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Your Colostomy

A colostomy can be a valuable way to regaining the freedom and confidence you need to build a healthy bond with your life. Of course, there can be challenges as you settle into living with your colostomy. Here are some tips on what foods to eat after a colostomy.
a person peeling a potato ;

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.
Of course, some foods may cause odour and/or gas. That’s natural. So, post-surgery, you may want to try these foods privately and one-at-a-time in small quantities. Knowing your body’s reaction to these foods means less time worrying and more time building healthy bonds to the world around you.
 

Odor-Causing Foods

  • Eggs
  • Certain spices, such as curry, cumin and chili powder
  • Garlic
  • Fish
  • Aspargus
  • Alcohol

Note: Some foods may help decrease odor. These include cranberry juice, parsley, buttermilk and yogurt3.

Gas-Producing Foods

  • Beer/carbonated beverages
  • Dairy products
  • Onions
  • Cucumbers
  • Mushrooms
  • Beans
  • Cruciferous vegetables, such as cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, kale and Brussels sprouts

Medications

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:

  • Antacids
  • Antidiarrheals
  • Anti-inflammatory agents, such as Tylenol®, Advil® or Aleve®
  • Aspirin
  • Laxatives
  • Vitamins

Diarrhea

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

  • Applesauce
  • Bananas
  • Cheese
  • Pasta
  • Rice
  • Creamy peanut butter
  • Potato (without skin)
  • Tapioca

More in Living With An Ostomy

Lifestyle Support

a person chopping carrots

Nutritional Advice

Eating well is a big part of living life on your own terms. The good news: having a stoma should not stand in the way of enjoying good food.

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Ostomy Types

Colostomy Surgery

A colostomy is created out of the end of the large intestine to divert waste from your digestive system.

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Ostomy Types

Ileostomy Surgery

An ileostomy is created out of the ileum (small intestine) and requires some particular but simple attention to keep you comfortable and healthy.

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Ostomy Types

Urostomy Surgery

A urostomy is a type of surgery which enables urine to exit the body through a stoma after removal of a diseased or damaged portion of your urinary tract.

Read more

Lifestyle Support

a person walking on a hill

Physical Activities

Do you love to play tennis or golf? Think there’s nothing better than jogging, yoga or going for a swim? That’s great! Having a stoma should not prevent you from staying fit.

Read more

Lifestyle Support

a person putting shoes into a tray

Travel Tips

Extra security precautions are being taken at airports and other transit hubs worldwide. A little pre-planning and understanding of both security rules and your right to privacy can help you avoid problems in transit and enjoy your travels.

Read more

Lifestyle Support

feet intertwined

Intimacy

Although it’s normal to feel sensitive about how a stoma changes your body, meaningful and fulfilling intimate encounters can still be part of your and your partner’s lives.

Read more

Lifestyle Support

illustration of a stoma

Understanding Your Stoma

Just like you, each stoma is one-of-a-kind. Stomas vary in size and can be round, oval or irregular in shape. It may protrude or stay flat against your skin.

Read more

Lifestyle Support

close-up of a person applying creme to another person's hand

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

Lifestyle Support

a man and a woman smiling

Sign up for me+ patient support

The me+™ recovery series, provides information and support about the importance of movement and physical activity after ostomy surgery.

Read more

Lifestyle Support

two people cooking

Ileostomy Nutritional Advice

After recovery from surgery, you can gradually resume eating whatever you like—unless your doctor requires you to follow a special diet.

Read more

Lifestyle Support

a person tying shoelaces next to a green juice

Urostomy Nutritional Advice

Unless your healthcare team gives you specific instructions, people with a urostomy do not need a special diet

Read more

1. Why 5 A Day? NHS choices. https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/eat-well/5-a-day/why-5-a-day/. Accessed November 17, 2022.

2. Health & Diet Guide. WebMD. https://www.webmd.com/diet/guide/default.htm. Accessed November 17, 2022.

3. 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. 

 

 

 

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