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Correct nutrition before a gastroscopy or colonoscopy

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01.06.2020 – 19:06

Well prepared!
The right diet before a gastroscopy or colonoscopy

If a gastroscopy or colonoscopy is due, the correct diet is crucial to ensure that everything goes smoothly.

Photo: Shutterstock/VBStudio

If a gastroscopy or colonoscopy is due, the correct diet is crucial to ensure that everything goes smoothly.

Whether gastroscopy or colonoscopy: You should prepare yourself accordingly for the examination of the digestive tract. We explain what you need to consider on the nutritional side.

No question, a gastroscopy or colonoscopy is an unpleasant thing. Being well prepared and informed can help you to be more relaxed about it and is essential for an accurate examination. Especially for the Nutrition before a colonoscopy or gastroscopy you should be aware. Here we give you an overview of the most important points.


Nutrition before gastroscopy: You should pay attention to this


For the doctor to be able to examine the upper digestive tract in detail, it is important that it is empty. You should therefore not eat anything 6 to 8 hours before a gastroscopy. So if the procedure is performed in the morning, the last meal should have been dinner the day before.




Drinks such as coffee or juice must also be avoided before the gastroscopy. The same applies to cigarettes and chewing gum, as these stimulate the production of gastric acid. Only a few sips of still water are allowed.

Nutrition before colonoscopy: You should pay attention to this


In contrast to gastroscopy, a few more points must be observed in the diet before the colonoscopy. In fact, for the procedure known as colonoscopy, a certain diet must be followed one or more days beforehand. The following points must be observed:


  • Don’t eat the seeds: Several days before the colonoscopy you should not eat any seeds or fruits or vegetables containing seeds. These include muesli, wholemeal bread, tomatoes, kiwi and grapes. The seeds could clog the instruments during the colonoscopy.
  • Eat easily digestible and low in fibre: For 2 to 3 days, or at the latest the day before the examination, do not eat any more fibre-rich food, instead eat easily digestible food. Avoid vegetables, fruits, wholemeal products, bran, pulses, nuts and seeds. Also flatulent foods such as cabbage should no longer be eaten. White bread, white rice, dairy products, lean meat and fish, eggs and fruit juices without pulp are allowed.
  • On the day of the examination from noon onwards only broth: Depending on the doctor, a light lunch may still be allowed on the day of the examination. After that at the latest only broth may be eaten.
  • Drinking solution for removal: On the day before the colonoscopy, you usually start with the drinking solution for laxative. It is important to ensure that you drink several litres of fluid. When and how exactly you take it depends on the preparation. Please read the instructions carefully.

Conclusion on nutrition for gastroscopy or colonoscopy


When it comes to diet before a gastroscopy, the rules are limited – the main thing is not to eat anything for 6 to 8 hours before the examination, and if you do, then only drink water.


There are a few more rules to be observed in the diet before a colonoscopy – there may be minor differences in the guidelines. It is important that you read your doctor’s information on preparation and diet before the colonoscopy carefully and calmly. If you are unsure, it is better to ask again when in doubt.


Find out about other topics related to digestion or constipation on our helpful topic pages.


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