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Can lettuce cause blockage?

Posted by tmn86, on Tue Oct 15, 2019 6:41 pm

I have had my ileostomy for 4 months. I have always been a big salad lover, but keep being told lettuce,tomatoes& cucumber can cause blockages. Is this true? If not what's the best form of lettuce?

Reply by iMacG5, on Tue Oct 15, 2019 9:30 pm

Hi Tmn86.  We're different in so many respects and if you're not having any problems with your salads causing any discomfort, continue to enjoy.  Others might have problems with an identical eating pattern so count your blessings.

Respectfully,

Mike

Reply by iMacG5, on Tue Oct 15, 2019 9:33 pm

Sorry, I didn't offer a comment relative to the best lettuce.  Since I know almost nothing about this stuff I'll just offer "green".

Mike

Reply by Puppyluv56, on Tue Oct 15, 2019 10:09 pm

Everyone is different as Mike says! Try everything you like in small quantities and chew really really well! You should be fine. That does for everything! Chewing it small is the key! 
puppyluv

Reply by w30bob, on Tue Oct 15, 2019 10:46 pm

Hi tmn,

  I assume you've tried eating salad in the past 4 months, right?  Lettuce, cucumber and just about any veggie eaten without being cooked first will be very hard to digest, as it's all fiber.  If you're eating salad now just look in your bag and see if it's being digested.  If you can still tell what it is when it's in your bag you may be asking for trouble down the road if you continue.  As suggested above, chewing will make a difference, as it makes the stomach's job of digesting all that roughage a bit easier.  Bottom line is use common sense.  If you don't digest something you should probably try chewing it more, and if it still comes out undigested consider either giving it up or putting it into a blender (yuk) first.  The advice given to avoid such things is based on the frequent complications that ostomates often experience.  If your ileostomy isn't complicated by other problems then you shouldn't have any issues even if you don't digest something.  But if you have any bowel narrowing, IBD or diverticulitis, etc., then you will need to be more careful about undigested things. 

regards,

bob 

Reply by Bill, on Wed Oct 16, 2019 1:32 am

Hello tmn86.

I agree with your other respondees so I will restrict my reply to the question about lettuce. Surely, this is a matter of taste and preference. I used to prefer Iceburg or Cos lettuce, but then I realised that they caused an excessive amount of wind, which in my case was very painful apart from being inconvenient. 

Being vegetarian, I eat a lot of salads so I experimented with most of the other green stuff to see what seemed best for me.  What I found was that I can eat almost everything apart from lettuce without any adverse effects. However, my favorite now tends to be watercress, which has the added advantage of being high in iron.

We are all so different in the way our bodies process food and what we prefer or not  and I am a firm believer in eating what you like.   I hope this helps

Best wishes and happy eating!

Bill

Reply by Tickpol , on Wed Oct 16, 2019 11:05 am

No matter how much you like something once you discover it doesn't work for you you'll naturally eat it sparingly.

 

Pain is a wonderful teacher but go into it being honest with yourself.  You can't just make something work.  

This isn't a battle of wills with your gut; if your gut loses it'll take you with it!

 

Dave

Reply by panther, on Wed Oct 16, 2019 11:43 am

Just eat it! Try everyything you like in small amounts and see how it goes, it's the only way you will find out if it's right for you. Always try foods at least 3 times if you think they've caused a problem as may of been nothing to do with the food, somedays you get loose watery output or a blockage for no apparent reason from something you've eaten many times before without any problems, I always put it down to an of day or adhessions.

The only thing that causes me a blockage is pinapple, but then it might not in you and many other members.

I always think the best place for those foods to avoid lists are in the bin!!! They do more harm than good and make people have a fear of eating foods 

Reply by tmn86, on Wed Oct 16, 2019 12:22 pm
panther wrote:

Just eat it! Try everyything you like in small amounts and see how it goes, it's the only way you will find out if it's right for you. Always try foods at least 3 times if you think they've caused a problem as may of been nothing to do with the food, somedays you get loose watery output or a blockage for no apparent reason from something you've eaten many times before without any problems, I always put it down to an of day or adhessions.

The only thing that causes me a blockage is pinapple, but then it might not in you and many other members.

I always think the best place for those foods to avoid lists are in the bin!!! They do more harm than good and make people have a fear of eating foods 

You are awesome -love the attitude ! Thank you !

Reply by tmn86, on Wed Oct 16, 2019 12:23 pm
iMacG5 wrote:

Sorry, I didn't offer a comment relative to the best lettuce.  Since I know almost nothing about this stuff I'll just offer "green".

Mike


🤣🤣🤣thank you !

