A colonoscopy allows your doctor to examine the inside of your large intestine (colon) and rectum for any abnormalities, such as bleeding, inflammation, polyps, or cancer. The procedure can also be used to remove polyps or other tissue samples for further testing.
Preparing for a colonoscopy is an important part of the process, as it ensures that your colon is empty and clean for the examination. Good preparation can make the procedure easier, faster, safer, and more accurate. Here are some steps you need to follow to prepare for your colonoscopy:
Modify Your Diet
A few days before your colonoscopy, you will need to switch to a low-fiber diet that is easy to digest and leaves little residue in your colon. Avoid foods that are high in fiber, such as whole grains, nuts, seeds, popcorn, raw fruits and vegetables, beans, and peas. Instead, eat foods that are low in fiber, such as white bread, rice, pasta, eggs, lean meat, fish, chicken, well-cooked vegetables without skin, and fruit without seeds or peel.
Drink Clear Liquids
The day before your colonoscopy, you will need to stop eating solid foods and drink only clear liquids. Clear liquids are those that you can see through, such as water, tea, coffee (without milk or cream), broth, sports drinks, clear juice (such as apple or white grape), soda, gelatin, and ice pops. Avoid liquids that are red, blue, or purple in color, as they can stain the lining of your colon and interfere with visibility during the procedure. Also, avoid alcohol and dairy products.
The most important part of preparing for a colonoscopy is taking laxatives to empty your bowel completely. Your doctor will prescribe or recommend a specific type and amount of laxative for you to take at certain times before the procedure. There are different types of laxatives available, such as pills, powders, liquids, or enemas. Some laxatives may cause nausea, vomiting, cramping, bloating, or dehydration. It is important to follow the instructions carefully and drink plenty of fluids to stay hydrated and flush out your bowel.
You will need to stay close to a bathroom once you start taking laxatives until after the procedure is over. You may have frequent and watery bowel movements that may last several hours or overnight. Your bowel movements should become clear or yellowish in color by the time you finish taking laxatives. This means that your bowel is clean and ready for the examination.
To schedule a colonoscopy procedure, contact a physician in your local area.