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 Post subject: Colonoscopy
PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2015 6:36 am 
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Chip Strong
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Has anyone here had a colonoscopy? I'm having one on the NHS on Thursday.

I just got my diet sheet I have to follow until then. It's looking pretty problematic as as a vegan there's barely any options I can eat. You are allowed unlimited meat, fish, eggs, and cheese...but no vegetables or fruits. The vegan ok foods are: No more than 4 slices white bread a day. No more than 4 tbsp either white rice or plain white mashed potatoes.

That's it. I can have boiled sweets too.

Problematic is...I figure from this I can get at most 500 calories a day. My procedure isn't till Thursday and while I know 500 calories a day for four days won't kill me it's going to be pretty unpleasant, especially when I do the prep which will make me even weaker. I realise the hospital expects me to be eating lots of calories in meat and dairy (they include a sample meal plan that is basically that) but they don't give any provision for veganism.

Anyway I'm just having a moan and seeing if anyone else has any experience.

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 Post subject: Re: Colonoscopy
PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2015 7:55 am 
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Could you have tofu / fake meat? Maybe you could ring your doc's surgery or the department at the hospital you're going to and ask for some advice?

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 Post subject: Re: Colonoscopy
PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2015 8:26 am 
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Chip Strong
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There's no mention of that on the list I've been given. I rang the hospital and they said "most vegans we have are happy to eat cheese and meat just for a few days" but when I said I wasn't she said she would have to get back to me. Not heard since.

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 Post subject: Re: Colonoscopy
PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2015 8:37 am 
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ugh that is infuriating!! I'm fairly sure most vegans would NOT be happy to eat cheese and meat for a few days, that is total bull and not helpful of them at all. I've just googled it and there's not much info out there except for people doing juice cleanses and liquid diets beforehand :/

Hopefully someone else can chip in that's been through one xx

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 Post subject: Re: Colonoscopy
PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2015 8:50 am 
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Is the idea that you can't have fiber? Low residue diets normally allow fruit juice (without pulp) and yoghurt, although I don't know if soy vs. dairy makes a difference. Good luck.


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 Post subject: Re: Colonoscopy
PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2015 9:23 am 
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Chip Strong
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The idea is that I will have nothing that will "stick in my colon" after the prep. I really hate the sort of people who call themselves vegan but flippantly say they're ok eating non vegan food. Just means nobody takes us seriously.

Still not heard back from hospital. Looking like it's 4 tablespoons of cooked rice for dinner...

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 Post subject: Re: Colonoscopy
PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2015 9:35 am 
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I'm following this thread closely, I need to go for a colonoscoy but wondered how to deal with the restrictions as a vegan. I cannot put it off any longer, but I am underweight as it is and don't think I'll be able to fast for 3-4 days...
Sorry I cannot be of any help.
You can't eat any clear broth? I was thinking of maybe making a nooch rich broth (so you can have protein, 9 grams per 2 tbsp).

ETA: The occasional "vegans" are a pain...
Doing this as a gluten-free vegan must be horrible.


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 Post subject: Re: Colonoscopy
PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2015 9:40 am 
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I am so sorry! That sounds so tough!

My husband didn't have to follow any special diet before his and I've seen that some people do a clear soup or juice fast before, but I would definitely not want to ever give someone advice that conflicted with their MD's directions.

I hope the MD's office calls you back and finds some good veg options - maybe you can ask if something high protein and low fiber like tofu might be a good substitute.

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 Post subject: Re: Colonoscopy
PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2015 9:41 am 
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Chip Strong
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I had a call back from the hospital. They didn't seem that helpful. She said I could eat Quorn. Which isn't vegan. And then said "oh maybe you could eat tofu too".

No seasonings allowed though other than salt and pepper. It doesn't say if I'm allowed non dairy milk so I'm not sure, and the nurse didn't know. No fruit juice, no vegetables. It doesn't say about broth.

I'm pretty underweight too which is why I know a four day fast won't kill me, but I'm worried about drinking lots of liquid for the prep after not eating for days. That's a way to a nasty stomach. I've not eaten in nearly 24 hours now and my procedure isn't until 2pm Thursday so this isn't looking like a fun week.