Reply by Teramis, on Wed Oct 16, 2019 1:42 pm

I've been eating salads since about month 2 into my adventures in Ostomyland. I've never had a problem. I can't chew things very finely (dental issues), so some bits and pieces are poorly digested, but nothing has been complicating the passage of output through my intestinal tract. The only time I've had a problem from fibrous foods was when I ate beet greens (!) which definitely caused a significant blockage that had me pretty worried. So that's definitely off my list. (By time I was eating those kinds of greens I'd forgotten the caution to try new foods in small quantities first and increase amount incrementally, to give self time to see how New Thing affects the digestive tract. I don't forget to do that any more!)

A long way around to saying, I agree with others here who've remarked that every body processes foods a little differently and you will need to experiment to see what works for you and what you can tolerate. 

Regarding specifically what kind of lettuce:  iceberg is mostly water, relatively little fiber, and is sparse on nutritional content. So if you want something that has good mouth feel (crunch), and is *easy* to digest, iceberg is actually the one to go for. Green and red-leaf lettuce and romaine are much more fibrous, also much more nutritious. They require somewhat more chewing, and you will need to see how that level of fiber agrees with you (or not). I notice when I do those more fibrous lettuces, that I end up passing more undigested bits in my output.  Butter or bibb lettuce and various 'naural' greens like salad mix, dandelion leaves, watercress etc are more nutritious than iceberg and less fibrous than the three commonplace ones I mentioned above. So they might also be a good alternative. 

Personally, I tend to stick with the iceberg and natural leaves, though I'll do one of those more fibrous dense leaves (like romaine or green leaf) if I, say, want lettuce on my sandwich. But for just eating a bowl of salad, I've had best luck with iceberg, which digests down to nothing very quickly. 

Good luck, and happy salad experimentation!

 

Reply by tmn86, on Wed Oct 16, 2019 2:09 pm
iMacG5 wrote:

Hi Tmn86.  We're different in so many respects and if you're not having any problems with your salads causing any discomfort, continue to enjoy.  Others might have problems with an identical eating pattern so count your blessings.

Respectfully,

Mike


I haven't tried it yet, I'll let you know how it goes. 😀

Reply by tmn86, on Wed Oct 16, 2019 2:20 pm
Teramis wrote:

I've been eating salads since about month 2 into my adventures in Ostomyland. I've never had a problem. I can't chew things very finely (dental issues), so some bits and pieces are poorly digested, but nothing has been complicating the passage of output through my intestinal tract. The only time I've had a problem from fibrous foods was when I ate beet greens (!) which definitely caused a significant blockage that had me pretty worried. So that's definitely off my list. (By time I was eating those kinds of greens I'd forgotten the caution to try new foods in small quantities first and increase amount incrementally, to give self time to see how New Thing affects the digestive tract. I don't forget to do that any more!)

A long way around to saying, I agree with others here who've remarked that every body processes foods a little differently and you will need to experiment to see what works for you and what you can tolerate. 

Regarding specifically what kind of lettuce:  iceberg is mostly water, relatively little fiber, and is sparse on nutritional content. So if you want something that has good mouth feel (crunch), and is *easy* to digest, iceberg is actually the one to go for. Green and red-leaf lettuce and romaine are much more fibrous, also much more nutritious. They require somewhat more chewing, and you will need to see how that level of fiber agrees with you (or not). I notice when I do those more fibrous lettuces, that I end up passing more undigested bits in my output.  Butter or bibb lettuce and various 'naural' greens like salad mix, dandelion leaves, watercress etc are more nutritious than iceberg and less fibrous than the three commonplace ones I mentioned above. So they might also be a good alternative. 

Personally, I tend to stick with the iceberg and natural leaves, though I'll do one of those more fibrous dense leaves (like romaine or green leaf) if I, say, want lettuce on my sandwich. But for just eating a bowl of salad, I've had best luck with iceberg, which digests down to nothing very quickly. 

Good luck, and happy salad experimentation!

 

I am worried now about tomatoes & cucumbers. 
thank you so much!

Reply by w30bob, on Wed Oct 16, 2019 6:50 pm

Hi tmn86,

  Sounds like you're getting some great advice, so I won't belabor the point.....just one thing no one has really mentioned......it's also important to think about what else you eat (and drink) when you're eating high fiber foods.  Meaning if you just sat down and ate a head of lettuce all by itself you might be more prone to problems.  Whereas if you ate that head of lettuce with some mayo or other concentrated fat, and a tall glass of water things might not be so bad.  I'm exagerating, of course, but you know what I mean.  There's more to it than just the single food item you're focusing on. 

regards,

bob

Reply by tmn86, on Wed Oct 16, 2019 7:57 pm
w30bob wrote:

Hi tmn86,

  Sounds like you're getting some great advice, so I won't belabor the point.....just one thing no one has really mentioned......it's also important to think about what else you eat (and drink) when you're eating high fiber foods.  Meaning if you just sat down and ate a head of lettuce all by itself you might be more prone to problems.  Whereas if you ate that head of lettuce with some mayo or other concentrated fat, and a tall glass of water things might not be so bad.  I'm exagerating, of course, but you know what I mean.  There's more to it than just the single food item you're focusing on. 

regards,

bob


Thank you - ill make sure, I drink lots of H2O😁

Reply by denverguy, on Sun Oct 20, 2019 3:12 pm

I was told that salads were not good for my stoma and could possibly cause a blockage. I only eat iceberg lettuce. I've never had any digestion problems or a blocked stoma. I followed what my Ostomy nurse told me and for 4 years it has worked out great. Yes, I miss a good salad, nuts, and oranges but I'm alive and well. 

