Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Preparation: Diet

After scheduling, the first part of the colonoscopy, and in many ways the hardest, are the days prior to the procedure itself. The instructions for this prepatory period ran three pages, and the prep process will interfere with your life, particularly on the day of and before the procedure. The prep does make one wonder whether a virtual colonoscopy would have been a simpler place to start.

Tomorrow is my procedure, here's what I've been asked to do so far:

Four days ago (five days before the procedure), I needed to stop taking aspirin. The colonoscopy comes along with bonus possible polypectomies, if polyps are found in the colon they may be biopsied and/or removed at the time, this can lead to bleeding, and aspirin can keep the body from stopping that bleeding naturally.

Two days ago the first real dietary restrictions started, I was asked to stop eating "nuts, seeds and foods with a peel." A list of examples was included (e.g., popcorn, fennel seeds, grapes, beans, raspberries." The restrictions go on to note that "Fibers, seeds and peels" can clog the colonoscope. Fair enough, in practice this gets a bit ambiguous. Whole ginger is fibrous, so is bok choi. Rice is a seed, is cooked rice okay? (As it turns out, cooked white rice without other additives is apparently okay, that one I asked.) It becomes tricky to think about eating at a restaurant, so I've mostly ended up eating primarily at home.

Starting yesterday, anti-inflammatories became part of the "don't consume" list, again this relates to reducing the risk of serious bleeding.

And now we get to today, the "no solid food or dairy products" day. Now, instead of a list of things not to eat, it becomes much easier to talk about what one's allowed to still eat. Many liquids are still on the list--clear broth, black coffee or tea, soda (although see the color restrictions below), water, white grape juice, apple juice, lemon jell-o. Things with red, green or blue dyes are complete no-nos, the dyes will persist in the gut and make it more difficult to see what's going on in the GI tract. No orange juice or dairy, either, whee. I'll be allowed all these things until about 2am tomorrow morning, then nothing, not even significant amounts of water, until the procedure six hours later.

That's the restrictions, there is another process that will be happening today that I'll cover in another post--that's the process of really flushing out my gut prior to the colonoscopy. But that's the subject of a post later today.

26 comments:

Siddharth Karanth said...

my doctor told me to stop taking solid food 2 and half days prior to procedure.

Romayne said...
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Romayne said...

My apologies - filled in the form with Robocop which seems to have saved an old post along with the sign-in data, and I didn't spot it before submitting. Please delete it if possible.

My post for THIS subject was to thank you for putting up the info as I'm just about to start my own dietary prep for my colonoscopy in 4 days, and was keen to see how others had dealt with it.

Joe said...

No worries, Romayne, good luck with your procedure!

Anonymous said...

From C&R - had my first today. Didn't receive any prep instructions other than day before requirements (liquids only, etc.). Did everything I was told. Did not get good cleanout and was told to come back. This site plus others provided detail on foods to avoid many days before that (such as high fiber & certain fruits). Why didn't doctor tell me this?

Joe said...

Anon/C&R: That's a very good question. The place I had my procedure done gave me very complete information, I can't imagine that it's in anyone interest to do otherwise. It just blows me away.

Anonymous said...

I have been told by my doctor (in asia though not the western world) that I can eat whatever I want but NOT fruit or vegetables one week prior to the op. Then night before op I take the
'wonderful' liquid laxative. I did have colonoscopy done 6 years ago and then i did diet just for 2 days prior which was chicken, light food etc (no dairy) for first day then clear drinks/broth day before. I am a little skeptical about the diet here in asia as I cant believe it will 'clean my colon' beforehand?

Joe said...

Dear Anon in Asia:

That actually doesn't sound that different than the recommendations I got here in California. The longest restrictions for me are all about trying to avoid seed/nut sorts of casings, as near as I can tell, which are predominantly "fruits and veggies." The gallon of liquid is pretty effective as well.

I'm not a doctor, of course.

Anonymous said...

Many thanks for your reply - I guess I will just have to give it a go and see if it works! WOuld hate to have it done though and for them to turn around and say the colon isnt cleaned enough so have to start again! Hopefully lots of water and the medicine they give me will ensure a happy ending.

Anonymous said...

I am a vegetarian and gearing up for my first baseline colonoscopy-Happy 50th B-day to me! Any suggestions since the bulk of my regular diet contains all of the major "no-nos"? I don't mind fasting, just not for 5 days!

Joe said...

