Routine medical care is essential when it comes to the early detection of serious illnesses. Although no one looks forward to an invasive test like a colonoscopy, these tests play a critical role in helping your doctor determine if you are at risk for developing cancer in the near future. Adequate preparation for a colonoscopy can help alleviate some of the stress you may feel when your doctor suggests this procedure.
Here are three simple things that you can do to prepare for your first colonoscopy.
1. Talk to your doctor about your medications.
If you regularly take prescription medications to help you manage certain health conditions, you will need to discuss these medications with your doctor prior to scheduling your colonoscopy.
Medications that contain iron or help to thin the blood to prevent clots can interfere with the results of your colonoscopy examination. Your doctor may want you to temporarily lower your dosage of these medications, and possibly even stop taking them altogether in preparation for your first colonoscopy.
2. Go shopping for recommended foods.
Your doctor will probably give you information on a special diet that should be consumed in preparation for your first colonoscopy. This diet is designed to help make it easier for your doctor to see what is happening inside your colon without obstructions.
Your doctor will probably suggest that you avoid solid foods in the days leading up to your colonoscopy appointment, and you will want to avoid any red liquids that may be mistaken for blood during the procedure. Go shopping for soft foods like yogurt and broth, and keep a supply of clear liquids on hand to drink as you prepare for your first colonoscopy.
3. Make sure your colon is cleaned out.
The cleaner your colon is during your scheduled colonoscopy, the more accurate the results of this procedure will be. Emptying your bowels prior to your appointment can be a simple and effective way to eliminate any obstructions your doctor will need to work around while examining your colon.
You can choose to take an over-the-counter laxative, perform an enema, or both to ensure that your colon is as clean as possible when you arrive for your first colonoscopy.
Preparing for any medical procedure can be difficult, especially one as invasive as a colonoscopy. To ensure your procedure goes smoothly, prepare by adjusting your medications, eating a special diet, and cleaning out your colon. For more information, contact a clinic like Lincoln Surgical Group PC.