Reply by Little Red, on Sun Oct 20, 2019 3:30 pm

  It is iceberg lettuce for me also.  a must have lettuce tomato ( sliced thin,  and cheese on every sandwich.burger etc..)  salads are ok with ice berg and cukes chopped fine, and tomato.  I also enjoy cole slaw  ground fine.   Only problem I have is with corn on the cob  ( or off the cob ).  I started eating small amounts at first and now have no problem.   I have a colostomy.

 

 

Reply by Smiles101, on Mon Oct 21, 2019 12:15 am

Everything is about  chewing. Chew chew chew lol. Permanent ileostomy since 2016. Also rectal removal this year. I eat lettuce every single day at supper.. large portion too. Romaine and mixed organic Arugula and occasional spinach plus dried cranberries and 1 small pickle..but I make sure I  chew my food....Cucumber I remove the skin just to be sure. Salad plus either chicken fish or shrimp...occasional rice or quinoa small servings...My worst blockage was popcorn...bug mistake...was binge eating it and not drinking enough liquids...never eating popcorn again due to the kernels and kerner shells being so hard...I keep a close eye on how things come out for example eating nuts in small amounts come right back out generally...so chewing is crucial..I dont eat a lot of those but for an occasional small handful .

Count how many times you chew and pay attention to that until you know it's a habit.

 

Reply by tmn86, on Mon Oct 21, 2019 12:27 pm
Smiles101 wrote:

Everything is about  chewing. Chew chew chew lol. Permanent ileostomy since 2016. Also rectal removal this year. I eat lettuce every single day at supper.. large portion too. Romaine and mixed organic Arugula and occasional spinach plus dried cranberries and 1 small pickle..but I make sure I  chew my food....Cucumber I remove the skin just to be sure. Salad plus either chicken fish or shrimp...occasional rice or quinoa small servings...My worst blockage was popcorn...bug mistake...was binge eating it and not drinking enough liquids...never eating popcorn again due to the kernels and kerner shells being so hard...I keep a close eye on how things come out for example eating nuts in small amounts come right back out generally...so chewing is crucial..I dont eat a lot of those but for an occasional small handful .

Count how many times you chew and pay attention to that until you know it's a habit.

 

Thank you so much, I have always been a salad fanatic! This  helps a lot. 

Reply by MedicJay67, on Fri Oct 25, 2019 7:52 pm

Hello, 

For me its not the kinds of things, but how I prepare them. If I peel and take the center out of cukes, peel tomatoes and chop lettuce finely I have no issues. 

I have found that the only things I cant eat are several types of nuts (come out like small daggers) and citrus. I can have the juice, but not the membranes. 

Hope that helps. good luck in the future. 

 

 

Reply by Teddiee, on Wed Oct 30, 2019 3:10 pm

Any food item that does NOT dissolve is a potential cause of a BLOCKAGE.  I eat everything, even peanuts and sweetcorn....BUT....I chew, chew, CHEW, so there's less chance of a big wedge causing a blickage (I've had 2 in 48 years). Typical blocksge culprits are......raw or undercooked veg, "Hard" salad, veg, nuts, sweetcorn, mushrooms, raw spring onions, coleslaw.  As you can see from the aforesaid examples....all those food items DO NOT DISSOLVE.  With an Ileostomy, intestinal peristaltic action (the snake-like bowel movement) is not strong.  There's no "straining" to help things move along.

Reply by Little Red, on Wed Oct 30, 2019 6:43 pm

For all of you looking for a treat  and live near a CVS Pharmacy,  I found a item like carmel corn  that is wonderful  but it is not popcorn in the sense.  Gluten Free   Salted Caramel Corn Puffs,   6.5oz bag  By Gold Emblem in a brown bag in the chips etc section.  It is a little expensive but well worth the price.   they just melt in your mouth..

 

Reply by Nicholoffs, on Mon Nov 11, 2019 2:15 pm
I have had an ileostomy for 18 months wrote:

Hi Tmn86.  We're different in so many respects and if you're not having any problems with your salads causing any discomfort, continue to enjoy.  Others might have problems with an identical eating pattern so count your blessings.

Respectfully,

Mike


I have had an ileostomy now for 18 months oh, I eat everything under the sun and so far no blockages, I guess I ha.ve to count my blessings which I do everyday. Why some people can eat everything and other people cannot, is a mystery to me. I eat lettuce cucumbers tomatoes in a salad everyday for lunch. I guess it's just the way your system works and why you have an ileostomy.

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