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Diet before colonoscopy – what is worth knowing? what and when can you eat before and after the examination?

Colonoscopy is one of the most important screening tests, allowing the detection and prevention of many diseases of the large intestine, including intestinal cancer. However, for this test to be effective and precise, appropriate preparation is necessary, including an appropriate diet before colonoscopy. In this article, we will discuss why a diet before a colonoscopy is important and what are the traditional and modern recommendations for preparing for this examination. You will also learn what you can eat and drink during the restriction period before colonoscopy and what your diet should look like after colonoscopy.

Diet before colonoscopy – is it important?

Diet before colonoscopy plays a key role in the preparation process for the examination. Why? Because the large intestine must be thoroughly cleansed of food remains and feces, so that the doctor can carefully examine its walls and, if necessary, perform therapeutic procedures. Inadequate preparation for colonoscopy may result in a difficult or imprecise procedure, which may affect the effectiveness of the test.

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Dietary preparation for colonoscopy

Preparing for a colonoscopy requires the patient to take certain dietary steps. Depending on the doctor’s recommendations, the diet before colonoscopy can be divided into several stages:

Diet before colonoscopy – traditional recommendations

Traditional recommendations regarding the diet before colonoscopy assume dietary restrictions for several days. A few days before the test, the patient should avoid products containing fiber, such as raw vegetables, fruits, grains, nuts and seeds. Moreover, on the day before the colonoscopy, the patient should not eat any solid food, and the diet should be limited to liquids, such as poultry stock, clear broths, teas, and special preparations for cleansing the large intestine.

Diet before colonoscopy – modern recommendations

The modern approach to diet before colonoscopy involves a less restrictive approach. Patients are advised to avoid eating 24 hours before the examination, but at the same time they can consume clear liquids such as broths, teas or isotonic drinks. Thanks to this, patients can avoid the feeling of hunger and dehydration, and at the same time ensure cleansing of the large intestine.

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What can you eat and drink during the restriction period before colonoscopy?

During the restriction period before colonoscopy, it is recommended to drink clear liquids, such as:

  • Buliony
  • Teas
  • Isotonic drinks
  • Water

You should avoid eating solid food, as well as drinks containing dyes or milk drinks. Additionally, it is important not to consume any food or drink 2-4 hours before the scheduled examination.

What to eat after colonoscopy?

After the colonoscopy is completed, the patient is usually advised to slowly return to their normal diet. To start with, it is best to eat light meals, such as soups, groats, boiled vegetables and lean meat. It is also important to avoid difficult to digest foods that may burden the digestive system after the procedure.

Sample easily digestible, residue-free menu before colonoscopy (before liquid diet)

A sample menu before colonoscopy may look like this:

  • Breakfast: clear broth
  • Second breakfast: poultry stock
  • Lunch: herbal tea
  • Afternoon snack: isotonic drink
  • Dinner: herbal tea

Please remember that before starting a colonoscopy diet, it is worth consulting a doctor or dietitian who will adapt the menu to the patient’s individual needs.

Your suggestions

If you have additional suggestions regarding diet before colonoscopy or would like to share your experiences with preparing for this examination, we encourage you to leave a comment below the article. Your tips may be a valuable help to other patients.

Recommended articles

If you are interested in the topic of gut health and screening, we recommend checking out our other articles on the topic:

  • “Early detection of colorectal cancer – why is it so important?”
  • “How is a colonoscopy performed and what is the preparation?”
  • “Symptoms of colorectal cancer that are worth paying attention to”

Thanks to proper preparation and following the doctor’s recommendations, colonoscopy can be an effective tool in the prevention and detection of colon diseases. Regardless of the type of diet before colonoscopy, the most important thing is to follow your doctor’s recommendations and take care of your health.

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