Hydration isn’t just important in warm weather
Most people assume that you only really need to keep on top of your hydration in warm weather, but in the colder months you may not realise that you are becoming dehydrated through the onslaught of the cozy central heating and snuggly layers!
Good hydration for ostomates is essential
Hydration helps us keep our output a manageable consistency (pancaking is definitely no fun, am I right?) plus it keeps the rest of our bodies in as tip top condition as possible.
Dehydration can make Winter bugs even worse
Nobody wants to feel poorly and dehydration can make you feel very dizzy or disorientated - coupled with all the nasty bugs going around it can really knock you for six! Keeping your fluids up also decreases the chance of getting a urinary tract infection (UTI) which can go unnoticed sometimes and then become harder to treat.
Ileostomates – take particular care
With an ileostomy like mine, you need to be especially mindful of drinking plenty (unless you’ve been advised otherwise by your healthcare professional) as our stomas flush out more fluids and electrolytes with it. Having no large bowel or it being bypassed, the water isn’t being reabsorbed back into the body.
Ways to stay hydrated in cold weather
There are many ways in which to do this but I don’t know many people who want an ice pop when it’s freezing outside! All jokes aside, one of the easiest and most overlooked things you can do is to eat a balanced diet, as this allows your body to absorb fluids from the foods you eat such as soups/broths and fruit amongst others. Other ways of upping your fluid intake include:
- Getting bottles with measurements/ times to drink by printed on the side
- Setting alarms to remind you to get a drink
- Mixing your fluids up throughout the day
- Limiting plain water by adding juice or fruit to it
- Having Dioralyte or St Mark’s Solution
- If you need a pick me up isotonic drinks help
- Having warming “broth” drinks such as marmite or Bovril
- Having a drink when you feel hungry, in case it is actually thirst
- If drinking alcohol, have a Dioralyte before you start, before you go to bed and after you get up as it will help restore the electrolytes lost
If you are worried about dehydration your GP and your Stoma Care Nurse can guide you in the right direction to eliminate this worry. If you have any tips and tricks please write them in the comments.