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In particular physical conditions it is necessary to prepare the body for specific diagnostic tests, as in the case of colonoscopy. Before carrying out this test, in fact, it is necessary to make a sort of preparatory diet that excludes certain foods from the menu that could affect the results.

This is why doctors speak of colonoscopic diet, which must be done 3 days before the exam to cleanse the intestinal walls.

But what is colonoscopy and how does this diet work?

Colonoscopy diet: we give you some brief indications for dealing with the exam appropriately starting from an adequate diet that can allow the doctor to carry out his investigations in the most correct and clear way.

What is Colonoscopy?

Colonoscopy is a diagnostic test that evaluates any pathologies affecting the intestine, such as trivial inflammation or serious forms of cancer. It can serve a dual purpose:

  • Prevent, to avoid the risk of pathologies or polyps;
  • Diagnose, to confirm the hypothesis of problems to be treated immediately.

However, unlike other diagnostic tests, colonoscopy requires some precautions before being performed on the patient, which must not only be applied on the day of the exam, but even a few days before.

Obviously you will not have to improvise on the basis of generic indications, but your doctor will always give you precise references to follow to the letter in order to comply with the protocol which could also be customized according to the clinical picture. 

How to prepare for the colonoscopy exam

colonoscopy diet

Before the colonoscopy you will be forced against your will to change some eating habits. But don't worry: it's only a matter of a few days, three to be exact, in which some foods cannot be ingested at all.

The colonoscopic diet is really very important. What happens if you don't comply properly? Any infraction can alter the final result with unpleasant consequences:

  • The doctor could obtain unclear and therefore useless results;
  • You have to repeat the exam;
  • Diagnosis and treatment will be delayed.

Since this is not a routine examination, it is advisable to comply with the specific requirements and also speed up a timely diagnosis in order to start any therapy. 

Colonoscopy diet: what to eat

The premise of a colonoscopic diet is to prepare the intestine with a diet low in fiber. 

What to include in the menu? Here are the foods allowed:

  • White meat;
  • fish;
  • low-fat cheeses;
  • skimmed milk;
  • rice;
  • peeled potatoes;
  • wine;
  • white flour bread and pasta;
  • egg;
  • baby food;
  • broth;
  • still water;
  • chamomile or tea.

The foresight is to choose lean meats and fish, cook them in a simple way and avoid too large portions.

Colonoscopy diet: what not to eat

As anticipated, there is an absolute ban on ingesting fibers before the colonoscopic examination. the reason is linked to the fact that otherwise there would be an increase in waste and the procedure would not be successful.

So what should you avoid? Here are the foods to cross off the menu:

  • legumes;
  • fruit, of all kinds;
  • yogurt;
  • vegetables;
  • cereals;
  • whole foods;
  • oats;
  • bran;
  • chocolate;
  • fatty condiments,
  • fruit smoothies and juices;
  • drinks with dyes and sugars;
  • iron supplements;
  • alcoholic beverages;
  • whole milk;
  • vegetable sauces;
  • Cappuccino.

And the coffee? It does not appear on the list of forbidden foods because you can drink three days before, but it is absolutely forbidden on the day of the exam.

Example of menu

colonoscopy diet

Let's try to specify the foods that can be included on the menu in the days before the exam, especially the day before, to be prepared also according to personal tastes and the different ingredients at home.

  • Breakfast: tea or coffee with little sugar;
  • Lunch: white meat choice between chicken, rabbit and turkey or grilled fish;
  • Dinner: meat broth, sugary drinks, or chamomile tea or water.

Attention: from midnight of the day before, you must not ingest anything other than water.

Following these precise indications it is therefore possible to empty and clean the intestine in order to be able to analyze it adequately. If the doctor requests it, appropriate colon cleansing solutions can be integrated. 

Post-colonoscopy dietary advice

In order to avoid overloading the stomach, it is important to follow other food indications for at least 12-24 hours after the colonoscopic examination.

In fact, the intestine is in a particularly delicate phase as it is extremely clean and free of bacterial flora. The introduction of fatty or processed foods could therefore create a physical decompensation. 

What to strictly avoid?

  • cured meat;
  • fried foods;
  • alcoholic beverages;
  • supplements;
  • coffee;
  • spices;
  • fat food.

And what to prefer to allow the body to readjust to normal?

  • fruits and vegetables;
  • legumes;
  • rice;
  • extra virgin olive oil;
  • yogurt.

In particular, the latter food is very important because it helps to rebalance the bacterial flora.

If, on the other hand, returning from such a meager and unusual diet, you decide to improvise and give vent to your gluttony, the consequences will not be long in coming. In this case, expect frequent diarrhea or constipation.

The colonoscopic diet as preparation for the exam 

Some think that the precautions related to eating habits are a non-priority factor before a colonoscopy. Well, there is nothing more wrong!

The preparatory diet, known as colonoscopic diet, is an integral part of the examination and only if it is done appropriately can the diagnosis be concluded without a hitch. Therefore, we must not underestimate the importance of these simple indications that speed up the whole procedure. 

In principle, it is possible to schematize this planner of just three days to make it less invasive and easier to carry out. It is therefore advisable to prepare a real diary that scans each meal, specifying each dish to be prepared carefully. This advice is useful both for making an adequate shopping list and for not being unprepared when it comes to cooking.

According to some, it is better to start this restrictive regime 5 days before. This is an extra precaution for those who don't want to take any risks and be sure to arrive before the doctor with a perfectly clean intestine.

In any case, 3 or 5 days makes no difference: the essential thing is not to transgress and to hold on so as not to be too affected by the change in the usual diet. And if you then chase the dream of losing a few extra pounds, this colonoscopic diet will help you feel lighter and deflated, also obtaining unexpected results on your weight.