Living with an Ostomy: Hydration

Drinking more is one of the simplest ways to improve your health and well-being. You probably need to drink much more than you think. These tips can help you stay one step ahead of dehydration.

Drink little and often. Set an hourly alarm on your phone or watch to remind you to grab a glass of water.

Always take a drink when you go out. Never assume you'll be able to buy a drink. Be prepared and take one with you.

Don't wait until you're thirsty. By then you’ll already be dehydrated. Stay one step ahead and keep your body hydrated and healthy.

The best indicator of your hydration status is your urine color.

  • Aim for light straw colored urine –this means you’re probably drinking enough.
  • If your urine is darker in color you need to drink more fluid.
  • If your urine is completely clear, you may actually be drinking too much and flushing electrolytes out of your body.


How much should you drink? 

There are no hard and fast rules about how much you should drink. Everyone will have different needs from one day to the next. A normal healthy person is recommended to drink around 6-8 glasses of fluid per day1, but some people will need more and others less. Use your urine color as the best guide.

What should you drink?

Contrary to popular belief, plain water is not a good hydrator. In order for fluid to be well absorbed by the body, a drink needs to have a small amount of glucose and some sodium. This is a concept known as osmolarity. Sports drinks are often recommended when you have an ileostomy, but they are high in sugar and can be unhealthy. Instead, choose to drink dilute squash or fruit juice with a pinch of salt or have an electrolyte drink which can be purchased over the counter at pharmacies or supermarkets.

What are the symptoms?

Many people – both with and without an ileostomy – are chronically dehydrated every day. Symptoms such as headaches and tiredness can be attributed to other health conditions, but they are often due to dehydration.

Have questions on hydration? Contact the me+ team at 1-800-422-8811 or 

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