Colostomy: Nutritional Advice and Diet Tips

Food and Drink
Like everyone, at times you may experience constipation or diarrhea. Increasing your fluid and fiber intake can help prevent these problems. Here’s how:

  • Drink six to eight cups (48-64 ounces) of water and other beverages per day.
  • For more fluid, fiber and a vitamin punch, eat at least five servings of fruits and vegetables per day. An easy way to do this is to fill half of your plate with fruit and/or vegetables at every meal.
  • Slowly increase your intake of high-fiber foods, such as whole grains, bread and cereals. As a daily goal, women need 25 grams of fiber; men need 38 grams of fiber.
    Some foods may cause odor and/or gas. Post-surgery, you may want to try these foods in private and one-at-a-time, in small quantities. Knowing your body’s reaction to these foods means less time worrying and more time enjoying yourself.
Odor-Causing Foods
  • Eggs
  • Certain spices, such as curry, cumin and chili powder
  • Garlic
  • Fish
  • Asparagus
  • Alcohol

Note: Some foods may help decrease odor. These include cranberry juice, parsley, buttermilk and yogurtC

Gas-Producing Foods
  • Beer/carbonated beverages
  • Dairy products
  • Onions
  • Cucumbers
  • Mushrooms
  • Beans
  • Cruciferous vegetables, such as cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, kale and Brussels sprouts

After ostomy surgery, the way your body digests and absorbs medications may be affected. Make sure to review all of your medications — both over-the-counter and prescription — with your doctor, ostomy nurse and pharmacist.

Medications you may need to adjust include:

  • Antacids
  • Antidiarrheals
  • Anti-inflammatory agents, such as Tylenol®, Advil® or Aleve®
  • Aspirin
  • Laxatives
  • Vitamins

Diarrhea has many causes, including viruses and some medications. It can also be a sign of trouble digesting certain foods. In this case, you can reduce some fiber and bulk from your diet, cut back on certain foods, and eat other foods that thicken your stool. These foods includeC:

Foods to Avoid During Episodes of Diarrhea
  • High-fiber bread
  • Whole grains
  • Edible fruit and vegetable peels, such as apples
  • Any food labeled “high fiber”
  • Fried foods
  • High-sugar foods
  • Raisins, prunes and other dried fruit
  • Spicy foods
Foods That Thicken Stool
  • Applesauce
  • Bananas
  • Cheese
  • Pasta
  • Rice
  • Creamy peanut butter
  • Potato (without skin)
  • Tapioca
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