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The GoldCare Guide to Nutrition for Stoma Care

8th August 2017

When recovering from an operation, people with a stoma are often left wondering how it will affect their diet. We’re happy to say that most people successfully return to their normal diet fairly soon, however, this will vary from person to person. The key concern is to prevent any potential blockages and foods which can produce strong or unpleasant odours, gas or excess stool.

Some foods present more problems than others, this handy table can help you to better understand the different effects foods might have. You can still eat them, but it’s always best to be aware of how they might affect you.

It’s not just the foods that you eat, but also the way that you eat them which can help to adjust to life with a stoma. Some generally accepted advice includes:

  • Regular meals – Three or more regular meals is best practise for someone with a stoma.
  • Chew thoroughly – Help to prevent food blockages with an ileostomy by chewing your food well.
  • Eliminate foods that give you problems – Try new foods once at a time after your surgery to see which ones give you issues.
  • Drink plenty of fluids – Stoma’s can lead to increased loss of fluids, make sure you stay well hydrated.

As well as fluids, another issue that ileostomists can face is losing minerals and vitamins, especially when diarrhoea occurs, which leads to dehydration. It’s absolutely essential that these are replaced as quickly as possible to avoid becoming ill. Diorolyte is a great way to do this and can be bought fairly cheaply at many supermarkets, shops or chemists. Alternatively you can make up the following recipe:

6 level tsp of sugar and 1/2 level tsp salt dissolved in 1 litre of boiled water. Chill and sip throughout the day.

This table highlights foods that are high in potassium and sodium to help you further improve your diet:

For further nutritional advice or to discuss your personal needs in more detail, please feel free to contact us. Call on 01604 586 529 and someone will be happy to help.

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