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 Post subject: Re: Colonoscopy
PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2015 9:56 am 
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Wow. That's really restrictive. I had one in the Netherlands and I could have a lot more than that. I can't remember exactly what I ate, but I know that certain (well-cooked) vegetables and fruits were allowed, as was tofu, and soy yogurt. Basically, they didn't want anything that was too fibrous or had seeds, so things like beans, whole wheat bread, strawberries, oranges were out, but I could eat well-cooked carrots/broccoli, tofu, and peeled soft fruits. I think I ate a lot of noodle soup with cubed tofu and carrots with apple sauce and soy yogurt as dessert.

I'm sorry. I know that's not helpful, since that contradicts what you're being told. I'm just surprised at how restrictive that seems to be.

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 Post subject: Re: Colonoscopy
PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2015 9:57 am 
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Ugh, that's not very useful :/

I found this NHS pdf with a list of what you can eat (not sure if it's the same one you had?). I know it's for children but might be worth checking if you can use it too?

According to this you can have some jelly, fruit juice, crackers/toast with seedless jam and dry cereal.

Not the best but at least you can sneak some calories in from the jam and jelly, and get some form of nutrition from the juice.

http://www.uhs.nhs.uk/Media/Controlleddocuments/Patientinformation/Childhealth/Bowelpreparationforcolonoscopypatientinformation.pdf

Best of luck anyway.

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 Post subject: Re: Colonoscopy
PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2015 10:06 am 
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Chip Strong
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Rosie, mine is a lot more restrictive than that. It specifically says no fruit juice, and there are restrictions on carbs too. I would be fine without the restriction because bread and marmite could keep me going but...two marmite sandwiches a day? I think not.

Here is the sheet I was
given:
http://imgur.com/pkrQMKP

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 Post subject: Re: Colonoscopy
PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2015 10:21 am 
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Jesus, that's rough.

I guess you can have margarine and jam/marmite on toast then, and you'll have to get the rest of your calories from fizzy drinks, sweets and jelly. Not very filling or nutritious :( I do make marmite broth to drink sometimes (same as bovril in essence) which can fill a gap if you're hungry.

I'm so sorry you're having to go through this but hopefully you will get some answers soon.

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 Post subject: Re: Colonoscopy
PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2015 10:27 am 
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Chip Strong
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Yeah I'm hoping vegan marge is ok as obviously they're expecting it to be butter stuff. Looks like the guidelines were written a long time ago and updated 4 years ago, which is still quite a while. I imagine the update was the chapatti/rice insert as we have a large Asian population here.

I drink marmite hot sometimes but I always have it with a biscuit or something which of course I can't - I find liquid alone in my stomach makes me queasy.

I just feel like someone needs to give the hospital a kick up the bum into the 21st century where we don't all just eat meat and potatoes. Nowhere else is this restrictive it seems.

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 Post subject: Re: Colonoscopy
PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2015 10:32 am 
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That's not a lot to work with.

If I understand correctly, you can have the bread/chapatti and rice/potato, so maybe toast with margarine and jam for breakast/lunch and potatoes or rice with marmite for flavoring for dinner? And maybe broth to somewhat quell any hunger pangs? It would be nice if they could confirm whether you could have tofu to get some protein in there.

Anyway, hang in there! Like Rosie said, hopefully you'll have answers soon.

Edited to say, I just saw your most recent post, so forget my broth suggestion!

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Last edited by lepelaar on Mon Jul 20, 2015 10:34 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Colonoscopy
PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2015 10:33 am 
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I'm sorry your medical care provider is so unhelpful. Your list looks like they made it as simple as possible to avoid confusion, rather than explaining how to include more options with care. Essentially you want to avoid fiber and strong colors/dyes. Here is a chart that looks more helpful: https://www1.ghc.org/html/public/specia ... colon-diet. I would think soymilk would be fine as all solids are filtered out, and tofu by extension, which is on the diet in this link.

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Last edited by Jill on Mon Jul 20, 2015 10:34 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Colonoscopy
PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2015 10:33 am 
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Does the hospital have a nutritionist you could speak to? Honestly, it sounds like they're being really rubbish at supporting you. Especially since you are underweight and have stomach issues and need to eat! But it does sound like tofu should be fine so maybe fried, cubed tofu with a noochy sauce? High protein and high fat, yum!

