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Took dulcolax 4 5mg and nulytely. Had colonoscopy. Found melanosis coli. What is the cause?

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I just had my first colonoscopy today, and only used 4 5mg Dulcolax tablets and Nulytely for the prep. I have never used laxatives before this as I have always been regular, except during my first pregnancy. The patent letter follow up stated Melanosis on the colon, and further explained that this is caused from excessive use of laxatives or herbal supplements. I will admit I have very poor diet habits, little or no fruits, very few veggies, and very little meat. I eat lots of cheese, bread, junk food, and lots and lots of Diet Dr Pepper. But I don't use laxatives of any kind even herbal ones, as I have no need or use for them. I certainly don't need them for weight loos, as I have been at a steady weight of 225 - 235 for the past ten years. What gives? I found many other people claiming the same thing throught the internet, both from men and women.
Posted Fri, 8 Feb 2013 in Digestion and Bowels
Answered by Dr. Om Lakhani 2 hours later

Melanosis coli is blackish discoloration of your colon as seen on the colonoscopy. Most often it is because of anthraquinone containing laxatives such as Senna. It is essentially a benign condition. However, since you have never used them you dont really need to worry about the diagnosis. It is a typical case of over reporting we sometimes see with endoscopy diagnosis. Remember a colonoscopy is subjective and gastroenterologist would have written what he felt was the diagnosis. If you have never really abused laxative then there is nothing to read into it. Even if you did in the past, melanosis coli is still benign and nothing anything really significant. Just relax and forget about the report.

Dr. Om Lakhani, MD
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