By: Physicians Alliance of Connecticut
Colonoscopies are notorious for their extensive, and sometimes unpleasant, preparations. But with colorectal cancers as the fourth most common cancer diagnosed in men and women, colonoscopy prep is worth any uncomfortable side effects.
Fortunately, preparing for a colonoscopy isn’t as complicated as it used to be. You can follow simple instructions leading up to the colonoscopy to help empty the colon and give doctors a clear view during the procedure.
If you have questions about medication guidelines before the procedure, what color jello to eat before a colonoscopy, and other frequently asked questions, you’re not alone. Let’s look at how to prepare for a colonoscopy leading up to the procedure.
One Week Before Colonoscopy
Fill out any prescriptions necessary for colonoscopy prep.
If your doctor recommends a more advanced colonoscopy prep, be sure to fill your prescription for the medication or supplement up to a week before the procedure. Common supplements and protocols used for colonoscopy preparation include:
- Happy Colon Food Bowel
- Extended Bowel Preparation
- Suprep Kit (with or without Low Residue Diet)
- Miralax, Gatorade, Dulcolax Split Dose
- HalfLytely and Bisacodyl
Talk with your doctor about which protocol is right for you.
Arrange for transportation.
You will not be able to drive yourself to or from your colonoscopy. You may use a taxi, bus, or car service or arrange for another responsible adult to accompany you to your appointment.
Lining up transportation early on can save you the stress of trying to figure it out on the day of your colonoscopy. Additionally, if you need to request time off work, school, or other responsibilities, or if you need to arrange childcare, now is a good time to take care of those items, too.
Ask your doctor which medications you can or cannot take before your colonoscopy.
Let your doctor know what medications and supplements you’re currently taking. If you’re taking supplements such as iron, for example, your provider will likely advise you to stop taking it until after your colonoscopy. Some blood thinners and diabetes medications may be off limits.
Your healthcare provider will guide you in which medications are safe to continue taking and which ones you’ll need to temporarily stop around the time of the procedure.
Consume A Low Fiber Diet A Few Days Before Your Colonoscopy
A few days before your colonoscopy, eliminate high fiber foods from your diet.
Foods you may eat include:
- White rice
- Cooked vegetables (not containing seeds)
- Chicken, beef, fish, port, eggs, or tofu
Foods to avoid eating include:
- Whole grains
- Dried fruit
- Raw fruits
- Raw vegetables.
One Day Before Your Colonoscopy
Follow the Instructions for Your Colonoscopy Prep Prescription.
On the morning of your colonoscopy, read the instructions for your colonoscopy prescription carefully.
If you are taking colonoscopy solutions such as GoLytely, NuLytely, Colyte, or Trilyte, add water to the container. Fill it to the top and refrigerate it. Read the instructions carefully to prepare for when you should start drinking the solution.
If you’re following the Happy Colon Foods protocol or Extended Bowel Preparation, plan your meals accordingly based on the instruction manual.
If you have questions about your colonoscopy prep instructions, call the office at (203) 281-4463.
Consume a clear, liquid diet.
One day before your scheduled colonoscopy, limit your diet to only foods and beverages with a clear, liquid consistency.
There isn’t a limit to the amount of clear liquids you drink during the day. While you can consume food items such as popsicles or JELL-O®, they cannot be red, orange, or purple in color. This is because colored foods and drinks may discolor your stool and interfere with the result of your procedure.
Items you can safely consume one day before your colonoscopy include:
- Clear Broth
- Gatorade (no
purple, red, or
- Clear Fruit Juice
(apple or white
- Popsicles (no purple,
red, or orange)
- Jell-O (no purple,
red, or orange)
- Italian Ice (no cream
- Coffee or Tea (no
milk, cream, or dairy substitutes)
Set Your Alarm
If you scheduled your colonoscopy for the morning, remember to set your alarm to wake you at least four hours before your colonoscopy. This is so you can drink your remaining colonoscopy solution 4 to 6 hours before the procedure.
Day of Your Colonoscopy
Finish the Remaining Colonoscopy Solution
If you’re taking a colonoscopy solution, read the instructions for your final dose. Four to six hours before your colonoscopy, stir up the remaining GoLytely, NuLytely, CoLyte, or Trilyte solution. Drink all of it within 15 to 30 minutes. Don’t drink anything after your final dose of the solution.
Stop Drinking Liquids Before the Procedure
Do not eat or drink anything at least four hours before your scheduled colonoscopy.
Request an Appointment Today to Schedule Your Colonoscopy
Everyone’s colonoscopy prep experience is different, but what’s the same is that it is an important step in protecting your health. PACT Gastroenterology Center was founded on innovation and state-of-the-art medical care in a warm and caring environment. Reach out today to ask us a question or to book an appointment with one of our specialists.
Learn More About PACT
Physicians Alliance of Connecticut (PACT) is a multi-specialty medical group that is led and operated by over 30 physician partners and more than 100 healthcare providers. We are committed to healthcare excellence, innovation, safety, and quality in private-practice patient care in the New Haven area of Connecticut.
Looking For a Colorectal Specialist for your next screening in Connecticut?
ACCEPTING NEW PATIENTS:
DR. DANIEL LAVY, M.D, FACS IN ANSONIA & HAMDEN, CT