If you’ve recently undergone a colonoscopy, congratulations! You’ve taken an important step towards protecting your health. But now that the procedure is over, it’s time to focus on recovery.
The procedure involves the use of a sedative, which means you need to arrange for someone to take you home afterward. Here are some tips to have a comfortable first week of recovery after a colonoscopy.
Take It Easy
It is recommended that patients stay home on the day of a colonoscopy. Avoid making important decisions on this day, since there can still be lingering effects from the sedative.
In the first few days after a colonoscopy, you may feel slight discomfort and tiredness, so allow yourself to take it easy. Avoid strenuous activities like lifting heavy objects or exercising until you get clearance from your doctor.
Drink Plenty of Fluids
Staying hydrated is essential for recovering from any medical procedure, and it is especially important when dealing with post-colonoscopy discomfort. Make sure to drink plenty of water and electrolyte drinks throughout the day, and avoid caffeine or alcohol, as they can dehydrate you further.
Seeing Blood is Normal
If you see blood in your stool or when you wipe down, do not panic. This is completely normal and what many should come to expect after a colonoscopy, especially during your first bowel movement. If you keep passing blood, let your doctor know.
Take Light Walks
You may feel gassy after a colonoscopy. Walking helps pass gas after the procedure. You can also move around lightly during the recovery period.
Take Your Medication As Directed
Your doctor may prescribe medication to manage pain and stool softeners. Take them as directed, so you will have a more comfortable recovery.
Eat Healthy Foods
Eating healthy foods will help keep your energy levels up while also helping with better digestion and healing after a colonoscopy. Focus on eating foods that are easy to digest, such as scrambled eggs, mashed potatoes, skinless chicken, white fish, soups and broths, and fruit and vegetable juices.
Get Plenty Of Rest
Your body needs rest in order to heal properly, so make sure to get plenty of sleep during this time. Aim for at least eight hours per night and take naps throughout the day if you feel tired.
Monitor Bowel Movements
After having a colonoscopy, it’s normal for bowel movements to be irregular at first. You may notice loose bowels, which can be a side effect of the medication used during the test. If bowel movements are still abnormal after a week, let your doctor know.
Communicate With Your GI Doctor
Don’t hesitate to reach out to your GI doctor with any questions or concerns that may arise following a colonoscopy. It’s always better to be safe than sorry when it comes to health-related matters, so don’t feel embarrassed about speaking up about something that might not seem significant but could actually help with a successful recovery or indicate something that merits investigation.
Colonoscopy in California
Our gastroenterology specialists at inSite Digestive Health Care will help you prepare and recover from a colonoscopy. We deeply care about our patients’ experience and take many steps to ensure you have a successful colonoscopy and a comfortable recovery.
To schedule your colonoscopy, or to make an appointment with one of our GI doctors, call our GI clinic nearest you or use our online request form. We look forward to serving all your gastroenterology needs!
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