What to eat and drink with an ileostomy or colostomy
When having an ileostomy or colostomy you may a few questions around your diet – should I eat a special diet? Is there something I cannot eat? What about alcohol?
Diarrhoea & food blockage advice
Like everyone else, you may have diarrhoea once-in-a-while. Find out what to do when it happens.
What to do about diarrhoea?
Like everyone else, you may have diarrhoea once-in-a-while. But in general, a brief period of diarrhoea is not something to be worried about – it could be related to something you ate and will often take care of itself.
However, three or more loose stools in a row are indeed a cause for concern, as you risk becoming dehydrated, and you should consult your ostomy care nurse.
If you have an ileostomy
If you have an ileostomy and experience diarrhoea you will lose a lot of salt – around 1 tea spoon per litre of stool. Therefore, it is very important to sprinkle some extra salt on your meals.
Trouble with food blockage?
Some food may cause a food blockage, so read about how to prevent it and what to do in case it happens.
Learn about food blockage - and what to do
Chewing carefully is very important to get a good start to the digestive process. This applies especially if you eat foods that are hard to digest (such as nuts). Some foods, especially high fibre foods, can cause a food blockage, where undigested parts of food block the bowel. Chewing well can help, but a food blockage can be serious.
How do I know I have a food blockage?
It can cause cramping; pain and watery stool, and your abdomen and ostomy may become swollen. If you think you have a food blockage, you should:
- Call your doctor or nurse or go to an emergency room.
- Drink plenty of water
- Avoid solid foods for 24 hours and stick to soups instead
Preventing a blockage is easier than treating one, so chew your food thoroughly and be sensible with your food options, and you should be able to have a normal, healthy diet.
Disclaimer: These are general guidelines meant to help you with typical questions. You should follow the specific instructions provided by your healthcare provider and the intermittent catheterization or ostomy solution you are using. Also, please note that if your nurse gave you any specific dietary advice, you should always follow that advice.