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More Frequently Asked Questions

Question: How soon after ostomy surgery can I return to a normal diet?
Answer: Physicians and ostomy nurses suggest that you begin slowly, depending upon your recovery and/or other medical complications. Add back one new food at a time. If you experience any problems, discontinue for a few weeks and try again.

Question: In the past, certain foods caused me some trouble with digestion. How will they affect me since my ostomy surgery?
Answer: Check them out. You may find that some of those foods will continue to be troublesome and others may not.

Question: Will my ileostomy continue to produce output even if I do not eat?
Answer: Yes, the small intestine will continue to produce gas and digestive juices. An empty digestive tract seems to produce excessive gas. Eat small meals to keep something in the gut. Peristalsis happens!

Question: After ostomy surgery, I have gained excess weight. What happened? What types of food should I eat?
Answer: The relaxation of dietary restrictions, freedom from debilitating illness and malabsorption promotes a rapid gain in weight. Follow the same weight reduction diet as recommended by nutritionists and dietitians. Eating small quantities of a well-balanced diet and increasing water/fluid intake will assist with weight reduction.

Question: What is meant by ‘low residue’ diet?
Answer: Low-residue refers to a dietary regime which eliminates bulk-forming, hard-to-digest or high-fibre foods.

Question: Will spicy foods cause any damage to my stoma?
Answer: If you can tolerate spicy foods through your digestive system, the output through your stoma should not cause any harm. The stoma is formed from the lining of the bowel and it is tough and can tolerate those spicy foods.

Question: What effects will oral odor control medications have on my ostomy?
Answer: Some individuals who have a colostomy report that they experienced some constipation from bismuth products found in oral odor control medications. Individuals who have an ileostomy have more benefits and fewer side effects from oral preparations (chlorophyll tablets, bismuth subgallate and bismuth subcarbonate). Most foods do not affect an individual with a urostomy. A strong urine odor may be an indication of dehydration and the need for increased fluid intake. Check with your doctor or ET nurse about oral preparations and don’t exceed the recommended dosage.

Excerpted Via United Ostomy Association Diet & Nutrition Guide
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