Managing an Ostomy and Diabetes: A Guide to Dietary Considerations

Several ostomy patients have to manage their stoma along with other serious conditions like diabetes. It’s a common concern for ostomates of all ages. Either condition on its own requires the patient to pay significant attention to dietary habits, much more than the rest of the population.

Nevertheless, there’s no cause for discouragement when you can prepare yourself with practical nutritional advice. Below is a preview of how to manage an ostomy condition and diabetes concurrently.

Dietary Advice for Diabetes Patients

This is a terrific topic to cover in November, since it is National Diabetes Month, with awareness being one of the chief purposes.

What goes into proper dieting for diabetics?

Since diabetes is a condition that impedes the way the body processes sugar through the blood, patients must be mindful of foods that cause spikes in blood sugar. Otherwise, it can result in several deleterious effects: nerve issues, visual trouble, kidney problems, heavy fatigue, and so forth. Diabetics must eschew excessive sweets, pastries, processed foods, and anything else that would worsen blood sugar.

Most of the time, diabetics should focus on diets rich in fiber and whole grains with items like bread, veggies, beans, lentils, and seeds. Unfortunately, this can conflict with some of the conventional wisdom for ostomy patients, who can’t always digest such foods.

Dietary Considerations for Ostomy Patients

Individuals with either a colostomy or ileostomy also have to be careful about what they eat, but the specific circumstances vary by person. Most ostomates should limit fiber consumption, but it’s a myth to suggest they must eliminate all of it. Dieticians recommend that new ostomy patients slowly test and evaluate how their digestive system responds to certain foods.

This involves determining which items cause gas, blockages, excessive output, or other problems. That being said, there are some common items that rarely work well for ostomates, such as seeds, beans, celery, and other high-fiber foods.

A Few Helpful Pointers

Now, let’s look at ways to maintain a healthy diet as an ostomate and diabetic altogether.

  • Focus on healthy carbohydrates – Diabetic ostomates will have to be deliberate about how they get energy (from carbs) without spiking blood sugar or creating indigestion. Work with your dietician or diabetes nurse to determine the proper volume from a non-processed, whole-food carbohydrate source.
  • Stay hydrated and eat slowly – Dehydration is the bane of digestion for diabetes and ostomy. Also, you can avert many difficulties (like gas) by simply chewing better, with smaller bites, and eating slower.
  • Gradually reintroduce fiber after ostomy surgery – Expect there to be an adjustment process for at least six to 12 weeks, but perhaps up to a year. As you do this, focus on clean fiber sources like oats, couscous, select fruits/veggies, and certain pastas.

We hope this brief overview of ostomy/diabetes dieting helps you make smooth adjustments, especially if you’re still new to managing a bowel stoma. Cymed MicroSkin has a steadfast mission to help ostomy patients handle the condition with much less consternation and anxiety.

Contact us anytime to learn more about hypoallergenic ostomy supplies, including how to use them, by calling our location at 800-582-0707.