Can you eat right after a colonoscopy?

In this brief guide, we will address the query “can you eat right after a colonoscopy?”. We will consider what colonoscopy is, the safety of eating right after a colonoscopy, the safe periods to eat after colonoscopy, what foods to eat and avoid after a colonoscopy and how long to follow the restricted diet. 

Can you eat right after a colonoscopy?

Yes, you can eat right after a colonoscopy. However, It is crucial to watch what you eat and drink following the treatment, because the procedures you were subjected to in preparing for the colonoscopy dehydrate you.

It is therefore critical that you replenish your body fluids and electrolytes. This also depends on your doctor’s advice if you are to eat only lightly or not at all. 

What is a colonoscopy?

A colonoscopy is a screening procedure that is typically performed under conscious sedation by a nurse or severe sedation by an anesthesiologist. The procedure is used to detect potential colon health issues like polyps and colorectal cancer.

Is it safe to eat right after a colonoscopy?

It is generally safe to eat after a colonoscopy, as your body was dehydrated as part of the preparation for the medical procedure. It’s essential to eat safe foods right after colonoscopy to replenish the body of lost body fluids and electrolytes after the process. 

It is also safe and recommended that you eat sparingly soft, easy to digest and liquid foods that do not irritate your colon or avoid foods right after the process. 

What is the safe time to eat right after a colonoscopy?

After the colonoscopy procedure, depending on the advice of your doctor. 

  • You can eat lightly or in small amounts immediately to replenish your body with dehydrated fluids. 
  • Also, you may be advised to avoid food immediately and a few hours after the procedure to avoid colon irritation. 
  • Beyond the few hours following the procedure on the same day or the day after, you can start to eat soft and easily digestible foods which will not irritate the colon.  

What are the foods to eat after a colonoscopy?

It is important for you to eat and drink foods that are mild on your digestive system after a colonoscopy. The effect of dehydration from the procedure can be avoided by drinking plenty of fluids and eating fluid-based foods. 

Immediately after the procedure, depending on your doctor’s advice you may eat a soft, low-residue meal. This meal consists of low-fibre foods that are easier to digest and create minimal stool. You can as well restrict the amount of dairy consumption.

The following foods and beverages and recommended and should be consumed the day after your colonoscopy:

  • Electrolyte-rich  beverages
  • Water
  • Fruits juices
  • Vegetable juices
  • Tea from herbs
  • Saltine crackers
  • Graham crackers
  • Soups
  • Applesauce
  • Scrambled eggs
  • Tender cooked vegetables
  • Canned fruits such as peaches
  • Yoghourt
  • Mashed or baked potato
  • White bread or toast
  • Jell-O
  • Popsicles
  • Pudding
  • Smooth nut butter
  • Apple butter
  • Soft white fish

What are the foods to avoid after a colonoscopy?

Although a colonoscopy only lasts for a few minutes, your body will require some time to recover. This is due in part to the treatment itself, and in part, to the bowel preparation, you underwent prior to the procedure.

However, It is necessary to avoid foods that are difficult to digest the following day after the procedure to assist in healing. This includes spicy foods and high-fibre foods, as well as foods that can irritate your bowels. Heavily oiled foods may also exacerbate the feelings of nausea following general anaesthesia.

The following meals and beverages should be avoided the day after your colonoscopy:

  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Steak, or other tough, difficult-to-digest meat
  • Whole grain bread
  • Whole grain crackers, or seeded crackers
  • Raw vegetables
  • Corns
  • Legumes
  • Dried fruits like raisins
  • Brown rice
  • Fruits with the skin on
  • Coconut
  • Spices include garlic, curry, and red pepper.
  • Highly seasoned dishes
  • Crunchy nut butters
  • Popcorn
  • Nuts
  • Fried foods

How long should you follow the soft and easy-to-digest diet after a colonoscopy?

The food restrictions after a colonoscopy are usually only required for one day, although everyone is different. 

However, if your system can’t accept your regular diet immediately, continue to eat soft and liquid-based foods for an extra day or two for safety reasons.

A doctor may also recommend additional dietary guidelines if you had a polyp removed.  In this case, you will need to avoid foods like seeds, nuts, and popcorn for an additional two 

weeks.

Conclusion

In this brief guide, we have addressed the query “can you eat right after a colonoscopy?”. We have considered what colonoscopy is, the safety of eating right after a colonoscopy, the safe periods to eat after colonoscopy, what foods to eat and avoid after a colonoscopy and how long to follow the restricted diet. 

Citation

https://www.healthline.com/health/what-to-eat-after-colonoscopy#what-to-eat
https://www.livestrong.com/article/193184-foods-you-can-eat-after-a-colonoscopy/