My Colostomy Diet Tips

My Colostomy Diet Tips

Your diet can impact your colostomy – in my experience, at least 

I often read people’s posts about their stoma output, on the various ostomy groups and forums which I’ve joined. They write about how their output varies so much and all the things they’ve tried in an attempt to slow it down or speed it up. Lots of this revolves around their diet and what they’ve been eating. 

You might think that diet wouldn’t need to be much different when you have a colostomy. In fact, much of the advice and literature out there tells you this. But, in my experience at least, that’s not strictly true...

Constipation and staying hydrated 

Colostomates like me are often prone to constipation. It doesn’t help that some pain killers can make this worse as they slow the bowel down and make it work harder, potentially aggravating irritable bowels. If you’ve had no output for over 24 hours, you’re supposed to go to A & E and I can definitely understand why. Although constipation is not a blockage, it can certainly feel like one. On the rare occasions it has happened to me, I’ve laid on the sofa all day in agony! 

Staying really well hydrated can help with constipation and is very important for colostomates. It’s especially important for me because I consume higher than usual levels of protein. 

Increased protein = increased wind! 

Now that I’m regularly in the gym on my mission to get ready for my bikini photoshoot, I’ve had to up my protein consumption. Anyone who has ever visited a bodybuilding gym will know that lots of protein causes windy-pops (aka flatulence)! This is certainly the case for me. In addition, I have learned that garlic and onions exacerbate my wind issues. I love these foods though, so a little wind won’t stop me eating them! Most of the time I can feel the wind coming so I’ve learned to place my hand over my stoma bag when I’m out in public, as a muffler. Doing this does make me feel more confident that others can’t hear it. Now with my new Aura Flushable bags - thanks to the great filter - my 'protein pops' can’t be smelt either. Phew! 

Get plenty of fibre and exercise 

With a colostomy, it’s considered a good thing to have plenty of fibre in your diet and to make sure that you get plenty of regular exercise. I have a healthy diet in general, plus obviously get lots of exercise through my bodybuilding so, in the main, my bowel works well. 

6 tips to remember

When it comes to finding a diet that works with your stoma, I believe that it’s so important to listen to our own bodies. What suits one person will not necessarily work for another. External factors can have a big influence, too. I have Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, for example, which increases my likelihood of Irritable Bowel Syndrome striking, regardless of how careful I am about my diet. The general advice given in this blog, however, is a good starting point and from there you can experiment with the types of food that suit you best. So, to recap, if you have a colostomy, some handy diet tips are:

  • Be careful with painkillers – they can increase your chance of constipation 
  • If you’ve had no output for over 24 hours, take a trip to A&E 
  • Keep really well hydrated at all times 
  • Get plenty of fibre in your diet 
  • Try to exercise regularly
  • Listen to your body and learn what suits you – everybody is different 

Don’t forget to talk to your stoma care nurse about any concerns or questions you might have. 

'When finding a diet that works with your stoma, I believe that it’s important to listen to our own bodies' - Jay

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The team at SecuriCare are always really happy to advise, too, on 0808 256 5400 or you can find out more information in our Colostomy Food and Drink Hints and Tips blog. Jay also has her own blog - https://brokenbodybuilderblog

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by Jay Hyrons

Jay Hyrons

About the author

Hi I'm Jay. My stoma was unexpected and very much unwanted, in fact it still is. I am a qualified Clinical Personal Fitness Trainer and a former National Champion Bodybuilder. After eight abdominal surgeries I am still Hernia free. You can see the video made in partnership with CliniMed here Core Exercises to help prevent Hernias and you can get other fitness tips on my YouTube or follow me on Instagram.

Recent Comments

  • Karen

    I've had my colostomy for 5 years now , and over the last 7 months I've been in hospital ,been on antibiotics and take pain killers to try and reduce very bad pains just above the area of my consultant says I have a weakening of the lining of my bowel left hand side belly button hight.! Not only do I have to be very careful not to over bend or lift things no matter what I eat or drink the contents are very loose even taking 4-6 imodium only slows it down for a day or so then back to changing my bag at least 7-8 times daily which that its self gets very sore anyone got any advice been to see my storms nurse she just says make a list of things that makes it worse which seems to be nearly everything different days etc any advice please

  • SecuriCare_Team

    Hi Karen, sorry to hear you are having a tough time. We suggest talking with your healthcare practitioner or stoma care nurse about support products or other options which may provide you with some relief. If you are with SecuriCare or would like to attend one of our Stoma Care Nurse Clinics you find details here: best of luck.

  • Chris Hendricks

    Hi Karen I don't have a colostomy, but my Grandmother does. I myself almost had to have one. The reason was that I was losing weight rapidly and could not stop the diahrea. 5 years ago I had a large portion of my stomach, and large intestines removed. Fortunately it worked. I myself eat a lot of pretzels. Not that there the best for health, but for myself and grandmother they seem to stiffen the s**t up.

  • Sheila Ingram

    I'm a double-bagger.ive had my colostomy for 20 years . When I first had my bag I was told that marshmallows, pasta, potato and rice would help thicken the stools

  • Grayce Tyszko

    Can I eat fried chicken 4 weeks after surgery.

  • Jacqueline Holland

    I am 4 w eeks after surgery and want to know if there is anything I should avoid must say I am dreading trying tomatoes and strawberries again as the pain they caused me before the p was unbearable

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