How to Prepare for Your Colonoscopy
Once you turn 45 your Primary Care provider will likely suggest you schedule your first Colonoscopy screening. The screening, offered at nationally recognized West Michigan Surgery Center, has long been considered the gold standard in colorectal cancer detection. The American Cancer Society changed its guidelines a few years back, lowering the recommended age for getting the test, from 50 to 45, partly in response to the rising rates of colorectal cases among younger individuals. In fact, the American Cancer Society recommends testing take place even earlier for those at high risk of the disease.
Screening Recommendations for those at Average Risk for Colorectal Cancer:
- Begin Regular Screening at Age 45
- People in good health should continue regular screening through the age of 75.
- People ages 76 through 85 should decide with their health care provider whether to continue to get screened.
Screening Recommendations for those at Higher Risk of Colorectal Cancer:
- Those with a strong family history of Colon Cancer
- A personal history of colorectal cancer or certain types of polyps
- A personal history of inflammatory bowel disease (ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease)
- A family history of a hereditary syndrome such as familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP) or Lynch syndrome
- A history of radiation to the abdomen (belly) or pelvis to treat a prior cancer
The Days Leading Up to Your Colonoscopy
Your doctor will send you home with some detailed instructions so you get accurate results the day of your Colonoscopy screening. It’s very important you read through these instructions carefully, and purchase the necessary liquid diet you are required to take before the test. It’s important to note that different facilities offer different options for cleansing the colon before your procedure, all of which can be purchased at local pharmacies, like West Michigan Pharmacy in Big Rapids, Michigan.
Nutrition Guidelines the day before Your Colonoscopy
People undergoing a Colonoscopy need to be on a clear liquid diet the entire day prior to their procedure. Anything you cannot see through is not allowed. It ensures an accurate reading by Endoscopy specialists, and allows them to detect and remove any abnormalities, like polyps inside the colon.
At West Michigan Surgery Center, we recommend the following diet for our Colonoscopy Patients:
- Clear Pop, Black Coffee, Tea
- Plain Clear Gelatin (not red)
- Clear Fruit Juices
- Pulp-free Fruit Juices
- Bouillon Soup
- Clear Broth
- Clear Hard Candy
- White Sugar
The Following Foods/Drinks are NOT recommended before the procedure:
- Milk Products
- Ice Cream
“The medications and clear liquid diet you’re asked to follow help increase the movement of your bowels. It is the hardest part of the entire process, but essential for us to get a good look at the colon. Colon Cancer is the second most common cause of cancer-related deaths. A Colonoscopy is one of the few tests where you can prevent Cancer from happening.”Rashmi Juneja, MD