Colonoscopy is one of the best methods to diagnose abdominal disorders, stomach ulcers and colorectal cancer. The examination involves the use of a tube fitted with a CCD or fiber optic camera. This tube is put inside the colon or the rectum, through the anus, to see whether abnormal growths, bleeding, tumor, etc. have formed. Today, colonoscopy has proved to be the most effective means of diagnosing stomach disorders. If you have been advised to undergo colonoscopy, you must have also been asked to follow all the preparatory measures for the same. Following a low fiber and liquid diet helps in clearing the digestive tract and the colon for colonoscopy.
Foods for Colonoscopy
One cannot simply have a colonoscopy at a short notice as the bowel needs to be prepared for it. In order to have a clear view of the digestive tract and the colon, it is essential to empty it and keep it clear of any food or wastes. The doctor advises the patient to have only liquid foods 2-3 days before going for the colonoscopy. At the same time, the doctor will also advise the patient to have a low fiber diet so that the food and wastes are easily removed from the colon.
It is necessary to know what foods contain fiber in order to eliminate them from the diet. Although fiber increases the bulk of stools and softens them, it is advisable to have a low fiber diet when preparing for colonoscopy. You must be aware that all fruits and vegetables contain high amount of fibers. Similarly, whole grain products and most of the cereals are also known for their high fiber content. However, there are certain fruits, vegetables and grain products which can be classified as low fiber foods. These foods are safe to consume before a colonoscopy. The following is a list of foods that are safe to consume.
Foods Safe to Consume
- Refined carbohydrates like white bread, white rice, white pasta
- Pancakes, waffles, croissants, biscuits, crackers
- All canned vegetables (without seeds), Lima beans, pumpkin, spinach
- Bananas, melons, canned strained fruit juice
- All dairy products, ice cream
- Meat, poultry, eggs, fish
- All dressings, margarine, mayonnaise, oil
- All sweets, honey, sugar, jelly
- Tea, coffee, soft drinks, herbal tea
Foods to be Avoided
- All whole grain products, brown rice, cornbread
- Raw and fresh fruits and vegetables, pineapple, beans, dry fruits
- Yogurt with nuts, peanut butter, tofu
- All nuts, seeds and products containing them
It should be noted that the low fiber diet for colonoscopy preparation is to be followed a week before the actual procedure. This will help prepare the body for the liquid diet that is to be followed and also for the surgery. You need to follow the clear liquid diet 2-3 days just prior to the colonoscopy.
In the clear liquid diet, one should have only liquids like clear soups, clear broths, clear fruits juices, clear black tea or coffee, etc. No solid, semi solid or pulp of any form is allowed. At the same time, milk, milk based liquids and purple, orange or red colored liquids (consisting the colored dyes) should also be avoided completely.
Following the low fiber and the liquid diet can help in keeping the colon clear for colonoscopy, which will also help in diagnosis of any abdominal abnormalities. Lastly, note that the diet should only be followed on the doctor's recommendation and under the doctor's supervision. Take care!