After Ostomy Surgery: What to Eat

When planning your diet, it’s important to know what your body can handle. Check out these diet tips from Diane Bustamante, a dietitian and nutritionist who frequently consults with people living with an ostomy.

Eating: Slow and Steady Wins the Race

  • Try eating new foods in small portions to see if you can handle them. Keep a journal on the foods that work for you and the ones that don’t.


Meals: More is More

  • Eating four to six smaller meals throughout the day may work better for you than the traditional three. Eat your largest meal around midday to decrease the amount of stool output at night. And be sure to include protein.


Liquids: Don’t Wait to Hydrate

  • Drink water and other liquids regularly—eight to ten glasses a day. Keep an eye out for the symptoms of dehydration, such as dizziness or dry mouth, or if your urine is discolored. If you notice any of these symptoms, drink water immediately.


Go Easy on the Gas

Certain foods are notorious for causing gas and odor for people living with an ostomy. Broccoli, for example. Here are a few more that may surprise you.

  • Chewing gum. You swallow air when chewing gum, which goes into your digestive tract and can cause gas.
  • Drinking with a straw. You also swallow air when you drink through a straw.
  • Soy milk. Sure, it’s healthy, but it can also be gassy.


Unpleasant Odors? Try These:

"Foodie" Tips from People with an Ostomy


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