Colostomy and Ileostomy Diet Guidelines
Nutrition is important for your health and healing. Limit fiber for the first 2 weeks after
surgery. You should avoid fresh fruit and vegetables during this time but can have canned fruit
and well-cooked vegetables. You can slowly add back all foods with your doctor’s ok after your
first pre-op checkup. People with ostomies can still enjoy a normal diet.
Follow these simple food tips:
Eat meals regularly. You should eat three or more times a day. Small frequent meals may
be better tolerated and produce less gas.
Chew your food thoroughly. Chewing well will help avoid a blockage.
Eat in moderation and slowly. Too much of any food can cause problems, so eat moderate
amounts and eat slowly to allow for proper chewing and digestion. If a new food seems to
give you problems, don’t eat it for a few weeks, but try it again later.
Drink plenty of fluid daily. You may lose more body fluids through the ostomy, so you
must stay hydrated. Patients who have lost a large part of their large intestine will notice
more fluid loss. This is because most of the body’s fluid is reabsorbed in the large intestine.
Above all, keep mind that no two people will react the same to foods. You will learn
through trying which foods, if any, you should avoid.
Certain foods, if eaten in large amounts may cause blockage.
Use caution when eating these foods
Eat them in small amounts and be sure to chew them well.
Foods that may cause blockage:
Reduce gas and odor
Gas is normal but if you feel you are having excess gas, you may try to change your diet to get
rid of the problem.
Try these tips:
Eat often. Do not skip meals.
Do not swallow air while eating. Relax and eat slowly.
Avoid chewing gum or drinking through a straw.
Drink 8-10 glasses of water, cranberry juice, or other non-caffeinated drinks.
Foods that may cause gas or odor:
Foods that may help relieve gas and odor:
The thickness of your stools depends to a certain extent on where your stoma is placed in
your gastrointestinal tract.
When the stoma is higher up in the GI tract, the stools tend to be looser.
In some cases, a loose stool may be the result of eating certain foods.
Foods that may cause loose stools:
Foods that may help thicken stools:
Cream of rice
A Special Note for Ileostomy Patients
Those with an ileostomy lose large amounts of salt, potassium and water in the ostomy fluid.
Losing too much can lead to dehydration.
Include a number of good sources of sodium and potassium in your daily diet.
Drink water or sugar free, non-carbonated drinks all day.
Sports drinks can be used because of their electrolyte content.
The color of your urine should be clear to pale yellow, if it is darker increase your fluid
Above all, remember to eat a healthy, well balanced diet and drink plenty of fluids!
Foods that are good sources of potassium:
Internet resource for patients who have an internal ileal pouch: www.J-pouch.org
United Ostomy Association of America: www.ostomy.org
What is the most important thing you learned from this handout?
What changes will you make in your diet/lifestyle, based on what you learned today?
If you are a UW Health patient and have more questions please contact UW Health at one of the
phone numbers listed below. You can also visit our website at www.uwhealth.org/nutrition
Nutrition clinics for UW Hospital and Clinics (UWHC) and American Family Children’s
Hospital (AFCH) can be reached at: (608) 890-5500
Nutrition clinics for UW Medical Foundation (UWMF) can be reached at:
Your health care team may have given you this information as part of your care. If so, please use it and call if you
have any questions. If this information was not given to you as part of your care, please check with your doctor. This
is not medical advice. This is not to be used for diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. Because each
person’s health needs are different, you should talk with your doctor or others on your health care team when using
this information. If you have an emergency, please call 911. Copyright © 4/2017 University of Wisconsin Hospitals
and Clinics Authority. All rights reserved. Produced by the Clinical Nutrition Services Department and the Department
of Nursing. HF#293