The health of the colon is important to your overall health because it impacts the absorption of key nutrients into your body. Sometimes colon cleanses and colonoscopies are needed in order to keep the colon functioning normally and to detect physical problems such as abnormal polyps. The preparation for a colon cleanse and a colonoscopy are different, so an individual who is considering one of the procedures needs to be aware of which procedure to follow.
If you are going to have a colon cleanse done, then don't worry about modifying your diet. You can step up the fiber a bit to help you have a good bowel movement before the procedure, if you wish, because this will reduce the amount of matter that the procedure needs to remove from the colon. Otherwise, you may eat normally.
If you are going to have a colonoscopy, you will need to fast or go to a liquid diet at least a day prior to the procedure. Foods like chicken broth and clear drinks are allowed. Eating fibrous foods will help with bowel regularity under normal circumstances, but they also create firm stools. The cleansing solutions taken for a colonoscopy, however, work as extreme diuretics that produce very loose stools, so this creates a conflict in the body's physical processes of stool creation and expulsion. So hold off on the fiber.
If a colon cleanse is needed, then don't use any over-the-counter medications or herbs to clean out the colon before the procedure. These really are not needed if your diet is good enough already to facilitate good bowel movements, and they can dehydrate you.
You'll need to take a colon cleansing solution if you are opting for a colonoscopy. The solution typically involves drinking substances that work as laxatives, often magnesium citrate. Usually your doctor will have you drink the solution at least twice (once on the evening prior to the colonoscopy and another on the morning of the procedure). It's typical for these solutions to make you feel like vomiting, so this, combined with the need to deficate, will require you to have a bathroom nearby.
Keep the purpose of each procedure in mind. The purpose of a colon cleanse is to remove fecal manner and toxins from the colon. It is done when people are experiencing colon impaction or feel like the colon is not as clean or efficient as it might be. A colonoscopy, on the other hand, is not intended to remove fecal waste. It is intended to get a picture of the colon to find any irregular growths or signs of disease. The cleaner the colon is, the better examination the doctor can give you for this purpose. Colonoscopies are also performed when a biopsy or polyp removal needs to be done.