Posted: Sun Apr 17, 2011 11:59 am Post subject: Weight gain after Ileostomy?
Can I ask what others experience has been with weight gain (or lack thereof) following an Ileostomy?
I had my Ileostomy coming up to a year ago (it will be a year in May). This was after suffering from an acute attack of Severe Ulcerative Colitis.
Before the illness I was about 75 kgs. I'm 5 ft 9, so I wasn't a muscle man to start with, but was a fairly respectable weight.
After the operation and a combination of the illness, loss of appetite and NHS food I was down to 55kgs. Not at all a healthy weight!
I had the summer of work to recover, come to terms with things and put on some weight by eating as many high protein meals as possible. I also drank the Fresubin Energy drinks which the NHS prescribe, which are high in protein. By the time I went back to work (August, so within 3 months) I managed to get myself up to 64kgs, still underweight compared to what I'm used to, but getting toward normal.
The problem is that since returning to work I haven't been able to smash the 64kg barrier. In fact, I caught the dreaded winter vomiting bug that did the rounds two months back and was knocked down to 60kgs, I weigh myself every week and since then it's been gain a kilo, lose a kilo, gain two, lose one the next week and the end result is I'm still hovering around the 60kgs mark.
Is this a normal experience? Is there a magic solution to putting the weight back on following an ileostomy? I always try to go for high protein dishes when I can and I keep drinking a Fresubin drink every day but it just doesn't seem to be happening for me. Any suggestions?
In general, weight gain is minimized with the ileostomy simply because there is less time for intestinal absorption. The material passes through more quickly than in a non-ostomate. There are several reasons for this including how much food you take in at once and the type of food you ingest i.e., is it soft or is it bulky like raw carrots, popcorn or any other hard difficult to digest food. The latter I have found will induce a faster, watery discharge of materials. The faster you move the digested food through the small intestine and minimize absorption, the fewer calories you will take in. Hence, the connection with weight gain. The whole idea is based primarily on calories consumed v. calories burned. This applies to all of us ostomate and non-ostomate. A good bout of the intestinal "bug" certainly adds to the dilemma. This whole thing is exacerbated in those of us who have much of our small intestine removed. Here of course there is a need for supplementation on a daily basis.I am sure that you have spoken to a nutritionist. However, if you haven't I would suggest it to be a good idea. Stay well!
Hi, I had the opposite problem. I gained weight because I was always hungry. As mentioned we don't absord the nutrients. Now I am drinking a shake 2/day and eating low glycemic bars for snack. My body is absorbing the nutrients it needs and I am feeling full of energy and getting to my good weight. Maybe this shake and bar would work for you. It has the nutrients per calorie of any product in North America. There is a fellow with Crohns who drinks them now and is getting healthier. Let me know if you want more info.
I had a similar situation - i lost alot of weight due to a severe case of ulcerative colitis. In hospital they told me to basically binge on anything high in calories in which they mainly recommended chocolate, biscuits and cakes! (Sounds great, but in reality it did not put on any quality weight).
Trial and error through the years has meant i've been able to see what food works best for me - and hopefully for you.
Your doing good by having a high protein diet which is very important. I always focus on quality carbs also when gaining weight, try and include oats, jacket potato and rice in your diet. Also peanut butter is great as its high in calories and is a superfood with lots of nutritional benefits. By combining these foods alongside my high protein diet i went from 10st up to 12 st in less than 6 months. This was combined with exercise so the weight gained wasn't in the form of fat.
Try the oatmeal for breakfast, jacket potato for lunch and rice for dinner alongside your protein and you should see some good gains. Little and often is impotant as well so try and include some protein snacks between your 3 main meals, these could be strips of cold meat like chicken.
I had my surgery just over 2 years ago (2 years 2 weeks....ish) and am also gaining weight. Like jjMonavie I am just ALWAYS hungry. I eat a ton and take a multivitamin to keep my nutrients up.
