Colonoscopy is a highly effective medical procedure that has been around since the late 1960s. The common perception regarding this is relatively negative for many reasons, ranging from the overall inconvenience of the procedure to its unconventional nature. Yet, many doctors and patients claim that the preparation for colonoscopy is even more challenging than the procedure itself. Thus, it is essential to be prepared for a colonoscopy to avoid complicating matters for both parties.
What Should You Eat After a Colonoscopy?
We have structured this article in a non-conventional manner as we begin with post-colonoscopy procedures and then move on to the prerequisites. That is because many individuals do go through the preparation procedure with relative ease but struggle with what to do after undergoing the colonoscopy, and end up making matters worse. As the procedure is mainly related to diet and digestion, it is essential to know what to eat and what not to after getting it done on you.
Doctors recommend consuming light food items that have no problems in being digested by the body with ease. You can eat anything gentle and mild on the stomach. The body tends to get severely dehydrated after such procedures, making it essential for the patient to drink lots of fluids with electrolytes afterward. Examples include vegetable smoothies, fruit juices, herbal teas, coconut water, etc.
Plant-based crackers are also great as they are easily digestible. The same can be said about plant-based butter, apple sauce, popsicles, puddings, and (healthier alternatives to) Jell-O. Soft-boiled or scrambled eggs, combined with steamed or boiled vegetables, are frequently recommended by doctors as a post-colonoscopy diet. Baked or poached white fish are also great for consumption after the procedure.
If you’re unsure about what to eat after colonoscopy, you can visit BoatBasinCafe. Here, you can find a comprehensive list of all the food items you should and should not have after a colonoscopy.
What Not to Eat After Undergoing a Colonoscopy?
Now, let us take a look at some of the food items that you must avoid after undergoing a colonoscopy. Alcohol is one of the first things you would hear your doctor saying no to. These beverages irritate the lining of the colon and interfere with any medication that you would be on after the procedure. Carbonated drinks like sprite or coke act the same way, although they are not as impactful on the colon as alcohol.
Stay away from fatty products like buttery desserts and deep-fried food. Avoid eating spices. Try to steer clear from thick grains, nuts, and seeds, as they are some of the most difficult things to digest by the human digestive system. The BoatBasinCafe website has a detailed list of food to avoid that you take reference from.
How to Prepare for a Colonoscopy?
The following sections thoroughly describe the entire plan of action before the time comes for the colonoscopy to take place.
A Week Before:
Before undergoing a colonoscopy, there are various dietary aspects that you need to be aware of and be prepared for. Once you decide to get one, or the doctor has prescribed it, you would be given a week to prepare. A strict diet needs to be maintained during this time.
While cooked or canned vegetables can be eaten, in terms of a plant-based diet, that’s about it. The following food items are some of the key ones that you must avoid. Failing to do so might force the doctor to postpone or cancel the appointment altogether.
- Whole kernel corn
- Seeds, including sesame and poppy
- Grains, including wheat bread, rice, and oatmeal
- Unprocessed vegetables and fruits
So what can you eat during the week leading up to the colonoscopy? Check the list below.
- Sports beverages
- Low-fiber products
- Frozen pops
- Clear fruit juices
Doctors will also recommend stopping the intake of any medication that has a possibility of increasing the chances of internal bleeding during the procedure. Taking blood thinners like clopidogrel and warfarin, as well as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or NSAIDs like ibuprofen, are strictly prohibited during this week.
48 Hours Before:
This is when you need to start getting serious about the procedure that you will be undergoing in 2 days. Start drinking plenty of water and other fluids to avoid getting dehydrated. The benefits of drinking pure water stretch far beyond the preparation of a mere colonoscopy. You should drink at least eight standard-sized glasses of water per day so that the body does not suffer from a lack of fluids under any circumstances.
Make sure you do not consume any food items that contain any colorings – be it natural or artificial. This is to prevent the interior lining of the colon from getting stained, which makes it incredibly difficult for doctors to carry out their assessments.
24 Hours Before:
The final 24 hours before the colonoscopy is very important. Individuals are not allowed to drink anything other than clear fluids. Examples of such fluids include coffee or tea without milk or cream, clear broth, gelatin, popsicles, beverages with electrolytes like sports drinks, fruit juices without pulp, and many more. In simple terms, any clear food or drink that you can see through may be consumed in the form of a clear liquid diet. Be sure to get your doctor’s advice before this.
To assist in clearing out the colon, a doctor may prescribe an oral solution to consume. This medication will make the individual have repeated bowel movements until no fecal matter remains in the colon. Some examples of these oral solutions include Colyte, Suprep, TriLyte, NuLytely, and Clenpiq.
After frequent visits to the bathroom, you will begin to see the feces turning yellow or clear. This change indicates that the colon is quite possibly free of feces. Constipated patients are prescribed stool softeners to make their feces soft and easy to come out. If they do not want medication for this, they can resort to specific dietary choices to relieve constipation during the week leading up to the colonoscopy.
Preparing for a colonoscopy, along with the recuperation period, can get unpleasant and difficult. However, the alternative, not detecting and addressing potential issues like cancer in the colon, is far more menacing. Remember to eat as healthy as possible before the procedure, and especially after, as to prevent additional problems in the future and to keep your colon clear for hopefully a lifetime to come!