After a colonoscopy you should be careful with what you eat. As you probably already know from your doctor, you have to follow some rules before such a medical procedure. In this article we will explain, what you should know regarding food intake after the colonoscopy.
After a colonoscopy: Eat food, that makes you feel well
If your doctor advised you to eat or not to eat special food, follow these rules.
Since you as a patient have to fast for a longer period of time before the examination, you will probably feel very hungry after the colonoscopy. The good news: Immediately after the colonoscopy you may eat and drink anything you like.
Please keep in mind to restrain yourself especially right after the colonoscopy.
- In the run-up to the colonoscopy you will have to take a laxative in order to purge your intestines. Therefore, it is not advisable to start eating heavy or fatty food right after the procedure. Eat low-fat meals and foods, which are easy to digest.
- Air or carbon monoxide is blown into your intestines in the course of a colonoscopy. This procedure opens your intestinal walls and make them accessible for the optical examination. As a result, you will experience some flatulence. Refrain from eating any flatulent food.
- Due to the purge you have lost liquid, you need to refill afterwards. Drink tea, still water or juices low in acid, for example vegetable juice.
- Another effect of the procedure is a weakened intestinal flora. Eat yogurt in order to rebuild your intestinal flora. Prefer the natural version without sugar or fruit additive.
- In order to balance the salt depletion from the purge, don’t forget to add salt and spices to your meals.
Guidance for foods to eat after a colonoscopy
The following list will show you some foods you can eat after a colonoscopy.
- Soup: You will get a lot of liquid, vitamins and salt. Vegetable soup will fit the needs of your body best. Keep in mind to not add legumes, since they are causing flatulence.
- Pasta: Add a little amount of pasta to your soup in order to get some carbohydrates.
- Chicken: You can add low-fat chicken meat as well. This will improve the taste and keep you strong.
- Pudding: For your sweet tooth, pudding is perfect. It is low in fats and easy to digest.
- Sandwich: Top a piece of bread with low-fat ham or cheese. Use only small amounts of butter, if needed.
- Yogurt: Eat plain yogurt only. Add jam or honey in order to make it tastier.
Recovery after a colonoscopy
During the colonoscopy, your doctor will already be able to tell you the results. If a biopsy is needed, results will be available within some days. Following information is important for your recovery.
- For the colonoscopy you might receive sedatives. Therefore, you will feel tired for the rest of the day. Don’t drive a car or ride a bike afterwards.
- It will take some days for you to recover fully from this medicinal procedure. Meanwhile, you might suffer from diarrhea or flatulence. Don’t worry about that, this is very common.
- During this period of time, eat recommended food only.
- If your digestion and bowl movement is balanced again, feel free to eat, whatever you like.
After a colonoscopy you should eat low-fat meals and foods, which are easy to digest. For example, you can eat soup, chicken, a sandwich or plain yogurt. You should also drink still water or tea to re-hydrate.
You should choose foods that are low-fat and easy to digest, like soup, chicken or plain yogurt. Pasta or a sandwich is also a good choice.
After your colonoscopy, you should eat easily digestible food for the rest of the day. Usually, you can start eating normally again the next day. However, you should always consult your doctor for this information.
On the day of your colonoscopy, you shouldn’t drink any coffee. However, the day after, you can drink coffee again, unless your doctor specifically told you not to.
Written by Sarah Winter