Health & Fitness

What To Eat After Colonoscopy: Foods To Eat And Avoid

Imagine this scenario: You’ve just endured the not-so-pleasant experience of a colonoscopy, and as you’re getting dressed, your stomach is grumbling louder than a bear ...

by Kendra Reed

What To Eat After Colonoscopy: Foods To Eat And Avoid

Imagine this scenario: You’ve just endured the not-so-pleasant experience of a colonoscopy, and as you’re getting dressed, your stomach is grumbling louder than a bear emerging from hibernation. You can practically smell the mouthwatering aroma of a juicy cheeseburger or a steaming plate of pasta. But wait, not so fast!

After a colonoscopy, your digestive system has been through the wringer, and you’ll need to take it easy for a little while. That’s why we’re here to guide you through the ins and outs of what to eat (and what to avoid) after your colonoscopy, ensuring that your post-procedure snacks and meals are gentle on your tummy while still satisfying your cravings.

What to Eat After Colonoscopy: 15 Best Foods

What To What to Eat After Colonoscopy 15 Best Foods

1. Broth-based soups: Warm, comforting broths like chicken or vegetable are easy on the digestive system and can help replenish fluids lost during the colonoscopy preparation.

2. Bananas: This potassium-rich fruit is gentle on the stomach and can help restore electrolyte balance.

3. Rice: Plain, white rice is a great option as it’s easily digestible and unlikely to cause any gastrointestinal distress.

4. Toast: Stick to plain, dry toast or crackers for the first few meals after your colonoscopy.

5. Applesauce: The soft texture and mild flavor of applesauce make it a safe choice for a sensitive stomach.

6. Yogurt: Opt for plain, low-fat yogurt, which can help restore the good bacteria in your gut after the colonoscopy preparation.

7. Eggs: Scrambled, boiled, or poached eggs are a great source of protein that won’t upset your stomach.

8. Mashed potatoes: This comforting side dish is easy to digest and can be a good source of carbohydrates.

9. Cooked vegetables: Steamed or boiled vegetables like carrots, zucchini, and spinach are gentle on the digestive system.

10. Fish: Baked or grilled fish, such as cod or tilapia, is a lean protein that’s easy to digest.

11. Oatmeal: Plain, unsweetened oatmeal can provide fiber and nutrients without irritating your stomach.

12. Ginger tea: Ginger has natural anti-inflammatory properties and can help soothe an upset stomach.

13. Popsicles: If you’re having trouble keeping solid foods down, popsicles can help you stay hydrated and provide a little sweetness.

14. Smoothies: Blend fruits, vegetables, and yogurt for a nutrient-dense, easy-to-digest meal or snack.

15. Electrolyte-rich beverages: Drinks like coconut water or sports drinks can help replenish the electrolytes lost during the colonoscopy preparation.

What Can You Not Eat 5 Days Before a Colonoscopy?

In the days leading up to your colonoscopy, you’ll need to follow a restricted diet to help clear out your colon. This typically involves avoiding foods that are high in fiber, as well as anything that could leave residue in your digestive tract. Here are some foods you’ll want to steer clear of 5 days before your colonoscopy:

  • Whole grains (bread, pasta, rice, etc.)
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Fruits and vegetables with skins or seeds
  • Beans, lentils, and legumes
  • Dairy products (milk, cheese, yogurt)
  • Red meat
  • Fried or fatty foods

1 Week Colonoscopy Diet Sheet

To help you prepare for your colonoscopy, here’s a sample 1-week colonoscopy diet sheet:

Days 1-3

Follow a low-fiber diet, avoiding whole grains, nuts, seeds, and high-fiber fruits and vegetables.

Day 4

Consume only clear liquids like water, broth, clear juices (no pulp), and popsicles. Avoid anything with red or purple dyes.

Day 5

Continue the clear liquid diet and begin taking the prescribed colonoscopy preparation medication.

Day 6

Complete the colonoscopy preparation and continue the clear liquid diet until after the procedure.

Day 7

After your colonoscopy, start with clear liquids and gradually introduce soft, easy-to-digest foods as tolerated.

When Can I Start Eating Normally After a Colonoscopy?

Most people can resume their normal diet within 24-48 hours after a colonoscopy, as long as they don’t experience any significant discomfort or complications. However, it’s best to ease back into your regular eating habits gradually. Start with small portions of soft, easily digestible foods, and avoid anything too heavy, greasy, or spicy for the first day or two.

If you had a polyp removed or a biopsy taken during your colonoscopy, your doctor may recommend sticking to a softer diet for a few days to allow your colon to heal properly. Follow your healthcare provider’s specific instructions, and don’t hesitate to ask if you have any concerns about your diet.

What Not to Do After a Colonoscopy?

While it’s important to focus on what to eat after a colonoscopy, there are also a few things you’ll want to avoid:

  • Drinking alcohol for at least 24 hours
  • Strenuous exercise or heavy lifting
  • Driving or operating machinery until the sedation has fully worn off
  • Eating large, heavy meals that could cause discomfort or bloating

Also Read: 7-Day Meal Plan For Fatty Liver: Foods To Eat & Avoid

Conclusion

A colonoscopy is an important screening procedure, but it can take a toll on your digestive system. By following the guidelines for what to eat (and what to avoid) after your colonoscopy, you can help your body recover and minimize any discomfort. Start with clear liquids and soft, easily digestible foods, and gradually reintroduce your regular diet as tolerated.

Remember, everyone’s body is different, so listen to your own needs, and don’t hesitate to reach out to your healthcare provider if you have any concerns. With a little patience and care, you’ll be back to your normal eating routine in no time.

Author

  • Kendra Reed

    Dr. Kendra Reed is a dedicated general medicine physician with 7 years of clinical experience. After graduating from medical school, she completed her residency in internal medicine, developing a well-rounded skillset in diagnosing and treating a diverse range of conditions. Patients appreciate Dr. Reed's warm bedside manner and commitment to providing comprehensive, personalized care. In addition to her clinical work, she is actively involved in community outreach programs, educating the public on important health topics. Dr. Reed is known for her ability to establish trusting relationships with her patients and help them achieve their wellness goals.

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