Ileostomy and your diet
You had an injury or disease in your digestive system and needed an operation called an ileostomy. The operation changed the way your body gets rid of waste (stool, feces, or poop).
Now you have an opening called a stoma in your belly. Waste will pass through the stoma into a pouch that collects it. You will need to take care of the stoma and empty the pouch many times a day.
People who have had an ileostomy can most often eat a normal diet. But some foods may cause problems. Foods that may be fine for some people may cause trouble for others.
Standard ileostomy - diet; Brooke ileostomy - diet; Continent ileostomy - diet; Abdominal pouch - diet; End ileostomy - diet; Ostomy - diet; Inflammatory bowel disease - ileostomy and your diet; Crohn disease - ileostomy and your diet; Ulcerative colitis - ileostomy and your diet
Your pouch should be sealed well enough to prevent any odor from leaking. You may notice more odor when you empty your pouch after you eat certain foods. Some of these foods are onions, garlic, broccoli, asparagus, cabbage, fish, some cheeses, eggs, baked beans, Brussels sprouts, and alcohol.
Doing these things will keep down the odor:
Control gas, if it is a problem:
Try eating 5 or 6 small meals a day.
It is OK to try new foods, but try only one at a time. That way, if you have any trouble, you will know which food caused the problem.
Over-the-counter gas medicine can also help if you have too much gas.
Try not to gain weight unless you are underweight because of your surgery or any other illness. Excess weight is not healthy for you, and it may change how your ostomy works or fits.
When you feel sick to your stomach:
Some red foods may make you think you are bleeding.
When to Call the Doctor
Call your provider if:
American Cancer Society. Caring for an ileostomy. www.cancer.org/treatment/treatments-and-side-effects/physical-side-effects/ostomies/ileostomy/management.html. Updated June 12, 2017. Accessed January 17, 2019.
Araghizadeh F. Ileostomy, colostomy, and pouches. In: Feldman M, Friedman LS, Brandt LJ, eds. Sleisenger and Fordtran's Gastrointestinal and Liver Disease. 10th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2016:chap 117.
Mahmoud NN, Bleier JIS, Aarons CB, Paulson EC, Shanmugan S, Fry RD. Colon and rectum. In: Townsend CM Jr, Beauchamp RD, Evers BM, Mattox KL, eds. Sabiston Textbook of Surgery. 20th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2017:chap 51.
Review Date: 10/28/2018
Reviewed By: Michael M. Phillips, MD, Clinical Professor of Medicine, The George Washington University School of Medicine, Washington, DC. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.
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