Colonoscopy is a common procedure used to screen for colorectal cancer. While it can seem like an uncomfortable experience, in reality, it is completely painless. Preparing for your colonoscopy properly will help make the process smoother and more comfortable. It also ensures your test will not be rescheduled for another day.
Here is how to prepare for a colonoscopy.
7 Days Before the Colonoscopy
There are some medications you will need to stop taking, such as iron pills, blood thinners, and anti-thrombin inhibitors. In addition, stop eating high-fiber foods such as nuts, popcorn, and fiber supplements. Your doctor may have additional instructions for you during this period.
Bowel Prep and Clear Liquid Diet
Before undergoing a colonoscopy, there are certain physical preparations that must be made, such as taking a bowel prep that will empty your bowels. For this, your doctor will prescribe a formula to take at least 2 times before the colonoscopy day. During this time, you will also be on a highly restrictive diet known as a clear liquid diet.
A clear liquid diet consists of:
- Electrolyte drinks
- Clear broth
- Clear juice
- Jell-o or popsicles
- Hot or iced tea
- Black coffee
- Do not ingest anything with red or purple coloring
If you suffer from constipation, you may need to start the liquid diet two days before your colonoscopy. Check with your GI doctor.
On the day of the colonoscopy, you may need to take another dose of the laxative formula, and stop taking any liquid four hours before the procedure. If you have any questions at all about colonoscopy preparation, do not hesitate to ask your gastroenterology care team. It is very important that the prep is done correctly.
It’s also important to prepare mentally ahead of time by learning all you can about what will happen during and after the procedure. For instance, it is natural to feel bloated and gassy after the procedure. Additionally, you will still feel the effects of sedation as late as the day after, which is why you should arrange for someone to take you home after the procedure.
Furthermore, if you are anxious about the procedure, try practicing relaxation exercises, which you can use on the day of the test. Even better, let your gastroenterology care team know of your anxiety, so they can address any concerns you may have about the test.
Colonoscopy in Westlake and Brooklyn, OH
At North Shore Gastroenterology, our colonoscopy patients get detailed instructions on how to prepare for their colonoscopy test. We typically use Miralax, Miralax-Gatorade, or Suprep for colonoscopy prep, and will recommend the most appropriate colonoscopy prep for you.
If you choose us as your colonoscopy provider, you will have a supportive and caring team who will be there for you every step of the way. To schedule your colonoscopy or a doctor’s appointment with us, call our office today at (440) 808-1212, or use our convenient online request form.