Food restrictions for ostomy patients?


Hey guys,

I've just finished up on my low-fiber post-surgery diet. It now means I can introduce new food and see how I get on. Are there any foods that are an absolute no-no? That usually cause blockages, etc.? I've heard popcorn is a no. Does this mean sweet corn is too? I'm so scared of eating anything new in case it blocks it, however, I love food and don't want to stay on the low-fiber diet forever. The sheet they gave me leaving the hospital just highlighted yes and no's for the low-fiber. They haven't given me any guidance for after that.




Hello Kayla.

You won't want to hear this at this point in time, but yes, everyone is different. I haven't tried popcorn because I'm not interested, but I eat corn on the cob and anything else I desire. High fiber, apples, mangos, oranges, etc., slow down my process greatly, but nothing causes blockages for me. I just don't eat high fiber late in the day.

You have left the hospital with the standard do's and don'ts, but after that, there is no list as there isn't one.

It's still early days for you, so just go slow, bit of this, bit of that, don't be in a hurry. Don't be afraid of enjoying the things you like; you will find your way just like everybody else.

Take care.

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ron in mich

Hi Kayla, I can't eat oranges. I just chew on them and spit it out, but I get a can of mandarin oranges and they work for me. I also avoid mushrooms, pineapple, raw carrots, and most other raw veggies. At the movies, I can't resist the popcorn, but I'll have a small handful and that's it. Chew, chew, chew, and maybe you won't have any problems. Good luck.


Hi Kayla,

Really depends on what you've got left (in terms of small bowel), and if you still have active disease (assuming you had Crohn's, diverticulitis, UC or other GI disease). Hard to digest things (high fiber) will always be a challenge....things like corn, fruit skins, celery, popcorn.......anything that comes out undigested. And as mentioned it's different for everyone. Processed sugar is emerging into the mainstream medical thinking as an inflammatory to the gut, although it never bothered me. As you've heard a zillion times on here.....chew, chew, chew. You need to replace the function of breaking down food that your bowels (that you no longer have or are not connected to) used to do. Common sense is key here. As is trial and error. This is why I like wearing a clear ostomy I can see what's coming out undigested, partially digested and fully digested. Hope that helps at least a little.




I've had mine for over six years. Yes, starting carefully is the "best policy" and studying your digestive outcome. I now pretty much eat anything, steak once a month and spicy food as well. Red wine (Cabernet Sauvignon) always flushes me out when I know my output is less than intake. Just saying. Just me, however, follow your Dr.'s advice and study your food processing. Good luck. Cheer up because you'll get used to it. ;)

PS. Drink lots of water. Pom Wonderful is wonderful! And hot tea...

Living with Your Ostomy | Hollister
NJ Bain


All good advice. You can eventually introduce all the foods you love, but do so in moderation and as Bob said, chew, chew, chew. Below is a chart that shows what foods do what to your system.

Ostomy food chart

This is just a reference as each person's body is different. Your system will adjust slowly, so if you plan on eating one of the danger foods like peanuts, chew them very well and start off with just a handful. Try to eat them with a safe food too. I basically avoid corn, but as long as I eat it with something safe and chew, I usually don't have an issue. Hope this helps.


Past Member

Hi Kayla,

Take it slow, chew everything well. That sounds mad. I eat most things. There are foods like popcorn, marshmallow, mushrooms, and corn that will slow the stoma down. Nuts and seeds are not good for me. They slow my stoma down too much. Sometimes I get stoma cramps. Ribena is brilliant when I have wind or the bags are too thick, as it passes through quickly. As time goes on, you'll know your body better and what you can manage.

try to help

Kaya, corn is the worst, but any vegetable, unless cooked well, is not good for most.

If you try popcorn, get the kernel-less. I have never had a problem. Don't ever overdo it.

As I have had blockage from corn, and it is very painful. You just need to start slow with all

foods at first. You also need to know that the foods you eat will create stronger smells and

give you gas, which can blow up your bag as you sleep. I hope this helps you, and any questions

you have, I will gladly help you. I have had my ostomy since 1984, so I know many things.


Hello Kaylakaykes,

You have some great replies and I cannot think of much to add to this, other than to suggest that if you want to browse through a multitude of similar responses, you might try  the section on:

'Collections - premium content - food and diet for ostomies'  at the top of the page .

Best wishes


Past Member

Those foods to avoid list should be thrown in the bin where they belong!!! They cause more harm than good, putting a fear of food into people who need help and support to encourage them to live life to the full... I've had an ostomy for over 30 years. The advice I had from a nurse leaving the hospital was bollocks. Eat, drink whatever you want. Best advice I ever had!........ Just trial and error, try everything in small portions and see how it goes. And if you think something has caused a problem, give it at least another 2 tries in the future. Yes, some people can't eat certain foods. For me, it's pineapple. But you and others could be able to eat it without any problems. Never be put off from trying something just because you have read about someone else having a problem eating it. Adhesions take a lot of the blame for blockages, hence why I say always try the same food another time. You could eat an apple, including the skin, today without any problems. Eat the same tomorrow and have a blockage.


+1 on the adhesions

A woman I know has adhesions and they cause her blockage problems a couple of times per year.

Past Member

Hi Kayla,

I have a colostomy, and I can eat popcorn without it causing a blockage, but I find that I have to watch the amount of high fiber food (popcorn included) I ingest or I will have a lot more output. I can balance that somewhat by taking Imodium (Loperamide) every day - you'll want to discuss that option with your doctor before trying it. Beer also increases my output, but wine doesn't seem to. The advice you've already heard about this - to chew thoroughly and try small portions of different foods - is excellent advice. Sweet corn has never given me any problems at all. Good luck.

Newbie Dana

Corn (canned or cob) has never given me problems, but popcorn and seeds do. As always, the advice above is great - start slow, add in foods a little at a time, give everything you try at least twice to see how it works. And give it time - it probably took close to 6 months to get back to a more or less regular healthy diet. Good luck, and don't be afraid of food (also excellent advice).


Hi Kayla,

Congrats on reaching this milestone. I too have recently been taken off my post-op diet (surgery March 5). On the 6-week anniversary, I had the thickest steak I could find. It's been nearly a month now, and I've had no real problems. The biggest problem is to remember to chew thoroughly. I had three dieticians who gave different advice. I have just gone back to what has got me through life so far: practice moderation. A little bit of popcorn here and there, various types of meats and seafood, etc. Seafood has a huge effect on the odor from the pouch. Pay particular attention to that if you go to dinner and will be away from the house. The odor will fill the restroom that you'll be emptying in. I've been using odor-reducing products for the bag prior to leaving the house. It seems to help. You'll also be able to tell from your discharge the foods that may cause you problems. I was always a fan of spicy food. With UC for the last 15 years, that has been missing from my diet. I had some nice salsa on a burrito last night with no problems. With all this talk about the "New Normal" regarding COVID-19, I laugh. Talk to someone who has gone through what we on this site have if you want to understand the "New Normal". This site has been a huge help to me during the pre and post-op processes. Just about any question you have, there will be an answer here. Stay healthy!


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