High Ostomy Output
With a new ileostomy, it is normal to have high ostomy output as your body adapts to a shorter bowel.
How do you know if you are having high ostomy output?
1. Check your ostomy output by measuring the fluids you empty from it.
ξ Prior to discharge, you will receive a graduated cylinder to measure your ostomy.
ξ Write down your ostomy output on the form at the end of this handout.
ξ Normal ileostomy output after the first week is 600 mL per day.
ξ Output more than 1200 mL can mean poor absorption and lead to dehydration. If you have output of
more than 1200 mL a day for 2 days call your doctor.
2. Weigh yourself daily at the same time.
ξ Write down your weight on the attached form. If you lose more than 2.2 pounds (lbs.) in 1
week call your doctor.
3. If you stop urinating or if you do not urinate often.
ξ Prior to discharge, you will receive a urinal or a urine hat to measure your urine.
ξ Write down your urine amount on the form at the end of this handout.
ξ You should be urinating every 3-4 hours and it should be pale yellow to clear. If you are not
urinating normally or if you have less than 700 ml of urine a day for 2 days call your doctor.
How can you slow down your ostomy output?
1. Diet changes:
ξ Chew food well.
ξ Eat low sugar foods and drinks.
ξ Eat salty foods and add salt to meals and snacks.
ξ Eat smaller more frequent meals and snacks.
ξ Drink fluids ½ hour before or after meals, not with food.
ξ Avoid alcohol and caffeine.
ξ Eat more soluble fiber which forms a gel when mixed with water and slows movement.
o Good sources of soluble fiber include: oatmeal, barley, apples, grapes, sweet potatoes.
o You may also try Benefiber® or Metamucil®.
ξ Some foods naturally thicken stool. Try adding these thickening foods into your meals:
Applesauce Cream of Rice Peanut butter (creamy)
Bananas Marshmallows Rice
Cheese Mashed Potatoes Soda crackers
For high ostomy output, your doctor may have you take medicine to help slow down output. If you are
having high ostomy output, talk to your doctor about increasing or adding medicine to help.
ξ Antidiarrheals-take these 30 minutes before eating.
o Imodium® (loperamide)
o Lomotil (diphenoxylate)
o Tincture of Opium
ξ Proton Pump Inhibitors (PPI)
o Nexium® (esomeprazole)
o Protonix® (pantoprazole)
o Prilosec® (omeprazole)
o Prevacid® (lansoprazole)
ξ Histamine2-Receptor Antagonists
o Cimetidine (Tagamet®)
o Famotidine (Pepcid®)
o Ranitidine (Zantac®)
Fluids and Electrolytes:
You lose sodium, potassium, and water in ostomy fluid so it is important to stay hydrated. It is common for
someone with an ostomy to feel thirsty. However, consuming large amounts of water can make dehydration
worse. Nutritional supplements, such as Ensure®, have too much sugar and are not recommended if you have
high ostomy output. Drinks like juice and Gatorade® can be too sugary alone.
Try these ready to drink liquids:
Parent’s Choice Pediatric Electrolyte available at Walmart
Pedialyte available at most retailers.
Try these recipes:
Gatorade G2® improved All Sports® Base improved
4 cups (32 ounce bottle) Gatorade G2® 1½ cups of All Sport®
¾ tsp salt 3 cups water
½ tsp salt
Apple Juice improved Grape or Cranberry Juice improved
1 cup apple juice ½ cup of juice
3 cups water 3½ cups water
½ tsp salt ½ tsp salt
Ensure® Plus improved Chicken broth improved
1 ounce Ensure® Plus 2 cups liquid broth
8 ounces 2% milk 2 cups water
2 tablespoon sugar
Tomato Juice improved Sugar and Salt water
2 ½ cups tomato juice 1 quart water
1 ½ cups water ¾ teaspoon salt
6 teaspoons of sugar
Optional:Crystal Light to taste
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: (608) 890-5500. Nutrition clinics for UW Medical Foundation (UWMF) can be reached at: (608) 287-
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 2/2017. University of
Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics Authority. All rights reserved. Produced by the Clinical Nutrition Services Department and the Department
of Nursing. HF#297
Ostomy Intake and Output Measurement
Record your daily intake and output on this form. Call your doctor if your ostomy output is less than 500 mL or more than 1200 mL per day. Please,
bring this form to your next doctor’s appointment.
Date Weight Stool Amount (mL) Urine Amount (mL)