A colonoscopy is a type of procedure that tests the colon and rectum for polyps or lesions. Unfortunately, it is frequently lampooned in television shows and comic strips, so many people are hesitant to get one. This procedure is extremely useful to make sure that there are no abnormal growths or issues.
In the procedure, a flexible tube is used that has a camera attached to it. It is inserted into the anus and then moved upward toward the large intestines. Using the camera, the doctor looks for polyps or lesions. If there are polyps, a portion is taken by the doctor in a biopsy so that it can be tested for cancer. While doctors are generally good about providing insight into what to eat before a colonoscopy, many people are left wondering what to eat after a colonoscopy.
What to Eat After Colonoscopy
You may have dreaded the colonoscopy before, but it is over now. Don’t relax too much. Your bowels are still empty after the colonoscopy, so there are certain foods that you need to eat to make sure that they return to perfect working order. Some of the foods that you should use include:
Many people finish their colonoscopy to realize that they are slightly dehydrated. As you prepped for the procedure, you lost liquids and may have become dehydrated. After your procedure, your first goal is to hydrate your body again. Water helps, but sports drinks can also be used to give your body the electrolytes it needs. If you are completely unable to drink liquids by mouth after your test, you may have to be given an IV to help restore your fluid levels to normal .In addition, you should make sure to avoid any type of alcohol for at least 12 hours following your test.
2. Low Residue Diet
Depending on your doctor, you may also be told to eat a low residue diet after your colonoscopy. This type of diet is low in fiber because the goal is to prevent your colon from becoming irritated immediately after the procedure. In addition to preventing irritation, a low residue diet can also reduce the number of bowel movements that you have. A low residue diet includes low fiber foods like white rice and white bread. You may be told to avoid foods like fruits with skins, vegetables with skins, raw fruits, dried legumes or beans for a while after your colonoscopy.
3. Light Foods
Light foods are easy for your body to digest, so they are ideal after a colonoscopy. They are easy to chew and go down well, so they are better than heavier foods or greasy foods. Until the sedative wears off, do not eat steak or greasy items. Instead, stick to foods like vegetable soup and fruit juice. If you eat heavy foods while on sedatives, it can cause nausea and vomiting.
4. Probiotic Food
Probiotic food is ideal for helping your colon get the good bacteria it needs to work right. Your body normally has a healthy balance of bacteria. If there are too many bad bacteria, you can end up having digestive problems or issues cleaning out waste. Probiotic foods can help your digestive system get back on track. Try foods like cabbage, sauerkraut or yogurt to get the probiotic bacteria you need.
5. Your Regular Diet Is an Option
If you are healthy and there were no problems during your colonoscopy, then you may be able to just return to your normal diet. A balanced diet includes a healthy blend of vegetables, fruits, carbohydrates, lean proteins, fats and minerals. Always ask your doctor about whether it is okay to immediately return to your normal diet before you go back to normal. As a rule, you should also always avoid foods that are high in fats and sugars.
The Foods That You Should Eat and Avoid Eating
Foods That You Can Enjoy
Some of the foods that you can enjoy include:
Berries: Berries are amazing for your health and have the right balance of fiber. You can eat blueberries, blackberries or strawberries. Since some commercial berries are grown with pesticides that remain on the skin, you should wash the berries well or stick to using organic berries.
Bananas: This fibrous food is great for helping you have easier bowel movements after a colonoscopy. Other fruits like apples, oranges and cantaloupe are also great to eat.
Egg Drop Soup: Really, you can just pick your favorite soup as long as it has vegetables in it. Egg drop soup in particular has a good balance of protein, liquid and fiber, so it can help after a colonoscopy.
Veggies: Leafy green vegetables like spinach, kale and cabbage are great for your body. They contain the right amount of fiber and many of the nutrients that you need to look and feel your best. If you don’t like to eat them on their own, try juicing a little into a fruit juice blend or blend them into a smoothie.
The Foods That You Should Avoid After Having a Colonoscopy
After your colonoscopy, you may want to avoid foods like:
– Dairy products
– Gluten-containing foods
– Large amounts of protein and/or meat
– Hard to chew food or heavy food
– Highly processed foods
– High fiber foods
Extra After Care Tips
For the first hour or two after your procedure, you will be observed while the sedatives wear off. If you have been given any sedatives, you cannot drive yourself home. Someone will have to pick you up or you should call a cab. You should not drive or operate heavy machinery for the day after your procedure.
Expect some bloating or cramping. You will pass gas after the procedure because air was introduced to the colon during the colonoscopy. If you do not pass gas, you will experience cramping or bloating. Your doctor will also want to meet with you after the colonoscopy to discuss anything he or she found. If they had to do a biopsy, it may be a few days before they can tell you the entire results.