Sometimes, the body becomes unable or injured to pass intestinal waste (faeces), so much so, that the surgeon has to make an opening in the abdominal wall for that. Ileostomy is a surgically created opening in the small intestine, through the abdomen. Colostomy is a surgically created opening in the large intestine or colon, through the abdomen. The opening itself is called a stoma. Since an ileostomy or a colostomy does not have an operational sphincter muscle, the patient cannot have a voluntary control over bowel movements. Hence, a lightweight, disposable bag is worn over the stoma.
Stoma Food Guide
Even after all surgeries, the stool consistency, amount, and frequency will depend on the type and amount of food eaten. So,a balanced diet helps patients gain adequate control of their bowel movements. Generally, colostomy and ileostomy patients can easily maintain a balanced diet to provide all the vitamins,minerals and calories needed for good health. In cases where certain foods have to be restricted to control stool patterns or stool consistency, they may be prescribed a vitamin-mineral supplement.Because each patient and type of surgery is different, no standard recommendations can be given for everyone. Most patients return to a fairly normal diet. Still, a trial and error pattern of eating is often necessary to identify those foods that may have an undesirable effect on the patient’s stools. Then it is simply a matter of changing how much of these foods should be eaten.
1.Eat foods at a regular time each day.Eating four to six smaller meals may help to promote a regular bowel pattern.
2.Try eating the main dinner meal at noon and a smaller meal in the evening.This helps to reduce the stool output at night.
3.Introduce one type of food at a time to test how it affects bowel function. If it does not produce a good result, stop eating it.However, as the body heals and adjusts, the offending food may become easier to tolerate. Try adding it to the diet again on several occasions before giving up on it.
4.Chew foods completely, to help the digestive process. Especially avoid swallowing large pieces of leafy vegetables since they can block the stoma opening on the abdominal wall.
5.Fresh fruit may cause loose stools.
6.Drink two to three litres of water a day.This helps to keep the stools fluid, and it also prevents dehydration. Normally,the colon absorbs water and electrolytes (substances such as sodium and potassium) from the stools, so people who have all or part of the colon removed will lose more water. Because electrolytes are also lost, do not restrict salt in the diet.
7.Maintain an ideal body weight. Extra fat in the abdominal wall can make it difficult for the stoma to function properly.
8.Colostomy patients may find that foods which caused problems before surgery,continue to do so afterward.
9.During the first four to six weeks after surgery, ileostomy patients should limit foods that caused problems prior to surgery. This will reduce the chance of stoma blockage and lower the amount of gas.
10.Certain medications such as Imodium or Lomotil can help to slow the bowel when diarrhoea is a problem.
11.Foods containing large amounts of fibre and bran should be avoided for six to eight weeks after surgery. After that time, certain bulking agents such as Psyllium (Isabgol husk) may help firm up the stools. Only certain patients need to have firmer stools, so do not use these agents without the physician’s instructions.
24 Stoma Friendly Foods
- Sweet potato
- Lady’s finger
- Wheat bran
- Non-veg soup
- Plenty of Water
- Fresh Fruit Juice
10 Food to Avoid
- Milk and milk products, except curd and buttermilk
- Kidney beans