Remaining in good health as we age requires us to pay attention to changes in our bodies and fitness as well as going to our physician for regular checkups. Beginning at age fifty it is recommended that both men and women have a colonoscopy performed every ten years.
A colonoscopy is a diagnostic imaging procedure performed to evaluate the colon for polyps and abnormalities that may be attributable to colorectal cancer and other abnormalities in the lower digestive tract and rectum. Throughout the procedure the doctor may be able to remove suspicious polyps and determine if they are cancerous. Early detection is the key to successfully treating the disease.
Preparing for a colonoscopy is a process that begins at home. Your physician will provide you with a powdered drink mix that you may prepare the day before your procedure and chill in the refrigerator. It is beneficial to inform your doctor of any medications that you currently take to ensure that they will not interfere with your procedure and complicate any results. In many cases you will be instructed to eat a normal breakfast the day prior to your procedure. You should have a very light lunch on the day before your colonoscopy, and make sure to avoid solid foods all-together.
In the afternoon prior to your procedure you will begin drinking the powdered drink mix. One eight ounce glass should be consumed every ten minutes. Rather than sip slowly, each glass should be consumed quickly. The drink will promote bowel movements to clear the colon and should begin working within the first hour. The drink should be continued until it is completely gone. It will cause some cramps and nausea as well as fullness and bloating. These side effects will taper off several hours later. Any evening meal should be consumed prior to drinking the powdered drink and should consist of light, non-solid foods such as broth or soup.
On the day of your colonoscopy procedure you will have to refrain from all food consumption. Thirst can be quenched with a small amount of water and any medications taken also should only be accompanied by a few sips of water. By following all of the instructions provided by your physician the colonoscopy procedure should proceed without any delays or complications. After following a short recovery period, you will be on your way home and able to resume a normal diet that same day.