Adults over the age of 45 should get a colonoscopy according to their doctors’ timelines, as part of routine health checks for early detection of diseases like colorectal cancer.
It’s okay to be nervous about this procedure, but there are many steps you can take to prepare for it. Here’s your complete colonoscopy preparation guide to make the process easier.
Make dietary changes leading up to the procedure
Before you go in for your colonoscopy at our Houston Physicians Hospital Webster, Texas, adapt your diet for the best outcomes. Shop ahead of time and prepare the foods you can eat while taking certain foods out for a few days. Minimize your intake of nuts, fruits, and raw vegetables, as well as fatty foods, and opt for a low-fiber diet that is easy to digest and pass through your digestive system.
Choose only clear liquids on the day before
Stay away from eating solid foods before your colonoscopy and stick to clear liquids that won’t cause flare-ups. You can have coffee or tea without creamer or dairy, sports drinks, broth, and certain carbonated beverages. Avoid drinks that resemble the color of blood and may show up on your colonoscopy, causing alarm.
Use the prescription or over-the-counter laxative as instructed
Before the procedure, you will be prescribed or told to purchase laxatives and given instructions regarding when to take them. This allows the medication or drink mixture to thoroughly cleanse your colon and digestive tract, and you will likely take doses a day before and on the morning of the procedure. Some people may experience diarrhea, heavy bowel movements, soft stool, and discomfort if they’re not prepared or if they have hemorrhoids.
Walk, and engage in light exercise and movements
This colonoscopy preparation guide also recommends that you engage in exercise and movement like walking. Not only will it help with the nerves and your mental health, but it also helps you pass better bowel movements and keep your system clearer than what is true for those who don’t do this. Additionally, try breathing exercises, relaxation techniques, and other methods to minimize feelings of anxiety. Breathing will also help you control your muscles during the procedure, for better results.
Don’t worry about your upcoming colonoscopy. It’s a straightforward procedure, and you can use this colonoscopy preparation guide to help you along the way. If you’re 45 years old or older and need to have a colonoscopy, you can find a gastroenterologist who’s right for you at our Friendswood Specialty Hospital in Webster, Texas, and then schedule an appointment with his or her office.