Ileostomy: Nutritional Advice and Diet Tips

After recovery from surgery, you can gradually resume eating whatever you like—unless your doctor requires you to follow a special diet.

You should know, however, that because the ileum is narrow, high-fiber foods can sometimes cause blockages — especially during the first six to eight weeks following surgery. If you experience cramping, diarrhea, nausea or vomiting, call your doctor or ostomy nurse immediately.

You can avoid problems with these simple tips:

  • Chew your food well
  • Drink plenty of fluids – at least six to eight cups (48-64 ounces) per day
  • Initially limit then gradually reintroduce high roughage foods, such as:
    - Celery
    - Popcorn
    - Cruciferous vegetables, such as cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, kale and Brussels sprouts
    - Coconut
    - Raw pineapple
    - Coleslaw
    - Raisins, prunes and other dried fruits
    - Mushrooms
    - Nuts and seeds
    - Salad greens
    - Peas
    - Edible fruit and vegetable skins, such as apples

Remember that no two people react the same way to the same foods, and any dietary limitations may be temporary.

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