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10 Ostomy diet tips

Your diet is vital to managing your ostomy. These tips will help you understand how your eating habits affect your ostomy.

1.       Chew your food thoroughly. The pieces that you swallow will often be the same size when eliminated.

2.       Eat meals at regular times and avoid fasting; take your time eating to avoid swallowing air that can lead to excessive gas.

3.       Consider eating 4 to 5 small meals throughout the day instead of 3 large ones. This may help control your output.

4.       Avoid swallowing air when chewing gum or drinking through a straw. The extra air can lead to gas.

5.       Drink plenty of water. Drinking at least 64 oz. of water each day to prevent constipation is recommended.

6.       Limit or cut out foods that cause odor and eat more foods that prevent odors.

7.       Some foods, like beer, coffee, fried foods and others, have a laxative effect. You may want to limit these foods in your diet.

8.       For people with colostomies, eat high fiber foods, including whole grain breads, vegetables and cereals. These foods can help increase the bulk of your output. Note: Add high fiber foods gradually into your diet, and not all at once, to minimize gas and bloating.

9.       For people with ileostomies, chew food well to avoid food blockage.

10.   Keep a food journal for a week and record what you ate and when you ate it, along with notes on your output and any discomfort you felt. Review your journal and make changes to your diet based on what you discover.


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