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Resuming a Regular Diet After Ostomy Surgery | Ask Laura

Laura Cox
Ostomy Lifestyle Specialist | Shield HealthCare
05/04/14  10:40 PM PST
Diet after Ostomy Surgery

Q: Hey Laura, I’m a new ostomate and just got the clearance from my doctor to resume a regular diet. Any tips for things I should watch out for concerning my diet after ostomy surgery?

Thanks, Susan

A: Hi Susan, Excellent question! I would say there are three important things you can do to reduce your risk of problems when returning to a more normal diet.

First, it is imperative that you chew everything more than you did before you got your ostomy. My rule of thumb is to chew until the food is as close to liquid as I can get it. As your body gets used to your ostomy you will not have to chew quite as much. Second, avoid gassy foods at first. After surgery, gas gets caught in your body and can cause gas pains. Foods that used to bother me a couple months after surgery are fine for me to eat now. Lastly, and possibly most importantly, introduce foods slowly. Only try a small portion of one new food a day. If you introduce 5 new foods and feel bad later in the day, you won’t know which food upset you. When introducing a new food, take only a couple bites and chew well. Wait 4 or 5 hours; if you feel good, you can try a bit more. This sounds like a painfully slow process, but I try to look at the one new food item a day as a treat. Your diet will get more diverse as you get further out from surgery.

Good luck! Hope you’re happy and healthy!
Laura

Serving Medicare Ostomates Nationwide
My 89-year-old mother loves to swim but she has found that the pouch fills with water when she gets into the pool. What can we do to fix this?
Cathy
We recently had someone reach out to our Facebook community with a similar question, and several of our OstomyLife community members responded with their own advice.
 
Hopefully you and your mother will find their answers helpful ...


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