Now all that’s left for you is to take good care of your body by strictly following the post colonoscopy diet that gives time to your digestive system to rest and recover before it is up and running again.
Although your doctors must have told you what to eat and what not to eat after your colonoscopy, a little extra knowledge never hurts.
In this article, we will tell you all about the things that you should eat and avoid after your colonoscopy, at least for the first few hours of the exam.
What You Should Eat (and Avoid) After a Colonoscopy
What is a Colonoscopy?
The colon, also known as the large intestine, is a vital part of your digestive tract.
In order to maintain colon health, people get a colonoscopy, a screening test to detect potential health problems such as colorectal cancer and colon polyps.
Adults are recommended to get a colonoscopy after every 5 to 10 years to ensure potential diseases like colorectal cancer are detected early while they are still treatable.
During the screening exam, a long tube is inserted into the rectum, and the camera situated at the end of the tube is used by the doctors to look inside your colon.
Along with checking your colon for any abnormalities, doctors can also extract tissue samples for biopsies or remove polyps during the medical exam.
This medical procedure is normally performed under conscious sedation by a primary care physician.
Following the procedure, you are recommended to limit your physical activity, drink things like water and juices, consume liquid-based foods, and eat soft for the first few hours at least.
Foods to Eat After a Colonoscopy
If you are confused about what to eat after a colonoscopy, don’t worry- we have got you. It is essential that after your procedure, you give special attention to your colon health.
Your first meal after the colonoscopy procedure should be light and gentle on your digestive system.
We have prepared a list of foods that you should eat after a colonoscopy.
People usually get dehydrated after going through a colonoscopy.
This is because the colonoscopy preparation fluid that is used to clean your large intestine drains liquids from your body.
Water is the best way you can put fluids into your body and rehydrate yourself.
This is why your number one goal after this procedure should be to rehydrate yourself and do to so you must drink plenty of water.
You can also choose electrolyte-rich sports drinks like Gatorade to rehydrate yourself and regulate your cellular fluid balance.
Being dehydrated can delay your recovery process.
So in order to recover quickly, do yourself a favor and make drinking water your top priority.
2) Fruit Juices
Another delicious way to replenish your fluids is to drink lots of organic juices.
These juices are not only tasty but are also a great way to throw some extra electrolytes and nutrients into your body, especially after the procedure when your energy levels are low.
So if you wish to enjoy a sweet and cold drink that is easy on your large intestine, try apple juice or orange juice.
Ginger ale is also a great drink to keep your digestive tract from being irritated.
3) Mashed Potatoes
Mashed potatoes are one of the best foods when it comes to post-colonoscopy eating.
Not only are mashed potatoes soft and gentle on the digestive tract, but these soft potatoes are also an excellent source of fiber.
In addition to being light and breezy on your pocket, these potatoes are very easy to make, which allows you to quickly prepare a healthy filling homecooked meal when you are not feeling your very best self.
Not only are soups a good flu remedy, but soups are also one of the best fluid-based foods there are.
Since they are liquid, they can keep you hydrated at the time when you need fluids the most.
Soups are also full of disease-fighting nutrients that can give your immune system an extra boost.
Moreover, soups are also rich in electrolytes which can help regulate your cellular fluid balance along with balancing your blood pH levels.
Having soup after the procedure would keep you satiated without having to consume food very frequently.
5) Scrambled Eggs
Next on our list of best bland foods to have after colonoscopy is scrambled eggs.
Scrambled eggs are a great option to incorporate into your post colonoscopy diet.
Eggs are a soft food that is easily digestible by the stomach.
Eggs also play an important role in raising good cholesterol (HDL) in your body while lowering your chances of getting a heart stroke or developing other cardiovascular diseases.
Eggs are also loaded with proteins.
Each egg contains about 6 grams of proteins which makes eggs a great way to add essential amino acids into your body.
Adding raw vegetables into your diet along with eggs can shield you against the severe weight loss that you might experience after the medical exam.
However, try eating your eggs without salt and pepper in order to maintain a healthy colon.
6) White Bread
White bread is very light on your gut and is an excellent source of carbohydrates to boost your energy levels.
Although whole-grain bread is a healthier alternative to white bread, the high fiber content of the whole grains in the bread can actually end up irritating your gut if you consume it right after your procedure.
So try sticking to white toast after your colonoscopy.
