Before having a colonoscopy, patients must drink an unpleasant but necessary preparation in order to obtain accurate results. Although this process can be unpleasant, it helps ensure accurate results are achieved.
Thank goodness there are various prep solutions available – some being easier for some than others.
Clear Liquid Diet
Before and on the morning of your colonoscopy, a clear liquid diet must be adhered to for 24 hours prior and 24 hours post. You will be provided with specific guidelines regarding which food and beverages can be included on this plan from your physician.
Many doctors advise their patients to follow a clear liquid diet prior to any imaging or medical procedures that involve digestion of undigested material, such as colonoscopy. A colonoscopy involves using a thin flexible tube with light on its end for examination of your colon. A clear liquid diet also can prevent stomach issues like vomiting and diarrhea from interfering with test results.
Harvard Health Publishing reports that undegraded food particles and fecal matter can interfere with imaging of your intestines, making it harder for your gastroenterologist to spot polyps or lesions that could indicate colon cancer – leading them to miss them entirely and require further colonoscopies with higher out-of-pocket costs.
The clear liquid diet’s main purpose is to clear your bowel of stool so your doctor can gain a clear view of your intestines, making it easier for him to detect and remove small polyps. But this diet is not weight loss-oriented; maintaining adequate nutrition on it for more than several days may prove challenging.
As part of your clear liquid diet, be sure to have an assortment of beverages on hand. Coffee or tea without milk or non-dairy creamer (sugar/honey are acceptable alternatives). Strained fruit/vegetable juices are also permissible.
Be mindful that consuming too many of any one flavor could skew your test results; specifically jello, Popsicles or red juice contain colored dye that could leave an impactful trace in your digestive system and compromise test results.
Also, try to stay away from foods with red or purple coloring as these can impede with your test and color the return fluids from your bowel with a blue-green hue that impedes colonoscopy’s ability to see your intestines clearly. This advice is especially important if you’ve undergone blood testing.
Clear liquid diets provide nutrients while remaining easy on your digestive system, yet don’t provide enough calories and protein to meet all your nutritional needs for more than several days. In such instances, healthcare providers may prescribe additional calorie and protein supplements so you get all of your necessary nutrition either during your hospital stay or when returning home.
Coffee is a beloved morning ritual enjoyed by millions. Made from the Coffea plant’s beans found in regions like Brazil, Vietnam and Ethiopia – areas with perfect climates for growing coffee trees that produce some of the finest varieties – this natural, nutritious beverage is enjoyed daily around the globe.
Recent studies show that drinking coffee may speed the establishment of peristalsis after colorectal resection surgery, as well as increasing patient comfort while going through bowel prep.
Before your colonoscopy, it is recommended to consume only clear liquids such as water, broth, gelatin or ice pops without pulp – such as water or broth – along with small amounts of food; red-colored drinks or foods can interfere with how stools appear during the procedure and should therefore be avoided as much as possible.
On the morning of your colonoscopy, it is acceptable to drink any type of coffee without adding milk or cream, provided it is decaffeinated – caffeine may make laxatives less effective, so it is wise to limit its consumption before your test.
Tea can also make for an ideal option on the morning of your colonoscopy, providing increased satiation and keeping you full for much of the day.
Studies have demonstrated that taking a mixture of polyethylene glycol+ascorbic acid with coffee reduces the amount of preparation necessary for colonoscopy tests, helping patients save both money and feel more at ease during their procedure.
These two components help reduce the risk of gastroesophageal side effects associated with colonoscopy preparation, such as gas, nausea and vomiting.
The study demonstrated that coffee was highly safe and effective at speeding the recovery of postoperative patients after colon resection surgery. Coffee significantly shortened time of first stool formation, helping increase tolerance levels and shorten hospital stays for these individuals.
Many find the thought of colonoscopy preparation daunting, as the procedure requires extensive diarrheal episodes, no solid food for 24 hours, and sedation during the actual colonoscopy itself – all which can be quite unpleasant experiences.
But to ensure a positive experience, it’s key that you prepare by drinking plenty of liquids – this may seem excessive but is essential in helping ensure an extensive exam and doctor-controlled procedure.
Reducing colon cancer risk can be simpler than you think: all it requires is following your doctor’s instructions and avoiding certain foods and beverages that discolor stools, making it harder for doctors to see your colon.
One day before your colonoscopy, it is recommended to consume only clear liquids such as water, tea or coffee (without cream), clear broth or gelatin; red, blue or purple dyes should be avoided as these may alter the color of your stool and make it harder for doctors to observe it.
As alcohol can dehydrate you and interfere with sedation, you’ll want to drink clear juices like apple or white grape, or sports drinks containing electrolytes instead.
Consume plenty of tea – particularly black or green varieties – as their polyphenol content has been found to lower cancer risks, heart disease and stroke risk.
Tea can be an excellent way to relax before and during a colonoscopy and cleanse, as well as ease nausea and improve digestion. But it shouldn’t be relied upon solely in order to improve digestive health: to ensure maximum effectiveness it’s also important that adequate amounts of fiber are included in your diet before and after your colonoscopy.
Water is one of the best liquids for colonoscopy prep. It helps with both bowel preparation and any discomfort experienced before, after or during your procedure.
Before your colonoscopy, it is important to consume plenty of clear liquids like water. This is because during the preparation phase, a significant amount of waste must be expelled through stool passage.
Choose from an assortment of clear liquids such as tea, coffee and broth (clear and fat-free), gelatin, pulp-free juices (such as pulpless ice pops without pulp), carbonated beverages and more to find products tailored specifically to your needs. These options come in all shapes and sizes so you can easily find one to meet them all!
On the day of a colonoscopy, it is not advised to consume alcohol due to their dehydrating effects. Instead, opt for drinks rich in electrolytes like GatoradeR that will keep your body hydrated.
Your doctor will likely advise that in preparation for a colonoscopy exam, you temporarily abstain from eating and drinking solid foods for several days prior. This will enable the colonoscopist to easily view through your intestines so they can detect polyps, cancerous cells or any other suspicious items that could exist within.
At your colonoscopy appointment, your doctor will use a long and thin tube called a colonoscope to view inside your bowels and rectum. Since they can only see what’s visible inside of your intestines during a colonoscopy exam, it’s essential that everything remains as clear and empty as possible for optimal viewing results.
As part of your preparation for an exam, your doctor may prescribe a laxative in pill form, powder form that dissolves in water or an enema. It’s important to finish all of the laxative you receive to ensure a clean colon. So make sure you drink everything prescribed!
If you begin to feel bloated or experience stomach cramps when using laxatives, this is completely normal and should dissipate once enough waste has passed through your system.
Drink plenty of water or clear liquids such as milk and yogurt before your colonoscopy to help alleviate feelings of bloat or stomach cramps, but avoid alcohol as this may interfere with sedation and cause additional pain.