Preparing For A Colonoscopy: Important Dos And Don'ts

Posted on: 27 November 2015


A colonoscopy is a medical screening that many people will need to have done at some point their lives. Specifically, a colonoscopy refers to a screening of the colon using a long, flexible tube with an attached camera. If you've been told by your doctor that you need to have a colonoscopy done, he or she will provide you with specific guidelines to follow. As a general rule, however, you should also keep some basic dos and don'ts in mind in the days prior to your colonoscopy.

DO Talk to Your Doctor About Medications

If you're taking any medications or even if you take aspirin on a daily basis, be sure to alert your doctor ahead of time. Some medications (and even some vitamins) could affect the accuracy of your results. Also, if you have a known iron deficiency in your diet, let your doctor know about this, as it may impact the specific type of bowel cleaning solution you're given.

DON'T Drink Beverages With Coloring

You can generally drink as much water and clear liquids as you want in the days leading up to your colonoscopy, but beverages that have added dyes for color (such as sodas) should be avoided. Your doctor may also allow you to drink some tea or coffee, but you'll want to check with your doctor, as this can vary based on the scheduled time of your colonoscopy appointment and the specific diet you're being assigned to follow.

DO Avoid Solid Foods as Directed

Typically, once you start taking your bowel cleansing solution, you will need to stop eating solid foods until after your colonoscopy appointment. This can be a challenge for some, but it's important to ensure that the colon is clear so that the colonoscopy can be conducted successfully. Some doctors may recommend sucking on a piece of candy every few hours before the appointment to help make it easier.

DON'T Forget About the Cleansing Solution

The cleansing solution given to you will be important in ensuring that your colon is properly cleansed for the procedure. Be sure to take it as prescribed in preparation for your colonoscopy. Generally, you'll need to start taking the solution at a very specific time, so be sure to have it with you when that time comes. From there, be sure to finish as much of the solution as recommended by your doctor. The last thing you want is to be sent home and have to repeat the procedure again.

To learn more about colonoscopy screenings, contact a company like Clinical Gastrointestinal Associates, PC