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Health Tip: Before a Colonoscopy

Follow instructions to ensure a successful procedure

(HealthDay News) -- A colonoscopy -- used to detect colon cancer and other potential problems -- involves use of a long, flexible tube with a camera that takes images of the colon.

Before having a colonoscopy, you should follow certain do's and don'ts to ensure an accurate procedure. This list is provided by the U.S. National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse:

  • Avoid all solid foods and any beverages with food coloring for one to three days before a colonoscopy.
  • You may eat fat-free bouillon or broth soups, or gelatin.
  • You may drink water, strained fruit juice, plain coffee, plain tea or diet soda (no food coloring).
  • As certain medications may affect your results, tell your doctor if you are taking aspirin, arthritis medications, blood thinners, medications for diabetes, or any vitamins containing iron.
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