Q:

What foods can you eat the day before a colonoscopy?

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Quick Answer

The day before a colonscopy, one's diet is extremely limited, allowing only clear liquids and clear liquid foods, such as clear juices, broths and bouillons, and popsicles or Jell-O. The day of the colonoscopy, one should follow the same restrictions until 2 hours before the procedure, notes Harvard Medical School.

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Full Answer

The purpose of a colonoscopy is to let the doctor search for lesions, polyps and other signs of trouble in the bowel. As a result, the bowel needs to be as clear as possible before the examination begins. Beginning 3 or 4 days before the colonoscopy, the patient should eliminate as much fiber as possible from the diet, staying away from raw produce, dried fruit, seeds, nuts and whole grains, according to Harvard Medical School.

Limiting the diet to clear liquids and clear liquid foods is not the only part of bowel preparation. The doctor is also likely to prescribe a laxative treatment that the patient either ingests the night before, or divides between the night before and a few hours before the procedure. This treatment clears any remaining solids out of the bowel, giving the surgeon a clean line of sight throughout the entire intestine, as stated by Harvard Medical School.

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