The most important action that you can take as you get ready for your colonoscopy is to follow your doctor’s recommendations exactly. One of the greatest causes for error in a colonoscopy is inadequate bowel preparation. If your bowel is not thoroughly cleansed, your gastroenterologist may miss polyps or lesions. This leads to repeated procedures and higher out-of-pocket costs.
No one likes the idea of being on a clear, liquid diet. Clear liquids are far from interesting and they don’t satisfy hunger. They should be reserved for those recovering from the flu, not someone in good health who is about to have a colon screening!
Unfortunately, a bowel preparation really does require a clear, liquid diet. Yet, do not just conclude that clear liquids just mean water. You have some choices in the type of clear liquids that you can choose. Clear liquids are defined as liquids that you can see through. When a clear liquid is in a container, the container can be seen through the liquid (Source: GBM).
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Maybe clear liquids are not what you may be craving, but you have more variety than you probably think. Here are some ideas to add to your list of clear liquids as you prepare for the big day:<
NOTE: It is important that you do not have any red, orange, blue or purple dye in any of your liquids. This can interfere with the colonoscopy and dye your intestines.
- Clear, carbonated drinks like ginger ale, 7-Up or Sprite
- Black coffee and hot tea (no cream)
- Jell-O or gelatin without fruit
- Fruit juices
- Powder drink mixes added to water
- Hard candy that is transparent
- Fat-free broth (vegetable, chicken or beef) or consommé
- Popsicles (make sure they are dairy free)
- Italian ice
Here are a few tips:
- Learn to like lemon-lime. Yellow and green are “yes” colors when it comes to a colonoscopy, so choose lemon-lime Jell-O, Gatorade and hard candy.
- Drink lots of soda. Carbonation makes you feel full. Try some soda that you rarely drink, like root beer. It will make you feel like a kid again.
- Try eating cold Jell-O, then hot broth. Supposedly, this fills you up. The warm liquid expands the gelatin in your stomach and presto! Your tummy is not growling anymore!
- Try to find interesting popsicle flavors like banana, green apple, or pineapple. The most popular flavors of popsicles are grape, cherry and orange—all no-no colors!