How to take advantage of my colonoscopy prep?
June 12, 2009 10:58 AM   Subscribe

I'm getting a colonoscopy today, which means I've essentially emptied out my digestive system. How can I best ease my way back into eating and use this as an opportunity to eat better?
posted by sholdens12 to Health & Fitness (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Not to discourage you, but unless you've already thought in detail about what "eating better" means and made changes and plans to support it you'll probably go home and eat the same things, because you still have the same things in the refrigerator. You can use this as an opportunity to start planning for how you're going to change your diet, but it probably won't happen immediately when you get home.

If you wanted to know whether there are any restrictions on what you can eat after a colonoscopy: nope. And anything tastes pretty good after a day without eating and that horrible "prep" fluid.
posted by MsMolly at 11:05 AM on June 12, 2009

Um, based on the various of Dad's colonoscopies that I've had to drive him back from (which he somehow schedules when I visit), you don't need to ease your way back into eating at all. Just eat more healthy.
posted by kldickson at 11:08 AM on June 12, 2009

Yeah, it isn't an 'ease your way back in'. You just eat again. If you want to eat healthier then do! The fact that you have emptied your digestive tract is irrelevant.
posted by gwenlister at 11:14 AM on June 12, 2009

Here's what you can do immediately to make this happen:

- make sure when you shop, you're full. Nothing makes eating unhealthily like grocery shopping when you're hungry.

- eat all whole wheat products: breads, bagels, pasta. Look for any grains that feature fiber-rich verbiage.

- when you eat, remember to have at least three colors on the plate: which means green for good salads/vegetables, red for fruits like tomatoes, strawberries, etc., and then a protein like black beans, chicken, etc.

- reduce the amount of caffeine and alcohol you imbibe. Nothing crashes out good eating like adding these two substances overmuch to a diet.

- drink water. As much as you can. Find a good water bottle and have it nearby anywhere you hang out communnally in your home, by your bedside, in the kitchen, etc. Keep another one in your backpack or messenger bag. Or one in your car. Keep the idea of water intake as visible as possible.

The best thing about these suggestions is that your stomach and intestines will process everything better, you'll be less hungry all the time, and it will make shopping absolutely quick and painless. It eliminates 2/3rds of any large grocery store. Head for the outside-most aisle, and then once down the pasta aisle and you're done and out in fifteen minutes.

Good luck.
posted by Lipstick Thespian at 11:47 AM on June 12, 2009

To whip your gut flora back into shape, eat yogurt, kefir, an acidophilus supplement, or a reputable probiotic like Florastor.

More fiber, fruit, and vegetables certainly can't hurt.
posted by aquafortis at 11:51 AM on June 12, 2009

I have had a colonoscopy and as others have said, you just start eating (and pretty damn greedily—man, you get hungry after all that fasting). If you want to eat healthy, that's great, but it doesn't necessarily have anything to do with the colonoscopy and I'm pretty sure when you come out of it you're not going to want a salad. Separate the two things, and good luck!
posted by languagehat at 12:12 PM on June 12, 2009

Ask the doc if you have any signs of diverticulosis or diverticulitis (the older you are and the less fibrous your diet the more likely.) If yes, then that's an indication that you should increase fiber intake as your doc (of course, ianad) will presumably point out.

Have fun.
posted by Kevin S at 2:52 PM on June 12, 2009

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