Diet Tips Following an Ileostomy
An ileostomy doesn’t mean the end of delicious meals. After recovery from surgery, you can gradually resume eating whatever you like—unless your doctor requires you to follow a special diet. In most cases, you’ll be able to go back to enjoying nearly all of the foods you’ve loved up until now – reintroducing them just takes a bit of caution, scrutiny and care.
You should know, however, that because the ileum is narrow, high-fibre foods can sometimes cause blockages — especially during the first six to eight weeks following surgery. If you experience cramping, diarrhea, nausea or vomiting, contact your doctor or stoma therapy nurse immediately.
You can avoid problems with these simple tips:
- Chew your food well
- Drink plenty of fluids – at least six to eight cups (1.4 – 1.9 litres) per day
Initially limit then gradually reintroduce high roughage foods, such as:
- Vegetables, such as cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, kale and brussel sprouts
- Raw pineapple
- Raisins, prunes and other dried fruits
- Nuts and seeds
- Salad greens
- Edible fruit and vegetable skins, such as apples
Remember that no two people react the same way to the same foods, and any dietary limitations may be temporary.