Diet will be one of the most significant concerns for you if you have just undergone colostomy surgery. A change in your diet, at least until your bowel fully recovers, would be inevitable, but you may wonder if you will be able to have dinners with your family and friends.
It is most crucial to understand what you cannot eat with your bowel recovering. It will help you get back to your favorite diet regimen as soon as your body is fully fit and healthy.
Tips for colostomy diet
A common myth about diet after a colostomy is that it restricts you to a specific diet plan for the rest of your life. It is not true. If you take care of your colostomy well during the recovery phase, you will be able to have your favorite foods on the table six weeks or so after surgery.
What you will need to be concerned about is your underlying medical condition. If you have a disease that restricts you from eating processed foods, you will not be able to eat them with a colostomy. Similarly, you should avoid any foods that may trigger a flare-up in IBD symptoms. It means that you can eat pretty everything that your doctor had allowed you before colostomy surgery.
Preventing gas and odor should also be your primary concern. A complete and functional GI tract can help you manage the impact of foods that cause gas and odor, but with a colostomy, you will no longer have that control. It doesn’t mean that you will need to say goodbye to those foods entirely, but you will need to limit the intake of those to the extent that wouldn’t turn out to be problematic. You may want to discuss those foods with your doctor.
Your doctor will schedule follow-up appointments to check the healing progress of your stoma. The doctor will ask about the foods that you eat and also about the ones that cause discomfort or any other problem.
Whether or not you can return to eating your favorite foods depends on your medical condition and food allergies that you have. The doctor will take into consideration these factors, including the pace of your postoperative recovery.
Colostomy diet suggestions
Keeping your ability to digest your foods and the response of your bowel with a colostomy in consideration, your doctor will give you a few diet tips, which are generally applicable for all of the ostomy patients. Those suggestions may include the following.
- Make sure to eat slowly.
- While eating, chew your foods well.
- Instead of eating fewer large meals a day, consider eating several small meals. It will help you digest your foods more easily.
- Do not be too quick to re-introduce your favorite foods that you have been eating before surgery. Do it only when after your doctor’s approval.
- With a specific length of the colon gone, your body will not absorb fluids in the ideal amount. Make sure to stay hydrated to compensate for any loss of fluids.
In case any problem occurs, talk to your doctor.