If you are thinking your days of eating your favorite foods are over, then think again.
With a colostomy you are still free to enjoy whatever you want. When your doctor gives you the okay to start back on your regular diet, you can now resume eating whatever you enjoy. Keep in mind that adequate nutrition and keeping up with a high fluid intake is important, so we have a few tips here to get you going on a normal eating routine, along with a few foods to be careful of.
Some foods may have different affects on your digestive tract than they did before. In the same way that a few of your favorite foods may have given you gas before the surgery, you will experience gas with those and now maybe a few others after the surgery. Because all bodies are different and if you are unsure which foods will affect you give them a test drive at home (maybe even alone) and note how your body reacts. This testing may save you from an embarrassing moment out in public; a little gas shouldn’t keep you away from your much loved food preferences. A couple of extra tips to keep in mind is to take your time eating, chew & swallow slowly, avoid drinking out of straws, and chewing gum.
Gas and Odor Causing Foods to Be Careful of:
|beans||cabbage||onions ||brussels sprouts|
|eggs||grapes||melons||fatty foods (deep fried)|
Remember that a colostomy bag is designed to be odor proof, the only time you should experience odor is while emptying the contents. If you want to keep the odors down try some yogurt, cranberry juice, drink plenty of water, or even a little buttermilk.
Because a stoma is placed into the intestinal tract at various places on various people, each individual will experience different stools consistencies. If the stoma is placed higher in the GI tract you may have a looser stool and a thicker stool if it was placed in the lower GI tract. Either way here are a few food suggestions to help:
Foods That Help Thicken Stools
|cheese ||bananas ||pasta ||soda crackers|
|bread||rice||tapioca||creamy peanut butter|
|marshmallows||applesauce||tea (weak)||mashed potatoes (skin off)|
Foods That Thin or Loosen Stools
|chocolate||alcohol||spicy foods||caffeinated beverages|
|apple juice||grape juice||prune juice||baked beans|
The last thing you will need to be a bit more careful of is blockages, the list of following foods can still be very much enjoyed just keep in mind to chew them all well, eat in moderation, and drink plenty of water on a daily basis.
Foods That Can Cause Blockages
|mushrooms|| nuts || peas || leafy greens|
|celery|| dried fruits|| seeds|| corn/ corn on the cob|
|pineapple|| olives|| spinach|| skins from fruits & vegies|
|popcorn|| pickles|| green beans|| green peppers|
|coconut|| cabbage|| meat casings|| raw vegetables|
Now that you are ready to get back to enjoying a great variety of foods and you have learned the ways to help maintain your diet and colostomy needs there are just a few final things to keep in mind:
Chew your food completely and to help avoid blockages
- Eat regularly: at least 3 or more smaller meals a day and in moderation will help the consistency level
in the intestinal tract.
- Drink plenty of fluids: because of the loss of part of the large intestine people have found their bodies need
the extra fluids to avoid dehydration. A minimal 8 glasses of water a day is highly recommended.
- Personal food reaction: no two people are alike, follow your own body, if you have difficulty with a certain
food or beverage avoid it for a couple of weeks then slowly try to reintroduce it.
Know your body and what it can handle, eat a healthy well balanced diet, and get out there and enjoy life!