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Dry Mouth

Fri Sep 17, 2021 1:59 pm
"This is the best website for people with an Ostomy, hands down. So much understanding. Everyone should join."

I am always thirsty and have a dry mout. Anyone else have the same?

Fri Sep 17, 2021 2:17 pm

Have you been tested to see if you have diabetes or could you be dehydrated?  

MeetAnOstoMate - 27,282 members
Fri Sep 17, 2021 2:48 pm

Hi there,  Dehydration is a real risk with an ileostomy.  You need to be drinking lots of fluids throughout the day, more than would have been normal for you pre-ostomy.  Did the doctor or ostomy nurse discuss this with you?  It isn't normal to have a dry mouth and be constantly thirsty.  You can actually have some pretty major complications from not hydrating enough.  Do you have an ostomy nurse available to talk to?  There is lots of good information available, on this site as well.  I could give you a run-down on what works well for me if you like. 


Fri Sep 17, 2021 3:06 pm

Yes please

Fri Sep 17, 2021 3:58 pm

OK, so this is how it's been explained to me.  Your large intestine is the organ that absorbs most of the water your body needs from the things you eat and drink.  When you only have your small intestine in play, a lot of the liquid you consume is lost, so you need to replace it.  Just drinking water doesn't work that well as it isn't absorbed as well as other liquids.  I use a large empty juice bottle, it's 1.89 litre size, and fill it with water and 2 tsp. of salt.  I drink this throughout the day.  I also drink other liquids, 2 cups of coffee in the morning, some V8 juice maybe at lunch time, milk with my dinner, and 2 cups of tea in the evening.  I also may sip plain water from time to time, especially if I'm more active, after working out, sweating a lot, etc.  This may seem like a lot, but it get easy once you are used to it.  Ileostomates can also have trouble absorbing nutrients and it's a good idea to get your doctor to run some blood tests just to see if you are depleted in anything.  You may have to take vitamins and supplements in liquid form.  I just recently had all my nutrient levels checked as well as kidney function (kidney problems can be the result of being dehydrated) and everything was normal, so my regimine seems to be working. I just take regular vitamins, but everyone is different in how well they absorb.  It's good to get it checked.  Hope this helps!



Fri Sep 17, 2021 4:18 pm

Thank you I do V8 at lunch. I will try the water.  Thank you so much 

Fri Sep 17, 2021 5:49 pm

I agree with the others about hydrating but my dry mouth is from sleep apnea.  I stopped using my CPAP machine due to a recall.  I have the one that you don't even know you are wearing it with nasal cushions.  Anyway,  apparently I do a lot of mouth breathing when off CPAP.  I drink probably 20 oz of water during the night as each time I wake up my tongue is stuck .  Just letting you know another option.  I think it is most likely dehydration as it didn't sound like you drink much.

Fri Sep 17, 2021 9:53 pm

Hi D,

  What Terry is describing is called an Oral Rehydration Solution, or ORS.  You can Google that and there's TONS of information on it, including lots of recipes.  The World Health Organization has at least two formulations for ORS........they might have more, I haven't checked in a while.  But the important thing to remember is you can make an ORS out of almost anything, as long as you keep the ratio of sugar (glucose) and sodium (from table salt) correct for the amount of ORS you are making.  A word of warning with using plain water........when you mix sugar and a bunch of salt in it.......it's going to taste like crap.  If you've ever swallowed sea water at the beach........it's like that.  I strongly suggest you used flavored drinks your first time around, as your first impression of drinking sea water won't be a good one. Your taste buds will acclimate to the flavor over time.......and if you drink it a lot you'll even start to prefer it over regular drinks.  But it takes time.  

  When I got out of the hospital after being short gutted I had to deal with SEVERE dehydration.  I mean I was thirsty 24/7 and not a minor thirst......it was all I could think about....and I couldn't really drink or it would go right thru me.  Hopefully most will never experience that kind of thirst, but if you ever do.......you won't forget it.  And when I first tasted ORS it was simply sugar and salt mixed in water full strength.  And I puked.  No kidding........right after the first couple of sips.  I had my girlfriend taste it and after just a sip she exclaimed "Oh hell no!"  So I read up on it, as it seemed to be my only way out, and discovered that our taste buds do get used to things.  Even really bad things if you sort of sneak up on it.  So I started out making my ORS with just a little salt and sugar.  I knew it wouldn't really be effective that way, but the plan was to slowly increase the sugar and salt as my taste buds allowed.  I knew it would work because back in high school I got a job working in a Char-Broiled burger joint.  One of the guys there would only drink Tab diet soda.  If you've never tasted Tab it tasted like pure shit.  I mean it wasn't even close to a normal cola, it was just some chemicals thrown together for folks on diets.  At the time I was playing football and working out and watching what I was eating.  At one point I wanted to shed a couple pounds so I tried drinking that damned Tab.  I started out mixing it with my Coke in greater and greater portions until after a couple weeks I could drink it straight.  And by the end of the season I actually liked the taste of Tab.  So remembering that I didn't see why I couldn't do the same with ORS. And that's what I did.  Now ORS tastes perfect to me, while regular soda is way too sweet.....and diet sodas aren't sweet enough.  

