Drinking With An ileostomy

by Stephie Simpson


When you are first out of recovery, going out and painting the town red may or may not be the first thing you think of doing. My first night out was 2 months after my surgery and it was my sister in law’s hen do; I remember having shots and some wine but I was worried about emptying my bag and what I would do if I had a leak.

Fast forward to 2 years post-op and I have already dealt with hangovers, throwing up everywhere and passing out on a kitchen floor! I can’t drink like I used to anymore (even before surgery, I was only okay if I didn’t mix my drinks) but I still can - so here are my tips for drinking with an ileostomy:

  1. This should go without saying: EAT something!
  2. Drink a rehydration drink like Dioralyte or similar which may help by preventing you from losing too many electrolytes from “breaking the seal” and going to the loo more frequently, or by easing a hangover. My Stoma Care Nurse told me that an ostomate is supposed to drink 2 sachets to help with rehydration.
  3. Make sure you have at least 1 spare bag change with you. Lisa, at Stoma Style, makes little pockets that fit the shape of your appliance so you can keep it neatly in your bag or jacket pocket. My friend, Bag Daddy, puts everything he needs for a bag change inside this disposable bag and puts it in his pocket – another good idea.
  4. If you have watery output, you can place a gelling agent like Morform in your bag which will help thicken your output without taking loperamide, which is the other option.
  5. If you are worried about the smell whilst you’re out socialising, there are drops you can get to place in your bag that help mask any output smell. Or special ostomy deodorants like Limone.

These are things I try to remember when I go out drinking – which, as a mum of 2 under 5’s, isn’t often!

Do you have any tips when it comes to drinking with an ostomy?

Don’t forget – Drink Responsibly

About the author

I’m Stephie - a mum, wife and punk rock ostomate, blessed to be from North Yorkshire. I'll be writing about different campaigns that can help ostomates & general lifestyle posts.

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