Anon: Happy 50th! It's not 5 days of all the restrictions (at least for me), really the only thing I couldn't eat on "5 days before" and "4 days before" was aspirin, but I can totally see where 3 days before would start cutting into your diet pretty strongly, which cuts a few days out of the problem. Dairy was only excluded the day before and the day of the procedure (and my procedure was early that next day).

At least with the medical group I was dealing with I was given a contact who was both involved with scheduling the procedure but also answering questions about the dietary restrictions and such, if you have such a resource I'd definitely try running some ideas by them.

Wish I had more specific suggestions other than rice, but I'd rather not steer you wrong!

Sam in WV said...

Joe, thanks for the info-am having some luck with some of the less fiber packed veggie burgers, and veg broth-but heck, this is a good way to lose those pesky 5 lbs which have settled at the old waist line. Tried white flour bread, etc., but it was such a change that it messed with my system-so am going for the very white rice and broths until it is over. Luckily, my procedure is an early morning one, too!

Carry on!

Kat said...

I had the procedure done yesterday, my prep was one day with no solid food and I had to drink 1 gallon of water with the prescribed powder that came in the jug. Took 1 hour or so for the process to start emptying my body.
The actual procedure was a piece of cake. Gave me an IV then sleep.

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Anonymous said...

My mother is going to have her first colonoscopy in next 8 or 9 hours.Am from India,and the Doc didn't advice so much restriction. Just no solid food after 12pm on the day of prep. And the WONDERFUL LAXATIVE (PEGLEC with orange flavor) started at 6PM, and the 1.5ltr. jug had been emptied in 2hrs.
I think a total cleaning has been achieved, as she had at least 20 times during 7PM-1AM. I continued administrating oral solution to prevent dehydration.
DD

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Anonymous said...

Thank you for your helpful blog. I stopped taking aspirin, ibuprofen, etc. several days before the procedure. In fact, I was asked specifically what medications I used and was told what was okay to continue taking. I took this very seriously because I didn't want to risk complications. I was also told not to eat seeds, nuts, etc. a couple of days beforehand. My procedure was scheduled for an afternoon. I was allowed to eat breakfast the day before (I think I had white toast and eggs), then was supposed to eat a light lunch (for example, noodle soup), then no dinner the night before and no food on the day of the procedure. But obviously, one should follow the specific directions their doctor gives them. Also, starting with lunch the day before, I could only drink clear liquids. Drinking lots of water is important because of the effects of the prep. I mainly drank lots and lots of water. I had to drink half of the MoviPrep solution the afternoon before, and half during the early morning. I mixed it in advance and refrigerated it. Then, shortly before drinking it, I put it in the freezer for a short time to make it really cold (but not icy). I drank it down quickly by putting it in a small glass and putting my tongue on the outside of the glass as I swallowed it down. (Of course, I had to do this several times, as there's a lot of solution.) Each time I then "chased" it with ginger ale and water. The stuff was very effective. I was told to stop drinking liquids several hours before the procedure--my doctor told me the specific time to stop drinking liquids. Good luck, everyone.

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Dondee said...

My procedure is on Monday I received the instruction yesterday (Friday) I've been eating popcorn, nuts, everything it says I should not eat. I should cancel the appointment right?

Meganolia said...

I have a wonderful doctor. I would think that if your doctor only provided information two days before, that you would want ANOTHER doctor. My doctor mailed it to me two weeks prior. They gave me times and dates to be at the procedure. They asked me to begin a two day liquid diet 48 hours prior. No orange, red, purple or green popsicles or gelatin. They highlighted my two pills to take the morning of but to take with just a sip of water. I was told not to put ANYTHING in my mouth after midnight the night before. I have a prescription that I have to fill on Monday. My diet is Wed and Thurs and my procedure if Friday. I feel very confident on the instructions and I am just considered that I can live on clear broth and popsicles and jello... I was told Lemon and peach jello were all i could eat. It's going to be an adventure for sure.

Compra Oro Plata said...

The lengthiest restrictions for me are all about trying to avoid seed/nut kinds of facilitates, as near as I can tell, which are mainly "fruits and clean vegetables." The qt. of liquid is pretty effective as well.

Russcath said...

Vegetarian and start prep in a couple of weeks. Very concerned about how to get protein for the 3 prep days. I have been told I cannot eat: fruit, vegetable, seeds, nuts, cheese, yogurt. White rice, white bread and soup broth are ok. I eat frequently and am very active. I live in Hong Kong and I have called the clinic a few times for feedback. I am not getting additional information. I do have a box of Ensure lite (no fibre). Thank you for your suggestions