Now Accepting SAME-DAY DDA appointments for patients experiencing urgent symptoms. Please visit our SAME-DAY DDA page here to learn more.

Prepping for Your First Colonoscopy

Call today to schedule your colonoscopy or book your appointment online!

A colonoscopy probably won’t be your favorite procedure ever, but it can save your life. Colorectal cancers are the third most common type of cancer affecting men and women in the United States. It’s the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths. A colonoscopy is one of the best ways to identify colon cancer.

For a colonoscopy to reveal important information about your health, your colon must be empty. Fasting and strong laxatives are used to clean out your digestive system, so prepping for your first colonoscopy can make you a bit apprehensive. The team at Digestive Disorders Associates can help. We give you all the information you need to successfully prepare for your colonoscopy.  Here’s a preview of what to expect.

Go shopping first

Prior to the start of your colonoscopy prep, it’s a good idea to get a few supplies. These include any laxatives directed by our office. You’ll also need clear drinks, such as sports drinks and light-colored broth, moist wipes, and diaper cream.

Three to four days before

In the days in advance of your procedure, it’s helpful to eat low-fiber foods to start clearing out your colon. White bread, pasta, white rice, peeled fruit and vegetables, lean meat and chicken, and eggs are easy to digest and leave your digestive tract pretty easily. This will make your preparation period much easier.

In these days, avoid seeds, nuts, fatty foods, whole grains, raw vegetables, and whole fruits.  Our office may also encourage you to quit taking certain supplements and prescription medications. Always review with us before halting use of any medications, however.

Fast away

The day prior to your test, we ask that you fast and consume clear liquids only. Hydration is essential though, so drink plenty of lemon-lime sports drinks, apple or white grape juice, and clear chicken broth. Soda water, black coffee, and plain tea (without the addition of cream) are also OK. 

Gelatin and ice pops are the most solid foods you can have, but avoid any that are colored red, purple, or blue. Colored liquids and treats discolor the lining of your colon so it’s harder to see in the colonoscopy. 

You’ll be directed to not drink or consume anything in the few hours prior to the procedure.

Clearing your colon

The afternoon and evening before your colonoscopy is the time to clear out your colon. We give you strong laxatives that force any substances out of your digestive tract. You may not find the solution especially tasty, so make sure it’s chilled when you consume it. You may find it more palatable when taken through a straw and when chased with a suck of a lemon.

You’ll know when the laxative starts working. You’ll have forceful diarrhea that may also include cramping and bloating sensations. Stay close to a bathroom during this prep time. Catch up on your reading or on Netflix. Using moist wipes to clean yourself helps prevent irritation.

You may still be having diarrhea on your way to your colonoscopy appointment. Wear adult diapers if you’re concerned about having an accident and pack a change of clothes.

At Digestive Disorders Associates, we support you every step of the way as you prepare for your first colonoscopy. The process isn’t especially pleasant, but it’s an essential step in preventive care. 

Call today to schedule your colonoscopy or book your appointment online. And if you’re in the process of prepping, contact us with any questions you may have. 

You Might Also Enjoy...

What Causes Ulcerative Colitis?

Ulcerative colitis is a form of inflammatory bowel disease that causes extreme inflammation of the colon and subsequent digestive misery. The causes of this disease aren’t fully understood, but here’s what researchers know so far.

The Many Benefits of Hydration Therapy

Hydration therapy is the quickest way to get the fluids, vitamins, and other compounds you need to help you heal. Find out how you can benefit from hydration therapy, especially if you have a digestive disorder or autoimmune disease.

10 Things You Can Have on a Clear Liquid Diet

If you’ve been prescribed a clear liquid diet in advance of specific testing or to ease a digestive problem, figuring out what you can actually consume is challenging. Here are 10 items to choose from during this short-term dietary protocol.

Does an Anal Fissure Heal on Its Own?

An anal fissure is painful but usually heals on its own with diligent care. Here’s what to do if you have an anal fissure and how to know when to see your specialist.

Six Conditions That Lead to Cirrhosis of the Liver

Cirrhosis is devastating scarring of the liver that causes permanent damage. In early stages, liver disease doesn’t show symptoms, so it’s important to be aware of conditions that put you at risk of cirrhosis. Here are six you should know about.