If you have a family history of bowel cancer or have reached the age of 50 and are scheduled to have your first colonoscopy, you should know that there is a little bit of prep work you have to consider. One thing you have to keep in mind in particular is that you have to follow a very specific diet before the procedure to ensure you get the most out of it. This is because that any obstructions can invalidate the findings of the colonoscopy, and you’ll need to have the procedure again when your intestinal tract is clear. Because it can be confusing to know what to eat, in this article we take a look at a few foods that you should be jotting down on your shopping list.
Foods you should be eating
Although you might already committed the time necessary and scoured reviews across the internet to find a colonoscopist near you, you might not have much of an idea of what you need to eat. This can be very useful information as preparing for a colonoscopy takes time and patience. The first thing you should remember to do is go shopping for foods that will help clear your intestinal tract. Light foods that are simple to digest are best for the days leading up to the procedure, so make sure to be well-stocked with things like white bread, pasta, and rice, alongside vegetables that you can cook well. These don’t have to be boring, soggy vegetables either – consider making some mashed pumpkin or potato for some extra yumminess! You’ll also be allowed to eat seedless and skinless fruit, lean meat, chicken, and less oily fish and scrambled eggs. You won’t be able to eat a few things, however – foods like seeds, nuts and popcorn, foods high in fat, any fruit with seeds or a peel, wholegrain food products, raw vegetables and legumes. You should also halt any consumption of vitamins or other supplements in the leadup to your colonoscopy.
Fasting before your colonoscopy
The day before your colonoscopy is scheduled to take place, you won’t be allowed to consume anything solid at all. Instead, meals will typically be constituted of clear foods like broth alongside beverages like fruit juice (except orange juice and similar thick, pulpy juices) and water. You can drink coffee and tea, but you must ensure that they have no milk in them. You are also able to eat jelly, but avoid jelly coloured with red, blue, or purple colourings, as these can discolour the interior of the colon, making it hard to spot abnormalities. Two to four hours before the procedure, do not consume anything at all, as your intestinal tract and bowel needs to be completely clear for the doctor. Laxatives often play an important role in this, and although it is often not the most fun dealing with strong laxatives, it can help a great deal in making the doctors inspection a lot easier.
Other supplies you might want to keep in mind
When you’re doing your big shop for food for before and after your procedure, you might want to also pick up some other supplies while you’re out and about. These might include the laxatives that we already mentioned (your doctor may give you a prescription or you can just grab over-the-counter laxatives), moist wipes and potentially even cream to remedy any rashes around your posterior.