There may be a better way to get stubborn or procrastinating patients to sign up for potentially life-saving colonoscopies: Let ’em eat macaroni and cheese.
Researchers speculate that a 1-day, low-residue diet — which could include such foods as scrambled eggs, white bread, butter, chicken breasts, pretzels and good old mac-and-cheese — as opposed to the traditional all-liquid prep, may, in addition to making patients a lot happier, actually do a better job with bowel preparation.
They studied 83 patients who were randomly assigned to one group or the other. All patients were also given a split-dose polyethylene glycol electrolyte lavage solution. The low-residue group not only scored higher on the Boston Bowel Preparation Scale (a mean of 7.98 vs. a mean of 7.54), they were also much less hungry in the evening, much less tired in the morning and much happier with their diets — reporting a 97% satisfaction rate versus 46%.
“In the U.S., we’ve been over-restrictive with the diet with clear liquids,” says lead author Jason B. Samarasena, MD. “This is another study that adds to that data pool showing that [a low-residue diet] is as good as, and potentially even better than, clear liquids. Hopefully, that will encourage patients to have colonoscopies and repeat their colonoscopies if they have to.”