• Before your colonoscopy, you must go through a bowel preparation process to cleanse the colon. Your doctor will prescribe a medication that causes diarrhea to empty all stool from the colon. This is necessary because stool inside the colon may prevent your physician from clearly seeing any abnormalities, such as colon polyps.

    Your doctor will prescribe the type of bowel prep that is best for you. In general, you can expect the following:

    One week before your colonoscopy, stop taking any fiber supplements.

    One week before and one week after the procedure, stop taking any aspirin-containing products or anti-inflammatory products (Motrin, Goody or BC Powders, Aleve, Naproxen), unless otherwise directed by your physician.

    48 hours before your procedure, stop eating solid foods. You should only consume clear liquids or coffee or tea with no milk, cream, or sugar. Do not consume red Jell-O, Popsicles, or liquids. During the procedure, these items can look like blood in the colon. Do not consume any alcoholic beverages.

    48 hours before your procedure, start your bowel prep as directed by your physician. You may be asked to take a laxative and/or drink a substance that helps empty your bowel. The bowel cleansing agents may cause the following symptoms. Call your physician if you experience problems.

    • Chills – this can be caused if the solution is too cold or if your electrolytes shift.
    • Nausea or vomiting -- stop drinking the solution for a short period and resume when the nausea passes. If nausea and vomiting persist, please notify your physician’s office.
    • Bloating -- walk around to ease the discomfort, but stay near a restroom.

    The day before your procedure, continue a liquid diet but DO NOT eat or drink anything after midnight the night before your procedure unless instructed by your physician.