If you’ve recently had a colonoscopy, you may be wondering what you should eat afterward. While it is important to follow the instructions provided by your doctor when it comes to diet and activity restrictions following the procedure, there are some key tips that can help you make healthy choices for foods that will nourish your body and aid in recovery. This blog post will provide an overview of what to eat after a colonoscopy as well as advice on how to care for yourself during the first days after the procedure.
What Is A Colonoscopy And Who Needs One?
A colonoscopy is a medical procedure used to detect and evaluate changes in the large intestine (colon) and rectum, such as swollen tissues, polyps, or cancer. It involves the insertion of a long, flexible tube called a colonoscope into the rectum. Colonoscopies are recommended for individuals who require a thorough examination of their colon and rectum.
How To Prep For A Colonoscopy?
Before having a colonoscopy, there are certain steps you need to take in order to prepare your body for the procedure. These steps include restricting your diet and consuming a special solution or laxatives to clean out your colon. This is necessary for the doctor to have a clear view of any abnormalities or changes in your colon during the procedure.
How A Colonoscopy Procedure Affects Your Digestive System?
A colonoscopy procedure can affect your digestive system in the following ways:
- You may experience cramping or bloating due to the air introduced into the colon during the examination. However, these symptoms should dissipate quickly once you pass gas.
- After the examination, you should be able to resume eating; however, your doctor may impose restrictions on your diet and activities, particularly if any polyps were removed.
What To Eat Before A Colonoscopy?
For a colonoscopy, it is recommended to consume the following:
- Lean, well-cooked beef, lamb, ham, veal, or pork
- Fish, shellfish, or poultry
- White rice, noodles, or white pasta
- Cereal, such as cornflakes or crisped rice cereal (excluding bran)
- White bread or toast
- Plain biscuits, like Rich tea or others
- Eggs, especially boiled or poached
- Butter, margarine, or cheese
- Milk, cream, or cottage cheese
- Potatoes without the skins (boiled, creamed, mashed, or baked)
- Soya or tofu
- Gravy made from stock cubes (thicken with plain flour or cornflour)
- Sugar or sweetener
- Clear jelly
- Water, cordial, fizzy drinks, clear soup, or clear stock
What To Eat After A Colonoscopy?
After a colonoscopy, it is recommended to consume the following:
- Sports drinks with high electrolyte content.
- Fruit juice options like apple, orange, cranberry, and white grape.
- Herbal tea without milk or cream.
- Lightly salted or unseasoned plain crackers.
- Soup variations such as chicken noodle, Italian wedding, and plain broth.
- Scrambled eggs without added seasonings or dairy products.
- Canned fruits like peaches, pineapple, and fruit cocktails.
- White bread toast (not whole grain or wheat bread).
- Mashed or baked potatoes.
- Soft white fish with minimal seasoning, such as wild Alaska pollock, bass, cod, grouper, haddock, and halibut.
Foods and Drinks You Need To Avoid After Your Colonoscopy
- Alcoholic beverages such as beer, wine, and seltzers.
- Whole grains like crackers, brown rice, and whole grain bread.
- Tough meats like steak that are hard to digest.
- Snack mixes with dried fruit, raisins, and dried cranberries.
- Breaded and fried foods cooked in oil or grease.
- Strong spices such as garlic, curry, and pepper.
- Uncooked vegetables.
- Nuts and seeds like almonds, chia seeds, chestnuts, dried coconut, flax seeds, pine nuts, pistachios, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, and squash seeds.
Avoiding these foods for a few days after the procedure can help minimize gastrointestinal side effects. Additionally, patients who have had polyps removed may receive specific dietary recommendations from their gastroenterology and endoscopy physician.
When Should Contact Doctor For Complications After A Colonoscopy?
Contact your doctor immediately if you experience severe abdominal pain, dizziness, fever, chills, or rectal bleeding following a colonoscopy. Perforation and bleeding are significant complications associated with this procedure that require prompt medical attention.
Other Considerations After A Colonoscopy
After a colonoscopy, it is important to consider other factors. For your safety and wellbeing, refrain from driving, operating machinery, or using power tools for at least 8 hours following sedation. Your doctor may advise against driving or using machinery until the day after the procedure. Additionally, avoid signing legal documents or making significant decisions for at least 8 hours after receiving sedation.
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