  Now remember I said there were at least 2 formulations via the WHO.  The first was what was used forever to get kids in 3rd World Countries healthy after they were drinking contaminated water.  It's the high-test stuff.  When I was working on getting used to ORS I noticed that well before I got to the ratio of sugar to salt that the WHO recommended, I was starting to get my hydration under control.  So I stopped well before getting to the recommended sugar to salt ratio (it's called osmolarity) and explained my findings to my Dietician.  She really didn't know what to say, but about a year later the WHO published (and recommended) a reduced osmolarity version ORS......which just so happened to be the ratio that I found worked well for me.  The reduced osmo ORS uses half the salt of the original ORS, which makes it much more palatable........but you still want to sneak up on it if you can.  

  Once you get the hang of it you'll be whipping up ORS mixes in seconds, no matter where you are.  My favorite uses sodas, and I know many don't like carbonated beverages.....but I can (and do) make an ORS anywhere they sell soda.  I brought home the cups they use at all the restaurants and marked them to show the levels I needed for the right amount of sugar.  Then I memorized the markings, so when I go to a fast food place I get a 32 oz cup.......then I put in about 5 oz of regular cola (Coke or Pepsi)........I know by looking at the inside of the cup where to fill it to with the regular cola.  Then I dump in 2 of those little salt packets you get at the counter........then fill the rest with Diet Coke or Diet Pepsi......or a combo of one of them and seltzer to get the sweetness I want.  Easy peasy, although folks will look at you funny for pouring salt in your soda.  

  But the bottom line is ORS works.  You can use lemonade, iced tea, iced coffee......whatever your poison.......as long as you only use enough to get the amount of sugar you need for the total volume you're making.  So normally for a liter of ORS it's 25-29 grams of sugar added to 1/2 TSP of salt........in a 32 oz container.  If you really want to get crazy you can also make your ice cubes out of ORS so as it melts in your drink you maintain the correct osmolarity.  I don't worry about that and it works just fine.  Heck, you can even make ORS ice pops.....which I've done......but they don't have much taste.  Refreshing though.  

 Hope this helps!



Sat Sep 18, 2021 8:48 am

Thank you Bob  My brain is in overload

Sat Sep 18, 2021 9:17 am

Hi D,

  Yeah, I tend to have that affect on women.  Woes me!

Simplifying........your colon (large intestine) is what absorbs water and keeps you hydrated.  Without a colon your small bowel needs to take on that job, which it wasn't intended for.....and the only way to get it to absorb water is to sneak the water molecules in with what it does absorb, which is sugar and sodium.  The ORS tricks the small bowel into absorbing water while it's absorbing sugar and sodium.  Otherwise, water and such passes straight past without getting absorbed, and into your bag. 

  It's like Goldilocks and the 3 bears.  Fluids are either hypo-tonic like water (no sugar or salt), hyper-tonic like Coke (too much sugar and salt) or isotonic like ORS (just right balance of sugar and salt).  The first one just goes right on by into your bag.  The second one triggers your intestine to pull water FROM you to try to dilute it into something it can absorb, and the last one keeps you hydrated.  That's why if you drink things with too much sugar in them.......you will get MORE dehydrated, not less.  

 Still with me?  Wow.....just re-read that.........I need to serioulsy work on my "simplifying"!!

Have a great day!



Sat Sep 18, 2021 10:30 am

Thanks again . I saw 5 cups water 1/2 teaspoon salt and 6 teaspoon sugar. Will that work?

Sat Sep 18, 2021 10:50 pm

Hi D, 

  The U of Virginia (link attached) recommendation for Max Strenght ORS is; 

20-40g (5-10 teaspoons) Sugar

0.86 - 1.15 teaspoons Salt

1 liter (4 cups or 32 oz) water 

Starting at the lowest amount of sugar and salt and letting your taste buds acclimate would be my suggestion.  If that's too potent for you cut them both in half and start there....increasing both every couple of weeks until you get to the hydration level you want.  Also check your hydration levels daily (first thing in the morning is best) and let that be your guide.  You can find urine color guides online, but I bought a cheap PH meter/tester on Amazon to be more precise.  The skin pull test is also good, but not as accurate.  Bottoms up!!




Sat Oct 16, 2021 1:49 pm

Hi Dannders have you ever tried lemonheads a

hard small candy

a doctor recommended them to help create saliva and they work less than 2 bucks a box do not mind my crazy fingers today hope this helps Carol

Tue Oct 19, 2021 7:23 am

thank you. I will try find them.

Tue Jul 12, 2022 8:49 am

The homemade hydrating drink is really well worth a try as it certainly has helped me over the years when I was told about it. 

Another thing to help is this Glandosane saliva spray. I always take it out with me as a quick fix to ease the dry mouth when I can't get an instant drink of water. 


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