Understanding How To Prepare For Your Colonoscopy

Colonoscopies are often scheduled for people who are over the age of 50, and they allow your doctor to inspect the colon for any signs of growths or precancerous polyps. You will absolutely need to prepare for the procedure in the 24 hours beforehand, so keep reading to learn how you can go about doing this.

Drink Clear Liquids

You can and should drink an ample amount of fluids in the 24 hours leading up to your colonoscopy. This helps to reduce your chances of experiencing dehydration once the cleanse starts to flush out your system. It also stops your body from going through an electrolyte balance. 

You will be asked to drink only clear liquids as liquids with coloring can leave coloring agents along the colon and may mimic the appearance of blood. This is especially an issue for anything that contains red dyes or coloring agents.

You want to stick with water mostly, and you should be drinking a bit more than your normal recommended daily intake. This means consuming as much as three to four liters of liquid in most cases. 

In addition to water, you can consume clear jello and gelatin products, as these are considered fluids. Clear broths are acceptable to eat as well, and they can help to reduce the hunger you may experience by not eating solid foods in preparation for the test. 

If for some reason you do eat or drink something with an artificial coloring agent, inform your physician. Your colonoscopy may need to be rescheduled, but this is best to ensure that your test results are as accurate as possible.

Take Your Prep As Directed

You will be given a fairly large bottle of fluid to drink 24 hours before your colonoscopy. This is called the colonoscopy prep and you will be asked to mix it and drink it in two different sessions. You will need to do this in accordance with the instructions that are provided to you. Typically, you will need to drink up to two liters of the fluid the evening before you are going to have your test. This will be within about 12 to 24 hours beforehand. 

Four to six hours before the test, you will need to consume your second mixture of the fluid. This is also two liters of prep material.

Keep in mind that you cannot skip the second dose of prep, as some people try to do this. It is necessary to clean out all of the residual fecal matter from the colon. While it is unpleasant, if you skip the second dose, your physician is likely to cancel your appointment and you will have to complete the prep all over again. 

Contact a clinic like Pilipshen Colon & Rectal Surgical Services for more information on how to prepare for your colonoscopy.