've had docs that refuse to do colonoscopies and surgeons that won't operate on me because I tell them I can't follow their clear liquid diet recommendations. None wanted to work with me to develop a plan. I finally decided to come up with my own plan and just tell them I did whatever they said. I talked to just about every surgeon and GI in my city just to find one GI and one surgeon that would even try to help me.

I needed abdominal surgery again a few years ago and my surgeon wanted to admit me the day before so I could stay on an IV and be monitored during the prep. The insurance company refused to pay for it, even after appeal. If I wanted to do it, I would have had to pay for the extra day myself at a cost of between $800-$1200.
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