Prepping for a colonoscopy can be the most challenging part. Colonoscopy diet recipes can help set you up for success before your appointment. Choose the right foods to avoid three days before a colonoscopy.
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Following a diet for colonoscopy three days beforehand is an effective way to prepare for a successful procedure.
What to Know About Colonoscopy
A colonoscopy is an exam used to detect changes or abnormalities in the large intestine and rectum, explains the Mayo Clinic. A colonoscopy is important in that it screens for colon cancer, searches for polyps and investigates possible causes of symptoms such as abdominal pain, rectal bleeding, chronic constipation, chronic diarrhea and other intestinal problems.
An important part of the preparation for the procedure is following a careful diet. Your doctor will provide specific guidelines on what to eat and drink, as well as how and when to take a bowel cleansing solution or laxative.
Read more: What Can Be Eaten Before a Colonoscopy?
Colonoscopy Diet Prep Steps
Begin to prepare for a colonoscopy three days beforehand, explains Harvard Health. There are two parts to getting the bowel ready for a colonoscopy. These are with a colonoscopy diet and by drinking bowel-cleaning liquids. A key requirement for a successful colonoscopy is completely emptying the colon beforehand in order to ensure that no polyps and lesions will be missed.
According to an April-June 2016 study published in Annals of Gastroenterology, preparing the bowels for a colonoscopy is very important before the procedure. Additionally, if the bowel is not properly cleansed, the colonoscopy may take longer, the risk of complications may increase or the whole colonoscopy may need to be repeated or rescheduled.
Read more: The Best Diet Pre-Colonoscopy?
Colonoscopy Diet Sheet Tips
An October 2018 study published in Medicine says that "diet restriction is one of the difficult parts of bowel preparation for colonoscopy" and that patients should start to prepare a few days before the colonoscopy.
Three to five days before the colonoscopy, start eating a low-fiber diet that completely eliminates beans, whole grain bread or pasta, brown or wild rice, cereals, shredded wheat, granola, nuts, dried fruit, raw fruits or vegetables, popcorn, tough meat and fatty foods.
Additionally, avoid eating seeds which can stick to the intestines and mar results. It is also advised to steer clear of high-fiber foods. You should also stop taking any vitamins, herbal or iron supplements at this time.
The day immediately before the colonoscopy procedure, you should eat no solid foods and consume only clear liquids like clear broth or juices such as apple or white grape, clear bouillon, black coffee or tea, water, clear sports drinks and popsicles.
On the afternoon or evening before the colonoscopy, drink a liquid that will trigger the process of bowel-eliminating diarrhea. Your doctor will have likely provided these prep instructions or a prescription. On the day of the procedure, consume only clear beverages and do not eat or drink anything at all a few hours before the colonoscopy.