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 Post subject: Re: Colonoscopy
PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2015 10:48 am 
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Chip Strong
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There's nobody I can speak to apparently. The nurse I saw this morning was lovely and talked about veganism with me but she forgot to go over the diet sheet. Then when I rang they just said "well I know it'll be difficult but you can manage it".

Last time I was in this same hospital overnight the only food they could offer me that was vegan was a plain jacket potato, no seasoning. I'm not sure their nutrition department exists.

I know it seems silly to fuss over four days of restricted food but although I know I can handle that, the prep is known to be pretty nasty and if I have zero energy it'll be even worse. Last thing I want is to faint after guzzling two litres of laxatives.

I may try the tofu. I don't know about nooch as it's a seasoning and that's not on the list?

I do wish they could just explain the reasoning behind it all and give me permission to create my own diet. Not to sound presumptious but I have been controlling my nutrition rigorously for a long time, most vegans are well aware of fibre, protein, whatever. If they said "low fibre, high protein" I could do that. Just...Ugh. I'm in a bad mood haha.

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 Post subject: Re: Colonoscopy
PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2015 11:10 am 
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The reasoning behind the diet prep is simple - they want your colon as clean as possible. You're intelligent and capable, do your own internet research on colonoscopy-appropriate foods, and you'll be fine. The sticking point seems to be you're reluctant to go against "authority" here, even when they're not responsive to you.

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 Post subject: Re: Colonoscopy
PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2015 11:20 am 
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vixki wrote:
.... No more than 4 tbsp either white rice or plain white mashed potatoes.

...


Says you can have 4 "egg sized" boiled potatoes, so that's a bit more than 4 tablespoons (yeah, I know not much). And "any type" of cheese, so that argues they'd allow you as much fat and protein you want as long as it has no fibre. Could you incorporate coconut milk? That's high fat so might help you keep your energy up.

Who was it who referred you? Could you ask them to check on your behalf and explain you don't want to faint before you get to your appointment? Telling you that there's no one available is rubbish of the hospital, but you know what the nurses are like there, they seem very over-stretched and many of them were not overly inclined to be helpful, unfortunately.

Or could you call 111? They are supposed to have experts who can give advice.

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Last edited by dropscone on Mon Jul 20, 2015 11:23 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Colonoscopy
PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2015 11:22 am 
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I researched the fiber content of nooch, and it's 4 grams for 2 tbsp (KAL brand); so I guess that's a big no-no.


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 Post subject: Re: Colonoscopy
PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2015 11:43 am 
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Sorry, just read you're intolerant to coconut and anyway it has about 2% fibre so probably wasn't a good idea anyway. Tofu is only 0.3% fibre so I can't see why that wouldn't be okay.

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 Post subject: Re: Colonoscopy
PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2015 11:52 am 
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Chip Strong
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Thanks everyone.

Jill - I'm reluctant to "go against authority" because well, I fully admit I am nowhere near as knowledgeable as the doctors who I presume wrote this guide.

I think I'll try to stick as low fiber as possible and get some tofu in. I'm going to allow myself crackers (just simple water biscuits) to snack on because surely there's not too much rough in that.

I will eat not too much anyway because hopefully that gives more chance of it working, if other people are having these things with no restrictions then it can't be that bad.

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 Post subject: Re: Colonoscopy
PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2015 2:44 pm 
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I am so sorry. That is really meager! Of course you don't want to get sent back because there's stuff in there, so it's important. I've had a number of colonoscopies in Canada and the US, and I've never seen any dietary restrictions: it's been fasting (on clear liquids) for a certain amount of time, then the prep. The prep was pretty, um, violent, with the idea that it totally scours out anything that's left after the fast. Maybe in the UK the prep is less thorough, so the food restrictions are recommended? Anyway, it sounds as if you're being sensible, and I'm sure it will be fine. Maybe after you get through it you can ask a few more questions or put some stick about.

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 Post subject: Re: Colonoscopy
PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2015 3:07 pm 
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I'm sorry this is so restrictive too. Maybe your specific situation has extra requirements?

I've had a few, but luckily now only need endoscopies so don't need prep.

It's not pleasant, but the prep isn't really too bad since you shouldn't have too much to get rid of after the clear liquid diet.

Mine have always been under anesthesia because of the endoscope but my dad had his without. He pretty much said unpleasant but not too awful or painful or anything.

Hopefully at the end of it you will get good information so it's all worthwhile!

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