If you are over the age of 50, then your general physician may have informed you it is time to schedule your first colonoscopy. This test involves the examination of the lining of the rectum and colon with the assistance of a thin and flexible camera called a colonoscope. Many people dread this test due to the discomfort, but individuals soon find the preparation for the colonoscopy is actually much more uncomfortable than the test itself. To help make your preparation go a bit more smoothly, consider the following tips.
Reduce Meat Consumption
During the preparation period before your colonoscopy is performed, you will need to clear your colon and lower bowel so your physician will be able to see polyps and lesions clearly. To help with the clearing, you will be given a fluid medication to trigger diarrhea that will clear the wastes from your intestinal tract. The medicine must be taken the night before the procedure and also six hours before the colonoscopy. This process can be quite unpleasant, but it can be even worse if your intestinal tract is full.
If you eat meat a few days before your test, then the meat has probably not fully digested yet and it will be expunged by the bowel cleaning fluid. Specifically, if you eat meat within 72 hours of your test, then it will probably still be in your intestines. This is especially true if you rarely eat a fiber-rich diet.
To reduce the amount of meat wastes forced from your body, stop eating meat about four days before the colonoscopy. If you are worried about your dietary intake of protein, then make sure to eat protein-rich foods that are also easy to digest. Eggs, cheese, milk, and yogurt are a few of these foods.
Also, plant-based proteins are a good choice. Quinoa, tofu, peanut butter, buts, and tempeh are all good choices. Also, since animal proteins are broken down in the intestines, think about eating foods high in probiotics to increase the number of helpful bacteria that can break down the protein. Yogurt, kimchi, pickles, sauerkraut, and miso contain the bacteria. You can also take probiotic supplements.
Change The Cleansing Drink
A day or two before your colonoscopy, you will be asked to switch to a clear liquid diet to reduce the amount of solids that need to be flushed from your intestinal tract. You will also need to drink a liquid called golytely. This fluid is a laxative that forces fluids from the body to enter the intestines to rinse them out. The golytely contains polyethylene glycol and electrolytes, and these ingredients make the fluid taste quite salty. While golytely is often fruit-flavored, this does not always reduce the foul taste of the fluid. Unfortunately, this can cause you to gag or vomit the solution and another dose will be necessary.
To help with the taste of the colon cleanse material, add an ingredient to the fluid to help neutralize the salty taste. Sour tastes can do this, so add about two tablespoons of lemon juice to the fluid before drinking it. You can add a teaspoon or two of citric acid powder instead as well. When you are ready to drink the golytely, pinch the end of your nose with your fingers first. Much of what we think is our sense of taste is actually our sense of smell. Specifically, 75% of our taste perception is actually smell. This means blocking the nose can greatly reduce the taste of the colon cleanse.
If you have an upcoming colonoscopy, then you will need to prepare for the test. To make things easier on yourself, make sure to stop eating meat several days beforehand and also change the taste of the colon cleanse fluid. Ask your physician for other tips that may assist you as well.
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