Adding Salt to Food After Surgery: Safety & Guidelines


For how long must one add salt to food after surgery? How much, how often, and as I am on blood pressure medication, is it safe to continue using my fruit juice with added salt?

Past Member

I've never added any extra salt, speak to your doctor and see if there is any need for you to take extra salt as you say being on blood pressure meds too much could be bad for you.

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You are probably right, it is just that during this pandemic, I have been given conflicting advice. Dehydration early on made me quite unwell, maybe I have been overcautious. Thank you.


Hi Saint, why were you told to add salt in the first place? When you have an ileostomy, you do need to keep hydrated and it can deplete your body of sodium if you just drink straight water and a lot of it. I do add a little salt to my drinking water, but very little. I have never added extra salt to my food. It's all about hydration and maintaining your electrolytes. Ask your doctor why you need the extra salt.



Thanks for that, Terry. It was at the hospital before I was discharged after the op. A doctor told me to add a little salt to my food and make up the Oxford solution (fruit cordial with a teaspoon of salt, that was in 2 litres). I will, of course, consult with my GP. Very grateful for the heads up, Saint.

Getting Support in the Ostomy Community with LeeAnne Hayden | Hollister

One of the colon's main jobs is to absorb electrolytes. Since you no longer have a colon, it is recommended that you increase dietary sodium intake to help compensate. If you feel better with a higher salt intake, don't be afraid to eat a little more and monitor your BP to see if it really makes that big of a difference. Some people are more sodium sensitive than others, so not everyone sees sodium making a huge difference in BP.

I have had an ileo for 6 years, and eat a lot of salt. I feel best on a higher sodium intake. I also eat a very, very low carb diet. So having no colon and eating a low carb diet are 2 factors that make higher sodium consumption work better for me.

Sodium is demonized, unfortunately, along with saturated fat. Some very good info can be found in the book called The Salt Fix, if you are interested.

Don't be afraid to think differently about what we have always been told about diet for the last 50-60 years, and try different things to see what works best for you.

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