Colon and rectal cancer will affect over 140,000 people in 2011, according to the American Cancer Society. This condition is highly treatable when discovered and treated early. A colonoscopy is a physical examination performed by a physician using a long flexible tube and tiny video camera. This tube is inserted into the large intestines through the rectum to enable the doctor to visualize the lining of the intestines to look for abnormalities.
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Your physician will provide you with medical and dietary guidelines to follow prior to your colonoscopy. Following these guidelines, increases the likelihood that he will have a clear view of the intestinal walls. You can only consume low fiber foods during the 3 to 4 days before the test and a liquid diet on the day preceding the colonoscopy. It is important to follow your physician's directions regarding your preparation for this test.
Clear Liquid Diet
A clear liquid diet on the day before your colonoscopy helps clear out your intestines, as well as helping to maintain your hydration. It also provides some energy and the proper electrolytes for the functioning of your muscles. Fluids are considered clear when you can see through them and they do not contain any pulp or substance.
Fluids recommended for a clear diet the day before the test include fat-free bouillon or broth, strained juices that do not contain pulp, water, clear flavored water, plain coffee without milk or cream, plain tea and sports drinks. You can also have noncarbonated, powder-based beverages, sodas, popsicles, fruit ices and clear, hard candies. A typical meal on clear liquids includes a glass of fruit juice, glass of water, cup of broth and a bowl of gelatin. If you prefer, you can sip on a hot cup of broth throughout the day. Eating gelatin with your meals will also give you the sensation of chewing.
Any drinks that are not considered clear liquids can interfere with the test. MayoClinic.com also recommends that you avoid foods with red dye for colon exams because it can be confused with blood during the test. Liquids you should avoid prior to a colonoscopy include cream soups, grapefruit juice, orange juice, tomato juice, cream, milk, milkshakes, farina or any soup other than broth.
- American Cancer Society: What are the Key Statistics About Colorectal Cancer?
- MayoClinic.com; Clear Liquid Diet; Aug. 15, 2009
- National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse: Colonoscopy
- Johns Hopkins Health Alerts; Colonoscopy Prep: Going Liquid; Jan. 2012
- University of Michigan Health System; Colonoscopy; June 2010