Something that my doctor wanted to do initially (until I told him how much I was eating- then he decided I didn't really need it) was to prescribe an oral steroid to force me to have an appetite. You may want to talk to yours about this.
Dear Scott. I WAS READING YOUR QUEATION ABOUT YOUR PROBLEM WITH GAINING WEIGHT, WITH THE ILLEOSTOMY. I RECENTLY WENT THROUGH A RADICAL WEIGHT LOSS A YR AGO. MY PERMANENT ILLEOSTOMY HAS BEEN IN NOW 6YRS NOW. FROM THE BEGINING I LOST 20 POUNDS JUST FROM BEING IN THE HOSPITAL AFTER MY COLON WAS REMOVED. THAN DUE TO OTHER MANT SURGERIES ETC, MY BODY WENT UP AND DOWN. WELL SOON AFTER REACHING A YR AT A TIME MY BODY DROPPED 80 POUNDS, IN A SIX MONTH SPAN. I WAS SO SICK AND EMANCIPATED LOOKING THAT EVRYONE THOUGHT I WAS GOING TO DIE. WELL I WOULD HAVE IF I HADNT BEEN SENT TO THE MAYO CLINIC IN ROCHESTER MINNESOTA. THEY FIGURED OUT WHAT REALLY WAS GOING ON. BEACAUSE OF MY COMPLICATED INTERNAL MAKE UP AND SEVERE ALLERGIES TO FOODS AND DRUGS, THE NUTRISIONIST THERE, HELPED COMBINE A BETTER EATING PROGRAM, FOR I WAS ALREDAY ON ONE. THIS IS WHAT I HAD TO DO TO GAIN SOME WEIGHT. FIRST SINCE I WORK OUT REGURALY WITH WEIGHTS, THAT HELPED ME PUT ON MASSIVE MUSCLE WEIGHT, FOR I DONT HAVE ANY EXTRA FAT ON MY BODY. I USE A SPECIAL PROTEIN POWDER CALLED BODY FORTESS WHEY ADVANCED PROTEIN. THIS COMBINED WITH EATING AT LEAST 6 SMA LL MEALS OR JUST EATING WHEN EVER I AM HUNGRY, AND THIS SPECIAL DRINK I HAVE TWICE A DAY PLUS PROTEIN ETC. I HAVE BEEN ABLE TO RETAIN A 20 POUNDS ADDED FINALLY TO MY FIGURE. IT TOOK ME A YEAR. DRS. EXPLAINED THAT EVERYTHING GOES TROUGH US FAST. we tend to suffer from malnutritin for we dont absorb all the nutrients. plus my round of special vitamans that are gel, etc. i feel good, and i look human again. so i hope this helps. everyones body is .different but for me since its been awhile , chemistry changes in a person. so good luck. i know its aggravating. for me all the workouts help keep me strong and healthy as possible, and i also am hungry all the time. just make sure you drink alot off water. very important since we lack that in the ileim. have a nice day. belissima.
I had my ileo about 15 months ago. I think I lost about 10-15 pounds while in the hospital. When I was discharged 8 days later, I weighed 204 pounds. I currently weigh about 186. Two nice things about this are that I can actually go shopping for clothes in the back of my own closet and my primary MD is decreasing my meds for diabetes, hypertension and cholesteral.
I think there are three things behind the weight loss: (1) all my output is liquid so I do not have time to absorb calories, (2) I feel fuller faster so portion control is automatic, (3) with less weight I am much more active physically. On top of all this, I avoid desserts and sugar. As others have noted, it is important to supplement your diet with vitamins, etc.; and I drink liquids like water, G2, orange juice (not to mention a little jigger of Dewars). On the whole, I would say I look and feel much better since my surgery. Like everything else in life, however, there is a downside: Chippendales turned down my application. I wonder if I should file a civil rights case???? On second thought, fuggetaboutit.
