Handling Your Nutrition with an Ostomy

Have you had trouble making dietary adjustments as a recent ostomy patient?

This is a common struggle, but persistence and patience are most of the battle. We have a few pointers that can help ease some of the confusion. The ostomy procedure doesn’t have to inhibit your eating excessively, provided you determine which foods work for your digestive framework.

Experiment Slowly & Focus on Fluid Intake

Some of the frustration comes from expecting too much in the early stages after the ostomy surgery. The simple truth is you will make mistakes and consume something less than palatable with your new condition. It’s normal to make mistakes, and the key is to experiment slowly after your procedure, making personal notes of what does/doesn’t work.

The other crucial component is hydration. While many foods may contribute to bloating and gas, drinking more water can ease some of your trouble.

Depending on your condition, you may be able to handle modest amounts of coffee, tea, and even alcohol, but don’t overdo it. Each of those dehydrates us, which won’t help you maintain optimal fluid levels. Instead, focus more on pure water and consider mixing in healthy electrolytes (i.e., magnesium and potassium).

Make a Record of “Problem Foods”

You’ll also hear this advice from nutritionists who specialize in ostomy care. These are different for everyone, but the most common culprits are gassy foods like cabbage, beans, beer, salted crackers, and sometimes dairy products. You may also experience discharge problems with seeds and nuts.

Common Ostomy Problem Items (and their consequences)

Incomplete Digestion – Mushrooms, dried fruits, excessive leafy greens, vegetable skins, undercooked meat, popcorn, nuts, seeds, and cabbage.
Odor Producing – Asparagus, broccoli, smoke foods, heavy magnesium consumption, dried beans, eggs, cauliflower, onions, and various cheeses.
Gas Producing – Carbonated beverages, legumes, nuts, melons, soy products, spicy items, beer, and other alcohols.

Again, as we said from the start, these side effects are not universal among ostomates.

We hope this shines some light on eating strategies for new ostomates. The primary virtue throughout all of this is patience. We’ve seen many colostomy, ileostomy, and urostomy patients resume fully normal lives after minor dietary adjustments.

Cymed MicroSkin has years of professional experience manufacturing hypoallergenic and effective ostomy pouch systems. Our products are Medicare deductible, easy to use, and come with free-shipping for purchases over $500. If you’d like to learn more about ostomy nutrition, or any of our specific products, then call us anytime at 800-582-0707.