This question was answered on Wed 17, Mar 2010 06:56pm by Dr.Kokil Mathur

can you drink alcohol 24 hours before a colonoscopy

    
Asked by janet8 (Female; 59 ) on Wed 17, Mar 2010 05:57am

can you drink alcohol 24 hours before a colonoscopy

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Answer by Dr.Kokil Mathur  on Wed 17, Mar 2010 06:56pm:

Hi! Thanks for your question on the forum. Yes you can take alcohol in moderation 24 hours before the preparation. However once the preparation of the bowel starts you cannot consume any alcohol. The preparation of bowel at times starts 2-3 days in advance in people who are constipated. Hence if this is the case with you then you cannot drink alcohol even 24 hours before. Alcohol also causes constipation. What you eat and drink before a colonoscopy test determines how clear your bowel will be for a successful test. Any colored beverage is avoided before the test as it may color the mucosa of the colon. Beer and red wine are one among them. Also alcohol causes dilatation of blood vessels of GI tract and hence may give a false picture of inflammation of colon. The preparation of bowel involves laxatives to clear the bowel. Hence a person passes frequent stools and the gut is almost empty. Alcohol can aggravate acidity and loss of fluids and hence cause more harm than good. Colonoscopy itself causes some drowsiness and loss of fluids. Beer and other alcohols add to this effect and can be dangerous. Also if due to some reason a general anesthesia may be required, then alcohol of any kind interferes with the effect of anesthetic drugs. Beer and alcohol also interfere with muscle relaxants and mild sedatives given during the procedure. Hence for similar reasons alcohol is to be avoided for next 24 hours too after the procedure. Hope this helps. Please feel free to ask anything else you may want to know. Hope this helps. Take care!

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Comment by Dr J Singh on Wed 17, Mar 2010 09:02pm:
Hello, Welcome to the forum. Dr Kokil has explained everything to you in a very explicit manner. I also endorse her statement that it is advisable to stop alcohol 24 hours before colonoscopy because it interferes with the procedure; not only for better visualization of the gut but also for ruling out any false negative tests. It may interfere with water absorption and the bowel may look inflamed. It may mask any inflammatory condition of the bowel. Different hospitals have different sets of their own pre operative precautions. Some may start with the bowel preparation 2-3 days before and some may start 24 hours before. Complete nil per oral is started from the night before the procedure. Hence it is advisable to discuss this with your gastroenterologist before getting the procedure done. I hope it helps. Take care and please do keep us posted in case you have any additional doubts. Kind regards.

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