Prime Boy, if you have a really liquid output, you may want to talk to your doctor. I was on a med (I think it was called lomotil) that slowed things down enough to help me absorb food. I was only on it for a month or two, then my body started to do it on its own.
Hi, I read with interest your posts and wonder why I am so different! I have an ileostomy from having had a severe case of ulcerative colitis and I went from 107 kgs down to 82kgs. After I came home from hospital I steadily put on weight and went back to 103kgs.
I have always been a big person and struggled with my weight but I can't seem to keep it down and have suffered 2 peristomal hernias (with a 3rd developing now) since my original operation that both had to be fixed by operations and one was acute and done under emergency conditions because of a blockage!
I obviously have no problem putting on weight so how do I reverse this so I can again be a healthy weight?
I actually just Googled weight gain after illestomy thats how I came to this discussion. I had Crohns diease for 25 years and in that whole time I battled to keep weight on. Since my operation back in Nov 2010 I have gained steadily 1 lb every week. Its getting a bit scary now as I have a " muffin top" developing. I ve ever had to worry about weight gain before its a bit scarey and everything tastes so yummy when you dont have to worry about what it will do to you.
Posted: Mon Jul 04, 2011 1:28 am Post subject: Weight gain?? I think those days are over
Since I had my colon removed I had problems..first I was reconnected..every time I ate or drank anything I had to run to the toilet..I was on so much medication just to barely eat a small sandwich..8 imodium a day ,two lomotil..three injections of octreatide a day to try to slow it down..I had accidents at night in my sleep and had to ware diapers..finally had this operation..my small intestins still operate the same,i am constantly empting this bag but at least it dosn't matter what I eat..sometimes I take imodium to try to slow it down..If I have to go out I just don't eat..I am used to it..hunger pains are easier to handle then empting this bag 10-12 times a day just for a cracker or a little sandwich..I have lost over 50lbs in the last few years..can't get past 120lbs..sometimes I go down to 115..I have very little energy and I am always tired..don't know where to go any more..have been everywhere in nj..ny also phili..To tired to reserch anymore..open for any suggestions anyone may have because I feel I have no life like this..my options are few..I also have had two blockages since this operation..last on was a big on due to to many adhessions..would like to be happy again but can't get there..just doom to this lousy life..never leave home..no more friends..family scattered..just me my dog and cat and tv and this computer that sometimes I am even to tired or depressed or weak to use or look at..It is now 1:30am and I am up only because I slept most of the day away as usual..I am beginning to hate the days ..I don't want to deal with real people..they just don't get it..judy
I had been diagnosed with UC back in the mid 70's. My avg weight was around 175lbs (79.
5kgs.) prior to any surgeries. Having gone through several procedures from having my colon removed in 1999 and a reversal done in 2001 and a permanent ileostomy in 2006, my highest weight gain was 205lbs. (93.2kgs.). Just prior to the 2006 surgery I was 130lbs (59.1kgs.). I am now 190lbs (86.4kgs.) and feeling the best I have ever felt. MY "secret" to this weight gain was ice cream, chocolate, bananas, potatoes. Fast foods ie; McDonalds and other fast food outlets including other high colesterol foods. This is providing you can handle these foods w/o health risks.
Good luck and happy eating...Dave
P.S. I was born in Blackpool but have resided in the States for many, many years.
I'm in the camp of steady weight gain since my ileo (dec 09). Done the research, counted calories, etc. It's still happening.
Checked with docs ... it happens. The overall body metabolism can change after such an operation ... sometimes significantly. So I am very conscious of 'empty' (i.e. all the yummy treat stuff ) calories that I consume - not many. It's ironic that stuff like chips, cheezies, ice cream, bread, pasta go down so good. Still can't eat veg or fruit.
Re absorption. From what I was told (top gastro doc), nutrient absorption does not decline in a significant way after ileostomy. Truth is I don't feel nutrient deprived in the least.
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