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What is a good diet to follow when doing a prep for a colonoscopy?

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Quick Answer

The best diet to follow as preparation for a colonoscopy changes slightly as the procedure approaches, beginning 3 days before, according to Group Health. The diet ranges from the consumption of only low-fiber foods 3 days before the procedure to the intake of a laxative solution the night before.

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Three days before a colonoscopy, patients begin to eat only low-fiber substances, and avoid taking fiber supplements or anti-diarrheal medication, states Group Health. Patients are also advised to avoid any dyes that may interfere with proper diagnostic procedures. This diet continues into the second day before the procedure and is adjusted for the day prior to the colonoscopy.

On the day before, solid foods should be avoided, and only clear liquids, such as water, coffee and tea without milk or broth, should be consumed, as listed by Mayo Clinic. Some doctors recommend cutting out all food and drink at midnight of the day before the procedure. A laxative in either pill or liquid form may also be part of the preparation on the night before or the morning of the procedure. Depending on each specific case, a patient may also be required to have an enema a few hours before the colonoscopy. Patients should advise their doctors about the taking of any current medications for best diagnostic results.

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