Colonoscopy fasting is one of two related and important steps you must take the day before a colonoscopy procedure. The other is commonly known as bowel prep.
In this article, we hope to provide you with some basic information and facts about these two important steps that precede your colon exam.
Colonoscopy fasting and bowel prep are important factors in making sure your colon is completely clean and your doctor can see the walls of your colon clearly.
Your actual colonoscopy procedure is relatively short. It’s usually over in less than an hour, and sometimes it could be as little as fifteen minutes. But you start preparing 24 hours or more before you enter the operating room.
Colonoscopy fasting starts the morning of the day before your procedure is scheduled to take place. Your doctor may choose to ask you to fast for a slightly longer period. This depends on your situation. But during the fast, there are only certain foods you’ll be allowed to eat.
Gelatin and Popsicles are permitted during the colonoscopy fasting period. However, your choice of flavors is restricted. You can’t have anything red or blue because these can influence the color of the walls of your colon, making it more difficult for your doctor to spot potential problems. You’ll also be allowed to eat or drink
* diet soda.
* fat-free bouillon or broth
* hard candy such as Life Savers or lemon drops
* plain coffee
* plain tea without sweeteners or milk
* strained fruit juice specifically apple, white grape, or cranberry
* plain water
Food and drinks you should definitely avoid include cream soup, milk, ice cream and other dairy products.
Many times, you’ll be permitted to drink clear liquids until about four hours before your colonoscopy. But be sure to ask your doctor if it’s okay.
Besides observing the limitations on food and drink, you’ll be required to follow the other major part of your colonoscopy preparation, which is commonly known as “bowel prep.”
Your doctor will recommend one of several types of laxatives to take the night before. The following brand names are prescribed most often: Golytely®, Fleets Phospho-Soda® and Movi-Prep®.
In most cases, you’ll take a series of doses starting in late afternoon or early evening. Be sure to follow the instructions on the package, along with any recommendations given to you by your doctor.
Between doses, drink 3-6 glasses of clear liquid or water. Your doctor may suggest even more than that.
After you take several doses of the laxatives, you’ll feel them beginning to work. You’ll feel like you have diarrhea, and you should be prepared to take repeated trips to the bathroom during the rest of the evening.
Some individuals who have had one or more colonoscopies say hardest part of the whole process is the colonoscopy fasting and bowel prep. You’re sedated during the procedure, so it’s over before you even know it.
The biggest benefit of having a colonoscopy is in making sure your colon is free of any signs of colon cancer. But a colonoscopy has other benefits to offer also. Your doctor will be able to see if there are any other possibles developing. These could include diverticulosis or pre-cancerous colon polyps.
Advances in colonoscopy procedure technology, along with better public awareness through multiple media campaigns, are among the major reasons the number of colon cancer cases has been decreasing in the last few decades.