It is necessary to follow a healthy diet when you have an ileostomy. To ensure that you get adequate fluid and nutrients in your diet, you should eat various foods. Your drink and food no longer travel through your bowels after an ileostomy. Due to this, your body gets less time to absorb the nutrients and produce stool. There may also be more gas production in your body.
Your body will require time to heal after your surgery. Some ileostomy support solutions can help you adjust to your new life. You would also need to learn how to prepare and eat your food to manage your lifestyle.
How long it has been since your surgery, and the amount of remaining healthy intestine in your body will determine what you can tolerate and your dietary requirements. After your surgery, your intestines will gradually adapt and function better. Nevertheless, you should monitor the amounts of beverages you drink and the food you eat. Here is a list of guidelines that you will find helpful:
- You should eat a low in roughage diet a few weeks after your surgery. By limiting roughage, you will be preventing blockage caused due to swelling and allowing your intestine to heal. Fresh fruit, raw vegetables, and whole grains contain roughage.
- To observe how your body reacts to different foods, introduce them slowly into your diet.
- Chew and eat more slowly, take your meals at regular times. You should avoid overeating and skipping meals. This will help your intestine digest food, control output, improve ‘regularity’ and reduce gas.
- You will be able to return to a more normal diet over time. Additionally, you will be able to figure out which food tends to cause odor or gas and change your stool’s color, has a laxative effect, and makes you feel constipated. Some foods have different effects on different people.
- Since smoking, chewing gum, drinking through straws, and drinking carbonated drinks cause gas, your doctor may advise you to avoid them.
- You might have to make some dietary changes if your body produces thick stool. Prune juice, apple juice, and grape juice are some stool-thinning foods that you can consume. You might also find some canned fruits and cooked vegetables helpful. It is best to avoid peanut butter, cheeses, rice, banana, applesauce, and other food items that can cause constipation. Maintaining a balance between your fluid intake and consumption of stool-thickening foods will make it easier for you to pass stool. However, you should consult your gastroenterologist or surgeon if these lifestyle changes fail to make a difference.
You might have to consult a dietitian to plan a diet that can fulfill your dietary needs. A dietitian’s services are especially beneficial if you also suffer from other health conditions, such as kidney or heart disease.
Importance Of Fluids
You need to consume an 8-ounce glass of fluid at least eight to ten times a day. These fluids could include vegetable juices, broth, and water. Fluids will keep you hydrated and maintain the health of all the cells in your body. You will also find it easier to digest food and keep the bowels moving. You will have to increase your fluid intake as all fluids might not travel through your whole bowel.
Water, soup, milk, pop, juice, ice cream, jello, broth, frozen flavored iced products and popsicles, coffee, and tea are some examples of fluid. When you are doing your daily activities, be sure to carry water with you. Drinking pediatric electrolyte solutions like Ceralyte and Pedialyte and sports drinks like Powerade and Gatorade will help you replace salts (electrolytes) in your body.
How To Determine Whether You Are Getting Enough Fluids Or Not?
If you are intaking sufficient fluid, you will not feel thirsty, your skin, tongue, and mouth will not dry, you will feel good, and your urine will be light yellow. These signs indicate that you are well hydrated. Lack of sufficient fluid intake will dehydrate you and make you feel lightheaded or dizzy. It would be best to drink more fluids if you have dry skin, tongue, and mouth, your urine is dark and smells strong, and you feel agitated or restless. However, you should contact a health care professional if these feelings persist for more than 48 hours.
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