Food and Drink
Eating and drinking. They’re a big part of having a healthy bond with your life. But like everyone, at times you may experience constipation or diarrhoea. Luckily, increasing your fluid and fibre intake can help prevent these problems. Here’s how:
- Drink six to eight cups (48-64 ounces) of water and other beverages per day.
- For more fluid, fibre and a vitamin punch, eat at least five servings of fruits and vegetables per day. An easy way to do this is to fill half of your plate with fruit and/or vegetables at every meal1.
- Slowly increase your intake of high-fibre foods, such as whole grains, bread and cereals. As a daily goal, women need 25 grams of fibre; men need 38 grams of fibre2.
- Certain spices, such as curry, cumin and chili powder
Note: Some foods may help decrease odor. These include cranberry juice, parsley, buttermilk and yogurt3.
- Beer/carbonated beverages
- Dairy products
- Cruciferous vegetables, such as cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, kale and Brussels sprouts
After stoma surgery, the way your body digests and absorbs medications may be affected. Make sure to review all of your medications — both over-the-counter and prescription — with your doctor, ostomy nurse and pharmacist.
Medications you may need to adjust include:
- Anti-inflammatory agents, such as Tylenol®, Advil® or Aleve®
Diarrhea has many causes, including viruses and some medications. It can also be a sign of trouble digesting certain foods. In this case, you can reduce some fiber and bulk from your diet, cut back on certain foods, and eat other foods that thicken your stool. These foods include3:
Foods to Avoid During Episodes of Diarrhea
- High-fiber bread
- Whole grains
- Edible fruit and vegetable peels, such as apples
- Any food labeled “high fiber”
- Fried foods
- High-sugar foods
- Raisins, prunes and other dried fruit
- Spicy foods
Foods that Thicken Stool
- Creamy peanut butter
- Potato (without skin)
More in Living With A Stoma
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An ileostomy is created out of the ileum (small intestine) and requires some particular but simple attention to keep you comfortable and healthy.Read more
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Skin Care Tips
Having a peristomal (around the stoma) skin complication is one of the most common reasons people living with a stoma seek medical attention.Read more
Sign up for me+ patient support
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After recovery from surgery, you can gradually resume eating whatever you like—unless your doctor requires you to follow a special diet.Read more
Urostomy Nutritional Advice
Unless your healthcare team gives you specific instructions, people with a urostomy do not need a special dietRead more
3. Ostomy: Adapting to life after colostomy, ileostomy or urostomy. Mayo Clinic. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/colon-cancer/in-depth/ostomy/art-20045825. Published July 28, 2022. Accessed November 17, 2022.