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How to Restore Intestinal Flora After a Colonoscopy

Updated March 23, 2017

A colonoscopy is a procedure where a doctor inserts a thin tube up the intestine to check for cancerous growths. As part of the preparation for the procedure, patients have to clean out their bowels with a liquid diet, enemas and laxatives. This preparation helps the doctor see any cancerous growths, but unfortunately it also may disrupt the balance of helpful bacteria -- intestinal flora -- that the body needs to properly digest food. Restoring intestinal flora after a colonoscopy is an easy process.

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  1. Eat yoghurt, especially yoghurt that contains strains of the bacterium Lactobacillus acidophilus (sometimes shortened to L. acidophilus). This bacterium lives naturally in the human body and aids in digestion. Two or three servings of yoghurt a day will help restore the helpful bacteria in your digestive tract.

  2. Drink probiotic beverages. Most grocery stores now carry these beverages in the dairy section. Probiotics contain the helpful bacteria that usually reside in the digestive tract and help digest food, absorb nutrients and promote a healthy immune system. Most probiotic beverages contain strains of either Lactobacillus or Bifidobacterium. These bacteria will help restore your intestinal flora.

  3. Visit your local health food store and look for Lactobacillus or Bifidobacterium in capsules, tablets or powder. These supplements come in a variety of dosages; follow the package instructions for appropriate dosing.

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About the Author

Matt Browning has been writing about health, science, food and travel since 1990. His career has spanned advocacy, medical communications and public relations and his stories have won awards from the Virginia Press Association. Browning earned a Bachelor of Arts in English language and literature from the University of Virginia.

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