Whether it’s checking for colon cancer, internal hemorrhoids, or just a bad case of constipation, colonoscopies are a crucial medical diagnostic tool that has alerted doctors on the status of many colon maladies. However, these procedures can be a little anxiety-inducing. Will it hurt a lot? Do I have to drink special fluids before? How long is this going to put me out? Use this article as a helpful guide for all your questions regarding your scheduled colonoscopy.
How to prep for your colonoscopy
The key to the game is simple: emptying the bowels prior to your appointment. Without this crucial step, any growths, polyps, or abnormalities may be missed.
To help you achieve this, we’ve created this 3-day colon cleansing program for you.
3 days out Low fiber foods, no whole grains, seeds, dried fruit or vegetables. Keep food clear and to a minimum. Avoid fried foods and any bright red foods.
24 hours out: No solid foods at all. If you can handle it a fast could be helpful, but you can supplement this window with clear foods like jello, popsicles, clear juices, or black coffee. This is often when we recommend you drink a bowel cleansing liquid for the best results.
2 hours before: No food or liquid at all, not even the bowel cleansing liquid.
How to know if my colonoscopy prep is working
While following these steps should allow you a worry-free colonoscopy, for the hypervigilant, check for these steps that your colonoscopy prep is working:
- Bowel movements are watery and clear
- Seek medical attention if your bowel movements have become bloody or you are suffering from chronic constipation even after drinking the bowel cleansing liquid.
The Colonoscopy itself
The good news is that once you’re ready, a colonoscopy takes less than an hour to complete and you should be at the doctors for no more than 2-3 hours including prep and recovery.
Your doctor will often begin by administering a light sedative. This means you will need to get a ride home after your test, and you should call off work on the day of the test. The sedative and test take about an hour to wear off but you should spend the rest of the day relaxing. If your doctor has found any polyps that are worth consideration they will let you know and send them off for further testing.
4 quick tips for colonoscopy prep:
- Read your colonoscopy prep instructions asap – you don’t want to have to reschedule cause you missed a crucial step
- Consider nonsugar sweeteners like kool-aid or stevia to keep you from being bored of drinking water
- Consider drinking your colonoscopy prep fluid cold, sweetened, and through a straw to make it easier to put down
- Once the fluids and diet kick in, keep your clothes nice and loose and try to take a little time off work if you can, it might be hard to stay away from the bathroom for the time being
If you or a loved one have questions about their colon health, speak to a medical professional today to get answers.