Colonoscopy is a procedure that allows the doctor to view the minute details of the inside part of the colon (large intestine). This procedure is usually recommended when blood is detected in the stools. This is an indication of intestinal bleeding and so to diagnose the cause, colonoscopy will be performed. In this procedure, a long flexible tube (colonoscope) is slowly pushed through the rectal area, until it reaches the large intestine. The video camera placed on the top part of the colonoscope gives sharp images of the inner portions of the colon. People, who are advised to undergo a colonoscopy have to put restrictions on their food choices. Some foodstuffs have to be avoided 4 days before colonoscopy. It is discussed below:
Colonoscopy Prep Diet Plan
Also known as colonoscopy preparation diet, it tells what foods one should not consume prior to visual inspection of the colon. This diet is sometimes referred to as colonoscopy low residue diet and is designed to decrease stool formation in the colon.The purpose of undergoing colonoscopy may be defeated if this diet is not followed. Colonoscopy procedure might not be able to detect abnormalities in the colon if inappropriate foods are eaten before this procedure. Here are some colonoscopy prep tips to follow this diet:
Stay Away From Fiber Foods
Fiber rich foods are not easy to digest and so it would not be feasible to burden the colon by eating these foods before a colonoscopy. Low fiber diet can be beneficial in this regard. Not all fiber rich foods consumed are digested, some remain undigested and stay in the colon itself. As a result, the pictures obtained from colonoscopy might not be clear enough for accurate diagnosis.
So, strictly eliminate the following fiber rich foods from the diet:
- Vegetables such as broccoli, artichokes, Brussels sprouts, green peas, spinach, kale and carrots
- Fruits like bananas, apples, oranges, strawberries, guava and cherries
- Nuts that include almonds, walnuts, pistachios and Brazil nuts
- Oatmeal, spaghetti and barley
Avoid Foods High in Fats
Fatty foods consumed before colonoscopy can make the doctors extremely difficult to interpret the results of the procedure as the images appear blurred. So fatty foods like pizza, hamburgers, lamb and red meat cannot be a part of prep colonoscopy diet. Milk, yogurt, or beverages that contain milk, too have to be excluded from this diet. Doctors also recommend to avoid carbonated beverages like cola before colonoscopy.
Have Foods That Do Not Hinder Colonoscopy
A low-fat diet prior to colonoscopy is often prescribed as the intestines do not have to really work hard to perform its function. When it comes to eating meat, one can have lean pieces of boiled skinless chicken, steamed white fish. One can also eat white bread, cheese and boiled eggs before colonoscopy.
Increase Water Intake
Whether it is 3-4 days prior colonoscopy or on the d-day, one simple cannot forget to drink plenty of water. Sufficient water intake, which means drinking 8-9 glasses everyday is essential for best results. Adequate water consumption daily cleanses the colon and gets rid of accumulate waste, which is necessary before a colonoscopy. One can also have fluids like apple juice and tea (do not add milk) to increase fluid intake. Although there are different options when it comes to taking fluids before colonoscopy, one should focus more on drinking clear liquids such as water.
Skip Red Colored Drinks
You got to stay away from red wine and even juice of pomegranate has to be avoided as their red color makes them difficult to distinguish from blood. Hence, these red fluids detected during colonoscopy can be mistaken for blood and lead to wrong diagnosis. So, make sure to skip red colored beverages and foods as they can come in the way of getting correct results. Even those that are fortified with artificial colors such as sports drinks (Gatorade) may act as a hurdle in diagnosing the condition correctly. Appetizers such as tomato soup, sauce, carrot juice and foods containing red, green or blue dyes could reduce the doctor's ability to detect possible bleeding and abnormal growths.
Diet on the Day Before Colonoscopy
Suppose, the patient is undergoing colonoscopy on 21st July, then he has to modify his colonoscopy prep diet on 20th July. It is known as the clear liquid diet for colonoscopy. To be precise, colonoscopy clear liquid diet focuses more on having liquids than solid foods. So, on that day (20th July), one can eat light breakfast. Rest of the day, one cannot have anything solid and one should focus more on consuming water and other fluids (strained juices). The intention is to detoxify the colon and ensure that it is free from solid waste. Thus, colonoscopy of an empty colon makes it easier to correctly detect an inflamed tissue, ulcers or cancerous tumors, if any. Besides following this colonoscopy prep liquid diet, to promote bowel movement, the doctor may also prescribes laxatives like Picolax that one has to take on the day before colonoscopy.
Why to Follow a Colonoscopy Preparation Diet
Preparing for a colonoscopy means implementing this diet strictly. The diet aims to clean the colon thoroughly, so as to get a crystal clear picture of the colon during a colonoscopy. The colon must be free from fecal matter before colonoscopy, which cannot be accomplished without following this diet. When solid matter is absent in the intestines, it becomes quite easy to find out what's wrong with the colon.