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How to Prepare for a Colonoscopy
A colonoscopy can be a concerning procedure for many patients, but it can be made much easier by ensuring that you are properly prepared on the day of the colonoscopy. By understanding exactly what should be done in the days leading up to the procedure, you can ensure that everything goes smoothly throughout the process.
The medical professional in charge of the colonoscopy is likely to provide the patient with detailed instructions to follow before they arrive, but there are certain tips that they may not mention. The following are four insights to be sure to follow while preparing for a colonoscopy.
Limit high-fiber foods
An excess of fiber in the colon can make the results of the colonoscopy less reliable. Therefore, one of the more important rules to follow when preparing for a colonoscopy is to only eat low-fiber foods or foods with no fiber at all. In order to do so, it is important to plan each meal in advance. Foods such as pasta, eggs and rice may make for a good, low-fiber option, whereas foods such as corn, broccoli and dark chocolate should be avoided. When in doubt over how much fiber is too much before the colonoscopy, consider discussing the diet preparation with the medical professional in charge of carrying out the procedure.
Dehydration is a greater risk for patients who do not properly prepare for their colonoscopy. Preparation for a colonoscopy often involves limiting your diet, avoiding unclear liquids and taking a strong laxative to clear out your system the night before the procedure. On the day of the colonoscopy, doctors tell patients not to consume anything until after the procedure. Subsequently, it is essential to take every opportunity possible to hydrate. The best way to stay hydrated is to carry a bottle of water with you wherever you go and sip throughout the day. While other drinks may be allowed, it is crucial to avoid dark liquids such as grape juice.
Plan for the laxatives
Many patients find the most discomforting time of the process to not be the procedure itself but rather the night before after they take the prescribed laxatives. Taking laxatives is essential to ensuring that the colonoscopy produces reliable results, but it can be an unpleasant moment. However, it can be made much easier with proper preparation. Each patient has their own preference, and many find it easier to have more privacy, wear loose clothing and purchase medicated wipes.
Give yourself time to prepare
One common mistakes patients make during colonoscopy preparation is not allowing for enough time to prepare. When patients don't plan meals, they may find themselves getting irresistibly hungry and either eating something they should not or making themselves miserable in the process. After taking the laxative, life can become even more unpleasant if the proper arrangements were not made in advance. By giving yourself time to prepare, however, the process of receiving a colonoscopy can be easy, and at the end of the day, your mind will be at ease knowing that you did what was necessary to ensure that your long-term health was properly managed.
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