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 diarrhea. Luckily, increasing your fluid and fiber 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, fiber 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 fruits and/or vegetables at every meal1.
- Slowly increase your intake of high-fiber foods, such as whole grains, bread and cereals. As a daily goal, women need 25 grams of fiber; men need 38 grams of fiber2.
- 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 ostomy 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 An Ostomy
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.Read more
A colostomy is created out of the end of the large intestine to divert waste from your digestive system.Read more
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
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
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
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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
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
The me+™ recovery series, provides information and support about the importance of movement and physical activity after ostomy surgery.Read more
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
Urostomy Nutritional Advice
Unless your healthcare team gives you specific instructions, people with a urostomy do not need a special dietRead 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. 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.