Following the proper diet before a colonoscopy is critical for success of the exam. Rectal and colon cancer is generally detected through a colonoscopy. Other conditions involving the large intestine and rectum may also involve the procedure. During a colonoscopy, a flexible tube with a small camera is inserted into the rectum to view the entire colon. Diet is critical, because any remains in your colon may obstruct the camera's view, advises the MayoClinic.com. Begin prepping for a colonoscopy about four days before the exam. Your doctor will advise you about following the proper diet before your scheduled colonoscopy.
Several days before your colonscopy, focus on lighter foods your body can digest more easily. Follow a low-fiber diet. Low-fiber foods include eggs, white bread, white rice and plain pasta. Limit fruits and vegetables to one serving per meal. Eat chicken without skin. Steamed fish is also a light meal you can enjoy with baked potatoes, sans the skin. The day before the exam, solid foods are strongly discouraged, according to MayoClinic.com. Follow your doctor's instructions.
It is critical to keep yourself hydrated before a coloscopy. MayoClinic.com advises drinking only clear liquids the day before the exam. Clear liquids include water, clear sodas, tea and coffee without creamer. Do not drink red, purple or orange liquids such as juice, wine or sports beverages that may be confused with blood, states the website.
At midnight before the colonoscopy, many medical professionals advise consuming no liquids or foods. For further emptying of your colon, some doctors prescribe a laxative or over-the-counter enema before the procedure. The University of Virginia Digestive Health Center suggests starting colonoscopy diet preparation up to seven days before the exam if you regularly consume a high-fiber diet, or suffer from frequent constipation.
Some foods and beverages should be avoided before your colonoscopy. Avoid high-fiber foods such as large amounts of fruit, vegetables, cereals, bran and whole-grain pastas. Do not eat foods that may stick to your bowels and obstruct the camera's view, such as seeds. Red meat may be confused with internal bleeding and should be avoided or kept to a minimum, advises CCR.com. Avoid alcoholic beverages 12 hours before the exam, according to the University of Michigan Health Center. Your doctor will tell you if there are other requirements.