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Ideal Diet for Colostomy

Aparna Jadhav Oct 03, 2018
Colostomy patients have to follow a strict diet as they have a delicate digestive system. Read on to know about the foods you can include when following a colostomy diet and what should be your diet plan.
Colostomy is a surgical procedure which constructs a connection between the colon and the skin, when ailments such as colon cancer affects the lower end of the rectum. This connection acts as an artificial path from which the intestinal wastes leave the body and are collected in a colostomy bag.
When the tumor is removed the wound around the rectum needs to be healed and so the path of the stools is changed either temporarily or permanently depending on its severity. To take care of this situation, colostomy patients follow a specific diet, to pass stools with ease and prevent other food related problems such as acidity and nutritional imbalances.

Foods to Avoid

Take a look at the foods that should be limited right after your colostomy and are not recommended to be a part of your diet.
  • Dairy products
  • High fiber foods with wheat
  • Popcorn or any other corn meals
  • Brown rice
  • Raw vegetables
  • Peels of fruits
  • Cakes, cookies, pies and sweets
  • Nuts
  • Lentils, peas and beans
  • Fried foods like fried meat and other high fat products

Avoid Foods Causing Odor in Stools

  • Cauliflower
  • Garlic
  • Eggs
  • Onions
  • Green vegetables like cabbage, asparagus, broccoli
  • Fish

Foods for Diarrhea Relief

  • Bananas
  • Applesauce
  • Tapioca
  • White bread
  • Buttermilk
  • White rice which is well cooked
  • Yogurt
  • Cranberry juice
  • Cheese
  • Peanut butter
  • Freshly mashed potatoes

Foods for Constipation Relief

These foods are not generally suggested if you are on a colostomy diet but when conditions are unbearable in constipation these foods can be incorporated.
  • Spicy foods
  • Beer
  • Prunes
  • Fatty foods
  • Leafy vegetables
It is necessary to include a lot of fluids in the diet as they are light and easily digested. Including fruit juices and water at least 6 to 8 times a day is healthy for the patients. Broth, jello, honey, tea, soups and sport drinks are liquid diet examples which can be included in a colostomy diet. But do not include liquids like milk and other soda drinks.

Colostomy Diet Plan

After a colostomy the patient is put on a fluid diet and then on a clear-liquid diet for the colon to heal faster. If there are no other health complications like diabetes, kidney disease, heart disease, etc., associated with a colostomy, the patient can resume a normal diet after 6 weeks of the surgery.

Sample Meal Plan

Here is a sample meal plan for your reference; consult your health care provider before beginning this or any other diet schedule.
  • 1 cup soy milk
  • 2 cups white pasta
Mid-morning Snack:
  • 2 cups lemonade
  • Omelet made with 2 tbsp. grated cheese and 2 egg whites
  • 1 small bread roll
  • 1 cup Fruit salad
Evening Snack:
  • 1 cup strained vegetable juice
  • 1 banana
  • 2 cups white rice (well cooked)
  • 8 oz. orange juice
Bedtime Snack:
  • Handful of prunes
  • 2 whole graham crackers

Quick Dietary Tips

  • Take smaller meals at several times of the day.
  • Take smaller bites and chew the food thoroughly as this will help proper digestion. It will also prevent health problems like diarrhea, indigestion and constipation.
  • Be punctual with meal timings and never skip any of them.
  • Avoid using things like straws for fluid consumption as this will make you swallow more and more air and suffer from gas trouble.
  • Fluids are the most important part of your diet schedule hence, drink more fluids and keep yourself hydrated.

Care to be Taken after Recovery

After you have completely recovered, you can return to your normal lifestyle.
  • You can bathe normally, keeping in mind not to affect the area around the colostomy bag and make sure you dry the area well.
  • Be careful, not to pick up heavy loads as that can pressurize the injured area, which can lead to problems like internal bleeding.
  • Do not use waist belts or clothes which are tight at the waist. Rather focus on wearing loose fitting and comfortable clothes.
  • Avoid traveling till your doctor tells you to. But in case you have to, carry boiled water and fruits and avoid eating outside.
Apart from maintaining a healthy diet, it is also important to be mentally strong while recovering from a colostomy. Be patient and allow your body to adjust to the changes happening to your diet and other routine activities like office work, social gatherings, etc. Being calm and stress free will help the colon to heal faster. Take Care!
Disclaimer: This is for informative purposes only and does not, in any way, intend to replace the advice of a medical expert.