People with a history of colon cancer or risk factors for developing it such as age, family history, and obesity should avoid eating foods high in fat, protein, and calcium before undergoing a colonoscopy. These foods can cause false positive results by making the bowel appear thicker than normal. The colon is about five inches wide. Dairy products are high in all three of these things and may lead to an inaccurate diagnosis if consumed within 24 hours of the procedure. If you have been told that you need to prep your bowels for a colonoscopy, then you probably know that this means you should probably stop eating certain things right away. But why? What are the risks? And what exactly are they expecting to find when they look inside you? This article covers everything you need to know about preparing for a colonoscopy diet, including what not to eat beforehand and how long you should wait after eating certain foods before getting probed.
Why No Dairy Before Colonoscopy?
There is no need to avoid dairy before a colonoscopy, as dairy products are generally safe to consume. The only exception may be a bowel prep preparation, which may include a liquid or powder that must be taken orally and can cause mild gastrointestinal symptoms. These preparations are typically prescribed by your doctor to clean out your bowels before the procedure.
Why You Shouldn’t Eat Dairy Before A Colonoscopy?
- Dairy products contain high amounts of lactose, which is a sugar. Lactose is broken down by the body into glucose and galactose. This process can cause flatulence and bloating after eating dairy products. If you have lactose intolerance, your body may not be able to properly digest this sugar and it can cause abdominal pain, cramping, nausea, diarrhea, or vomiting.
- Dairy products are high in fat, protein, and calcium. These nutrients can make the bowel look much larger than it really is if they are not digested properly before the procedure. If your bowel looks too thick or large for your doctor to see inside it during the procedure, he may assume that there is something wrong with the lining of your colon when there isn’t.
- All dairy products contain bacteria in the form of “clostridia,” which may produce gas in your intestines during digestion and lead to a false positive diagnosis for colon cancer if you have a you have a history of colon cancer or if you are at risk for developing it, then you should avoid eating these foods.
- Dairy products contain hormones that may increase the risk of developing cancer in the future. In fact, dairy products have been linked to breast, ovarian, and prostate cancers. Because milk is made from the mammary glands of female animals, it contains estrogen and progesterone. These two hormones are not good for men or women because they can increase the risk of certain types of cancers including prostate and breast cancer.
- Dairy products contain animal protein and fat that can cause loose stools or diarrhea after the procedure is completed. If you are taking medications that affect your bowel function such as laxatives, stool softeners, or stool-preserving agents (such as fiber supplements), then you should wait at least three days before eating dairy foods after a colonoscopy to avoid any adverse effects on your digestive system. the bowel appears to be thicker than it actually is, then it can lead to a false positive test result. If you have a history of colon cancer or risk factors for developing it such as age, family history, and obesity then you should avoid eating foods high in these nutrients before your procedure.
- Dairy products are high in fat, protein, and calcium. These nutrients can make the bowel look much larger than it really is if they are not digested properly before the procedure. If the bowel appears to be thicker than it actually is, then it can lead to a false positive test result. If you have a history of colon cancer or risk factors for developing it such as age, family history, and obesity then you should avoid eating foods high in these nutrients before your procedure.
- Dairy products are high in fat, protein, and calcium. These nutrients can make the bowel look much larger than it really is if they are not digested properly before the procedure. If the bowel appears you are in a state of constipation, for example, eating a dairy product may cause your bowel to look abnormally large.
How To Prepare For A Colonoscopy Without Dairy?
Keep track of the foods you eat
Before your colonoscopy, start to keep track of everything you eat, when you eat it, how much you eat, and how you feel after eating it. This will help you make better choices before the procedure and be able to communicate those to your doctor before your colonoscopy. Your doctor may instruct you to avoid certain types of food before your colonoscopy. These include dairy products, red meat, fatty foods, and foods high in carbonated beverages. If your doctor does not give you any restrictions, then you might want to consider avoiding these types of food for a day or two before your colonoscopy to be extra safe.
Ask for a fast before your colonoscopy
Before you have your colonoscopy, ask your doctor if you can have a one-day fast before the procedure. This is not a very common request, but it is a safe one. A one-day fast will help clear the digestive tract of any food that may be in it and prevent it from being in the way during the procedure. If your doctor agrees, you should stop eating all solid foods the day before your colonoscopy. Be sure to drink lots of water and take electrolytes to avoid dehydration.
Try eating more fiber with your meals
If your doctor allows you to eat before your colonoscopy, include fiber in your meals whenever possible. Fiber before your colonoscopy will help keep your bowels moving, which will help your doctor get a clear view during the procedure. If you are taking a laxative to clean your bowels before the colonoscopy, fiber can help counteract that and make the process less painful.
Eat more protein, especially in the morning
For one or two days before your colonoscopy, eat more protein for breakfast. Eating a protein-rich breakfast will help your bowls move more quickly and help you avoid needing to use the bathroom before the procedure. If you typically eat a carbohydrate-heavy breakfast, try switching to protein. Protein foods like eggs, peanut butter, beans, meat, and yogurt are great for colonoscopy prep because they take longer for your body to digest compared to carbohydrates or fats.
Take powdered food and shake-based soups
If you’re having a colonoscopy as part of your routine screening, your doctor most likely will ask you to take a laxative to clean your bowels before the procedure. This is called a bowel cleanser, or a bowel prep. Some physicians will ask you to take a pill form of laxative, while others might ask you to drink a shake-based soup. Most people find the pill easier to take, but the soup is helpful if you’re not able to keep any pills down.
Drink lots of water with electrolytes
If you are taking a pill or shake-based soup for your bowel prep, drink plenty of water with electrolytes to avoid dehydration. The more dehydrated you become, the more difficult it is for your bowels to move. A 12-ounce sports drink has enough electrolytes to quench your thirst and help prevent dehydration.
Try a probiotic supplement for a few days beforehand
Before your colonoscopy, take a probiotic supplement like Culturelle, L. Acidophilus, or Prescript-Assist. This will help get your digestive system in good shape and ready for your colonoscopy. A probiotic supplement can also help you avoid getting diarrhea after your colonoscopy.
Don’t hesitate to ask for a liquid diet afterward
If your doctor doesn’t offer it, ask for a liquid diet immediately after your colonoscopy. This will help get your bowels moving again, which is important after a bowel prep. Liquid diets include smoothies and protein shakes, as well as soups, broth, and the occasional clear liquid like water, tea, or broth.
Other Foods To Avoid Before A Colonoscopy
- Carbonated beverages
- Coffee and caffeinated drinks
- Cola drinks and other fruit-flavored soft drinks (including fruit punch)
- Dairy products, including milk, butter, cheese, yogurt, and ice cream (except for small amounts of natural cream cheese)
Keep in mind that when you’re preparing for a colonoscopy, you’re doing it for your own health. You want to make sure that everything is normal and healthy down there so that you can make the best decisions possible. So, why not make the prep a little more bearable by eating foods you like? With a little bit of planning ahead of time, you can make sure to enjoy your diet while also making sure everything is healthy and normal down there. With that being said, remember that everyone is different, so you may want to double-check with your doctor before you eat anything.