Food is essential to life and health.
Food provides us with many pleasant emotional and social experiences.
If you have an ostomy, enjoy food and live the experience of life to the fullest.
What can I eat?
Will I need to change my diet?
Sound familiar? These are a some of the most commonly asked questions by new ostomates.
You will most probably be able to eat the same foods that you did before surgery. There may be some modifications that need to be done to your diet, but in most instances you should be able to eat a well balanced and varied diet.
People with ileostomies, no longer have a colon to reabsorb water and minerals so they will need more fluids than was necessary before their surgery, to avoid becoming dehydrated, therefore ileostomates should drink plenty of fluids whether it is water, juice or other liquids. If you have a large volume of output, this is not caused by your fluid intake, therefore it is very important that you do not decrease your fluid intake as this will lead to dehydration. Also because of the lack of a colon, ileostomies may need to replace some of their body minerals, which should be done through their diet (see your doctor or Stomal therapy nurse) or may be helped by drinking a sports drink which contains those essential minerals.
Ileostomates will also now have to chew their food more thoroughly as chewing breaks down the fibre into smaller pieces which helps to pass it through the Ileum, which has a relatively narrow diameter.
CHEW ! CHEW ! CHEW !
People with urostomies should also drink plenty of fluids, so as to avoid infections and keep urinary functions normal. It is advisable to drink at least 6 glasses of fluid each day unless advised otherwise by your doctor or stomal therapy nurse.
Urostomates do not require a special diet other than their intake of fluid, but be aware that some food can cause odour.
People with colostomies should follow a similar regime as for ileostomies. It is important for colostomates to drink adequate fluids as well as foods that provide moderate amounts of fibre.
You will find that any dietary restrictions are highly individual as everybody’s body reacts differently to different things including food.
It is essential that you introduce new foods a little at a time with plenty of fluids and to chew your food thoroughly.
The best way to find out how you will react to different foods is to try them. It is wise to go slow when adding new foods to your diet, and try a bit at a time and gradually add a little bit more each time you have it.
If a particular food does cause a problem, try it again in a few months, when your body has adjusted more.
Everyone has a different story to tell but it is essential that you learn what your body can tolerate.
Some high fibre food can cause blockages especially after surgery. This is why it is essential that you chew your food well, especially with high fibre food and to drink plenty of fluids to help flush out any residue.
If you have diarrhoea there are some foods that can help to thicken your output.
Medication can also cause changes in output, appearance and odour for ostomates.
Curries and all things windy
Anybody who has enjoyed a hot curry, munched on some garlic bread, or even enjoyed a hard boiled egg will know that these food can cause wind, bad breath and sometimes the trots. Having a Colostomy or Ileostomy is no different, there are known foods that will still do this to you but the secret to eating these foods is planning. If you have a business meeting tomorrow then it would not be advisable to eat a curry tonight.
What you eat will also determine what comes out, for example if you eat licorice then the output for colostomates and ileostomates will be darker. Be aware that other foods may make your output more fluid like. Some foods may make your urine more odorous, eg asparagus.
This is a guide only of what different foods and drinks can do.
Ask your Stomal Therapy Nurse for more details.
Different Foods – Different Reactions
Foods that need to be chewed very thoroughly
|Apple skins||Celery||Chinese Vegetables||Coconut|
|Orange rinds||Peas||Popcorn||Potato skins|
Foods and drinks that may thicken your output
|Peanut Butter (Creamy)||Pretzels||Rice (white)|
Foods and drinks that may cause fluidy output
|Fresh fruit (not bananas)||Grapes||Grape juice|
|Prune juice||Spicy foods||Spinach|
Foods that can cause urine odour
Foods that fight urine odour
Foods that can cause gas
Foods that can cause odour
Drinks that can cause gas
|Beer||Dairy Products||Carbonated drinks|