What to eat two days before colonoscopy?

In this brief guide, we will address the query ‘what to eat two days before colonoscopy?’. We will also talk about what you can eat a day before colonoscopy and what to eat after this procedure. We will further discuss if colonoscopy is dangerous and if you can drink water before colonoscopy.

What to eat two days before colonoscopy?

Two days before colonoscopy you should be under a low-fiber diet, eating foods like white rice, pasta, breads (made with refined flour), chicken, eggs, fish and seafood, fruits without skin or seeds, potatoes (no skin either), and other low-fiber options such as:

  • Canned or cooked vegetables (without skin);
  • Cucumbers (without seeds or skin);
  • Butter and other fats;
  • Soups made with broth or cream;

For drinking, you must eat anything without red or purple dye. Avoid fruits or vegetables (with pulp) juices, as they are rich in fibers. You may drink milk, tea, coffee and soda.

You can eat sugary or salty foods and also jellies, honey and syrups. Stay away from pickles, popcorn, olives and coconuts.

Can you eat a day before colonoscopy? 

You can eat a day before colonoscopy, but only in the morning. You may have a very light breakfast with eggs, white bread or soup. Do not eat meat or vegetables.

The day before your colonoscopy is the day you’ll be preparing your body to undergo a specific endoscopic exam that will check inside your bowels. That’s why you need to take care of what and when you’re eating.

After your breakfast, or after 10:00 am, you should stop eating solid foods. Stick to a clear liquid diet, which includes:

  • Water;
  • Tea;
  • Coffee;
  • Apple juice;
  • Vitamin waters;
  • Sports juices;

What to eat after a colonoscopy? 

You may eat soft foods after a colonoscopy. Since the exam can irritate your digestive system, choose foods that will be gentle to your throat, stomach and bowels.

Stick to the low-fiber diet for a while, and also choose low-residue foods for a couple of days. This means eating broth, refined carbohydrates, well-cooked or canned vegetables, fish and eggs. 

You can also eat some raw fruits that will be fine to your digestion process, such as:

  • Bananas;
  • Papaya;
  • Watermelon;
  • Nectarine;
  • Peaches;
  • Plums;

On the other hand, low-residue diets exclude foods like dried fruits, spice and everything spicy, figs, berries, chocolate, legumes, nuts and seeds.

Keep your distance from fried food, too, and alcoholic beverages. Actually, most doctors will recommend that you don’t drink alcohol for at least 8 hours after colonoscopy.

Is colonoscopy dangerous? 

No, colonoscopy is not a dangerous procedure. It is a common and safe exam that can prevent colon and rectal cancer, and has very low risks of complications.

According to a 2010 study, only 0.0066% of the exams resulted in death from colonoscopy-specific complications, which is almost as rare as being struck by lightning. However, there are mild complications that can occur more often, such as:

Bleeding

Although not being a reason of concern, this can happen when a tissue sample is taken. Be careful, if it is persistent, then you should talk to your doctor.

Infection

Bacterial infection can occur after a colonoscopy, but it is easily treated with medication;

Anesthetic reaction

Reaction to anesthesia can be serious and is possible to occur. Therefore, talk to your doctor about what types of anesthesia you can take safely.

Postpolypectomy Electrocoagulation Syndrome

This is an extremely rare complication that occurs when the bowel is damaged. It causes intense abdominal pain and fever, but it can be cured with rest and medicines.

Can I drink water before colonoscopy? 

You may not drink water up to 3 or 4 hours prior to your colonoscopy. Before that, you are free to drink it. 

If you are diabetic or dehydrated, you may ask your doctor for a couple sips of water before the exam.

It is important to drink water after colonoscopy, to rehydrate your body as soon as possible. Along with water, you can also drink clear fluids and isotonic.

Conclusion

In this brief guide, we addressed the query ‘what to eat two days before colonoscopy?’. We also talked about what you can eat a day before colonoscopy and what to eat after this procedure. We then discussed if colonoscopy is dangerous and if you can drink water before colonoscopy.

Furthermore, we hope this guide was useful to you! If you have any doubts, please don’t hesitate to contact us!

Citations 

https://healthy.kaiserpermanente.org/washington/get-care/additional-services/gastroenterology/colon-diet-low-fiber

https://www.sutterhealth.org/services/gastroenterology/suprep-colonoscopy-instructions-spmf

https://www.healthline.com/health/crohns-disease/low-residue-diet#foods-to-eat

https://www.healthline.com/health/what-to-eat-after-colonoscopy#foods-to-avoid

https://www.ccalliance.org/blog/prevention/are-colonoscopies-dangerous

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