The most important medical exam to diagnose colon (large intestine) diseases such as colon cancer or colorectal cancer or any other colon disease, is Colonoscopy Procedure, a recommended medical exam by medical boards all over the world because it greatly helps to detect some serious colon diseases. Colonoscopy is the best procedure to detect and prevent colon cancer and various other colon diseases. But most of the people who should have this procedure, don’t want to have it and the most common reason behind this is that they are afraid of what they have to go through all the things to prepare themselves for Colonoscopy.
Colonoscopy is the procedure in which a long, flexible tube with a tiny camera at the top is inserted into the rectum so that the doctor can get a full view of the colon. For that, it is necessary that the colon should be cleaned and emptied for a proper view and to attain this goal, you need to have a fast and use laxatives beforehand. We know that it’s unpleasant and inconvenient but it is temporary and an effective way to help you saving your life from a life-threatening disease.
The procedure of Colonoscopy is used to identify and then treat the hidden problems in colon. Well preparation and properly performed procedure helps the doctor to assess colon diseases and tailor a proper treatment accordingly. The procedure is also used to locate and then remove polyps found in colon while avoiding any major surgery. If any bleeding site is identified during Colonoscopy then it can be treated on the spot.
Here, we give you some steps that will help you a lot and make the Colonoscopy preparation as smooth as possible:
Step 1 – Plan Your Colonoscopy Prep:
Your doctor is the first and foremost source of information about how to get ready for the procedure. When the doctor schedules the procedure, he/she gives you some instructions which you should read before the procedure and call the doctor if any questions required. Make sure to confirm the schedule before the day of the Colonoscopy procedure and make a plan for someone to go with you. Shop some important things several days before the procedure, which include over-the-counter or prescription laxative as specified by the doctor, low-fiber food, sports drinks, juices and broths, moist wipes and diaper cream.
Step 2 – Tweak Your Diet:
Make minor tweaks or changes in your diet 3-4 days before the procedure because it helps in cleansing process of the colon. Usually, the doctor advises low-fiber foods to eat because they are easy to digest and also leaves the system very quickly.
You can eat white bread, rice, pasta, eggs, lean meat, chicken or fish and well-cooked veggies without skin and fruits without skin or seeds. Avoid eating whole grains, raw veggies, fatty foods, tough meat, seeds, nuts, fruits with seeds or peel, corn, broccoli, cabbage, peas or beans.
You should also stop taking vitamins and other supplements. Discuss with the doctor whether or when you must stop taking prescription medicines which you are currently taking regularly and any over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medicines or blood thinners which some of you are using.
Step 3 – The Fast:
The day before the procedure, make sure you can’t eat anything solid but you can stay hydrated by drinking lots of clear liquids which include sports drinks, apple and white grape juice, broths, also soda is fine as well as tea and coffee without cream. You can also have gelatin and ice pops but avoid any colored thing like red, purple or blue because the dyes can discolor the lining of your colon which creates difficulty for the doctor to see properly. Also stay away from alcohol and drinks we can’t see through such as milk or orange juice.
Remember, not to eat or drink anything two hours before the Colonoscopy procedure.
Step 4 – The Purge (completely clearing the digestive tract)
The night before the Colonoscopy procedure, you need to clear out your digestive tract by taking strong laxatives, a method usually called as split dose. For this, you need to drink half gallon of liquid laxative in evening and after that you get up six hours before the procedure and drink another half gallon. It may happen that you won’t enjoy the taste of the solution but you can help it by using some tricks, such as:
Keep it much chilled
Mixing the solution with anything flavored such as sports drink
Follow the drinking with something having good tasting
Drink it with a straw which is placed far back on your tongue
After completing the drink, taste a lemon slice or hard candy
Once the laxative starts its working, you will have frequent, forceful diarrhea, cramps and bloating. You may also feel nausea and vomit. If this happens then the doctor gives you a short break. You can take few steps that help you to cope up with this situation and make you feel comfortable, which include:
Stay in bathroom and entertain yourself with a book or laptop
Apply diaper cream before diarrhea starts
Use medicated or moist wipes to clean your-self
This purge process may continue when you are heading to your appointment. If you’re worried about having accident then it is better to take someone with you to drive you before and after the procedure. You can also consider wearing adult diapers and also pack extra clothes. Bottom Line: Preparing yourself for the procedure of Colonoscopy is not easy but you must keep reminding yourself that it is the most effective step that you can take to protect your health and following the helpful tips provided above help you during the preparation of the procedure. If you have a good preparation for the procedure then the doctor can easily perform the exam, able to see what he needs and the Colonoscopy will go smoother and quicker.