Diet Tips Following a Colostomy


Diet Tips Following a Colostomy

Last updated 01/06/20

Food and Drink

Like everyone, at times you may experience constipation or diarrhea. Increasing your fluid and fibre intake can help prevent these problems. Here’s how:

  • Drink six to eight cups (1.4 - 1.9 litres) of water and other beverages per day.
  • For more fluid, fibre and a vitamin punch, eat at least five servings of fruits and vegetables per day. An easy way to do this is to fill half of your plate with fruit and/or vegetables at every meal[1].
  • Slowly increase your intake of high-fibre foods, such as whole grains, bread and cereals. As a daily goal, women need 25 grams of fibre; men need 38 grams of fibre[2]

Some foods may cause odour and/or gas. Post-surgery, you may want to try these foods in private and one-at-a-time, in small quantities to test out how your body handles these after your stoma surgery. Knowing your body’s reaction to these foods means less time worrying and more time enjoying yourself.



Odour-Causing Foods

  • Eggs
  • Certain spices, such as curry, cumin and chili powder
  • Garlic
  • Fish
  • Asparagus
  • Alcohol

Note: Some foods may help decrease odour. These include cranberry juice, parsley, buttermilk and yogurt. 



Gas-Producing Foods

  • Beer/carbonated beverages
  • Dairy products
  • Onions
  • Cucumbers
  • Mushrooms
  • Beans
  • Cruciferous vegetables, such as cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, kale and Brussels sprouts




After stoma surgery, the way your body digests and absorbs medications may be affected. Make sure to review all of your medications — both over-the-counter and prescription — with your doctor, ostomy nurse and pharmacist.

Medications you may need to adjust include:

  • Antacids
  • Antidiarrheals
  • Anti-inflammatory agents
  • Aspirin
  • Laxatives
  • Vitamins




Diarrhea has many causes, including viruses and some medications. It can also be a sign of trouble digesting certain foods. In this case, you can reduce some fibre and bulk from your diet, cut back on certain foods, and eat other foods that thicken your stool. These foods include[3]:

Foods to Avoid During Episodes of Diarrhea

  • High-fibre bread
  • Whole grains
  • Edible fruit and vegetable peels, such as apples
  • Any food labelled ‘high fibre’
  • Fried foods
  • High-sugar foods
  • Raisins, prunes and other dried fruit
  • Spicy foods

Foods That Thicken Stool

  • Applesauce
  • Bananas
  • Cheese
  • Pasta
  • Rice
  • Creamy peanut butter
  • Potato (without skin)
  • Tapioca





[1] http://www.fruitsandveggiesmorematters.org/experts-recommend-5-9-servings-of-fruits-and-veggies-daily

[2] http://www.webmd.com/diet/guide/fiber-how-much-do-you-need

[3] http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/colon-cancer/in-depth/ostomy/art-20045825