A similar bland food which is a good food choice at times like this is graham crackers.
These crackers are a light and easy snack, which makes them a perfect addition to your post colonoscopy diet.
7) White Fish
Whitefish is normally very soft that goes down easily, and has a plethora of health benefits to offer.
Not only is this fish a rich low-fat source of protein, but vitamin B6 present in fish makes it the best food to fight inflammation.
This variety of fish also helps keep your bones healthy and promotes the healthy functioning of the nervous system.
However, stay away from bony fish, which can easily aggravate your bowels.
Go easy on your stomach and start eating these foods after your colonoscopy before you shift to a regular diet.
Foods To Avoid
It is important that you strictly follow the list of foods to eat and avoid provided by your doctor in order to avoid serious complications like rectal bleeding.
Just like the list of foods to eat, we have prepared a list of things not to eat after your screening test.
1) Carbohydrate Drinks
Did you know during your colonoscopy procedure, the air is introduced into your colon to keep it open.
As a result of this, you might pass more gas than you normally do.
So you might want to skip carbonated drinks for a while as it allows more gas to enter your body.
Moreover, there are many health benefits of avoiding carbonated beverages.
Carbonated drinks add more sugar to your body and can result in insulin resistance.
Excessive consumption of fizzy drinks can also lead to belly fat accumulation.
2) Spicy Food
In order to speed up your recovery process, steer clear of spicy food and stick to bland food.
Spicy foods can easily irritate your bowels.
Food loaded with spices can also exacerbate nausea you might feel from the anesthesia you received during the procedure.
So it is advisable that you completely avoid spicy dishes for a few days after the procedure.
3) Greasy Foods
Following your colonoscopy, you would need to avoid fried foods that can aggravate your bowels.
Fatty foods can increase the feelings of nausea and make you vomit.
Such foods are also generally heavy and hard for your body to digest.
Foods that are rich in fats also contribute towards rising levels of bad cholesterol (LDL) in the body.
Such food items are also normally high in calories that can increase your calorie intake.
Furthermore, fatty foods can cause the stomach to take longer to empty, which results in bloating and give way to feelings of discomfort.
So it is better to avoid greasy foods at all times to keep your body weight in check.
4) High Fiber Foods
While foods rich in fiber play an important role in colon cleanse and normalizing bowel movements by making your stool bulky and soft which passes quickly and easily, a high-fiber diet can also aggravate your bowels if consumed right after a colonoscopy.
Foods such as baked products that are high in fiber are hard for the system to digest and can produce more stool – something we don’t want right after the colonoscopy.
It is better to wait a few days before you start consuming a diet rich in dietary fiber.
While it is recommended to increase your fluid intake after colonoscopy to combat dehydration, it is important that you carefully choose the drinks you drink.
It is not advisable to drink coffee right after colonoscopy; however, you may drink it the day after unless your doctor advises otherwise.
Coffee has a mild diuretic effect which means it can cause you to urinate more often than you normally do, leading to dehydration.
You should also avoid coffee if you take coffee with cream as it makes the drink heavier for the system to digest.
If you are still craving a hot beverage, go with the healthier alternative: herbal tea.
Moderate or deep sedation is normally used for colonoscopies.
This is why you are not allowed to drive yourself right after the procedure.
The combined effect of alcohol and sedatives can have a synergistic effect and can be more dangerous than the separate effect of these drugs.
Therefore, it is recommended that you wait a few hours and make sure the effect of sedatives has completely worn off before you jump straight to drinking.
7) Hard To Digest Meat
Try to avoid eating steaks and any tough meats, which can be hard for your body to digest.
Red meat especially can be very hard for our body to break down and can cause bloating.
Moreover, too much red and processed meat is also linked to colon cancer, so it is a good idea to avoid it at least for some days after the procedure.
It is recommended that you give your system a break from such hard-to-digest meats.
We hope you are no longer confused about what to eat after colonoscopy.
Usually, these dietary restrictions are required for only the first 24 hours after the procedure.
However, if you still feel sick after going back to your regular eating routine and if your stomach can’t tolerate your regular diet even if it has been more than 24 hours, eat soft and stick to the diet mentioned above.
Don’t be hard on your system and allow it to recuperate after the procedure it just went through.
If it has been a few days and you still feel nausea or feel like vomiting right after you eat normal, visit your doctor right away.
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