Early Days' Output: Watery and Dark Urine - Normal for New Colostomy?

Past Member

Hello, I am new to this. I had my surgery for my colostomy on Monday, 20/06/2022. I am still learning. Every day is another step closer to recovering.
One of the main reasons I had to have a colostomy is colonic dysmotility. My bowel does not contract, and I have no peristalsis, meaning the waste cannot be removed. It just stays in my colon. After various tests and grueling treatment, the only thing left was for me to have a colostomy. Since my colostomy is only 5 days old, I just need a bit of advice on output. I am still on a soft food diet. My output is very watery and almost resembles dark urine. Just wondering if anyone else experienced this in the early days?


Your output will change as you go back to a normal diet. Your body has been beat up, give it time to heal. It's not a day healing process, it's a month(s) healing process.

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Past Member
Reply to AlexT

It's just all a bit confusing. I don't know what I should eat or things I shouldn't eat at the moment. My consultant didn't really tell me. The only thing I feel safe with at the moment is soup! It's scary not knowing how your body is going to react to something, even though I've been eating normally for the past 24 years.


I was told no raw vegetables or fruits for the first 2 weeks. Try to avoid "skinned" things....potato skin, onions, peppers, pickles, etc. Small portions of things otherwise. Now, the only thing I really avoid is nuts as they come out as ...nuts. Not real fond of corn either but it's good. Plenty of fluids.


Hi Ashton, welcome to the site. I had a colostomy done around two and a half years ago, for the same reason as you. The muscles in my colon just didn't work. Unfortunately, my experience was that those same muscles didn't work when I had my colostomy either, and I ended up around eight months later having an ileostomy, which removes the large bowel. I'm not trying to scare you, and I'm sure your doctor's made the right decision for you. After all, we are all different. It might be something to keep in mind though, as my colostomy did seem to be working initially. The good news is that I am functioning really well with the ileostomy.

As for diet, after my colostomy, you want to give your ostomy time to heal, mostly it's the swelling of tissue that can cause a potential blockage. Stay away from hard-to-digest things, nuts, seeds, fruit and vegetable skins, that sort of thing. Chew really well, and keep really well hydrated. After you have healed, maybe a couple of weeks to be careful, you should be able to eat a regular diet. It's mainly people with ileostomies that can have food restrictions. Just take it slow. Good luck, and check back in with us. I would love to know how you progress.


Living with Your Ostomy | Hollister

Hello Ashtonleiigh.

It seems you have had some good advice so far so I will not simply repeat what others have said.  I cannot recall what my output was like at the very beginning but watery output is not unusual even now! As you have a colostomy, you might be a suitable candidate for irrigation and I would encourage you to look into this possibility, as it will improve your quality of life no-end if successful. 

As for the peristalsis issues: I have always had similar problems and found that colonic irrigation allows me to deal with this problem much more effectively than waiting for my body to work as it should. However, I wish to share a story with you that not many people would come across:

I also have problems with swallowing  because my oesophagus doesn't work properly. This is the same peristalsis problem as at the other end! Anyway, I went to see a specialist and he prescribed some pills to help the peristalsis process work. These pills worked very well throughout my digestive system. However, when I went to my own GP to get to repeat prescription he declined, stating that this medication was not supposed to be taken on a long-term basis. 

It was a long time ago and I cannot recall what the medication was called, but it is worthwhile to know that something does exist to counter the poor peristalsis problem. 

Best wishes


Past Member
Reply to TerryLT

Thank you so much for the reply! You are probably the only person who I know who has had to have a stoma due to no bowel function! I felt so alone and like no one understood that I couldn't go to the toilet at all.
The years leading up to me having the stoma have been absolutely horrifying. I have gone through horrible tests! In the end, I was having to drink the colonoscopy prep (Moviprep or Citramag) once a week just to get my bowels to open. When they told me they were giving me a colostomy, I was terrified because of the lack of function. At the moment, I am only 6 days out of surgery so everything's still on a go slow. I've had to start drinking laxido drinks just to try and help my colostomy as I am petrified of it not working!

Past Member
Reply to Bill

Thank you for the reply, I was irrigating my colon before having the colostomy and it was an utter failure. I was absolutely gutted. I thought it was going to work and unfortunately it didn't.

Because of the non-function of the colon, my bowel acids were backing back up to my stomach and they caused a stomach ulcer. I have recently been put on omeprazole to help the stomach ulcer pain!

Thank you for the advice. It is greatly appreciated.


Hello Ashton

Hang in there, girl. You're only 6 days in currently and have had a lot of changes in your body. Just stay on "softer" foods for a couple of weeks, then try anything you like. Just try a "little at a time" until your body is up to it. You should be able to eat anything you like before you know it. Don't rush your recovery. Nothing good will come of that. It's all about you for the moment. Let your health come to you.

Take care


Past Member
Reply to Axl

Thank you for the reply!
It's all just so new and you're right, my body is adjusting to it. It's just strange seeing yellow water in the bag and not actual

ron in mich

Hi Ashton, welcome to the site. When I first got my ileostomy 30 some years ago, my bowels were slow to start working. So, my surgeon told my wife to get me some chewing gum to get the swallowing and bowels to wake up. Good luck.


Hi Ashton, I know how you feel, but I had an ileostomy back in 2013 for emergency reasons and am currently waiting for a reversal, but in the beginning my surgeon did not tell me much. I had to find out for myself by experimenting, but one thing my stoma nurse told me in the first few months is to make sure I eat one thing every day with salt in it as you will be losing salt from your stoma and this will make you feel lethargic if not replaced. I started eating one pack of ready salted crisps every day because of this and it made a major difference to my energy levels. If you are now facing the prospect of endless products to use, here is something I hope will help. Ok :>

To prevent leaks, why not order flange extenders by Brava who also do the powder and spray that are in your video. I use them and I have not had a leak since, so try them and see how you go. I forgot to mention that if you see your doctor, you can get a Medical Card so that all your stoma equipment as well as your prescriptions are FREE and this lasts for 5 YEARS and then they send you a new one and so on as long as you have your stoma every 5 years. I also know that Brava also have wipes that help when you have sore skin called cleansing wipes and they help cool the skin around your stoma and that you get 3 packets in a box. Also, ask your delivery company if they have mattress protectors for your bed in case of leaks in the night and also if they have complimentary bed protector sheets as I use these when I change my bag. I tuck one end just inside my underwear and let the remaining rest on my bed with all the other bits I need around when changing, and then when finished, I wrap the sheet tight with the old bag inside and then put it in the disposable bags that go in the bin. Also, if your seals are no good, then try Hollister's "CERA RINGS" as I have just started to use them and I have found that they are better than any other seal that I have used, which is why I told I no longer suffer from leaks. Hope this helps:> P.S. The flange extenders by Brava are actually called "Brava Tape". I only have an occasional leak but nothing major, but I was told by a fellow ostomate, which is what they call us people with stomas, to always try new products and not to rely on one product because over time there is always something better if you develop problems later down the line.

This is what I do now, as I have a parastomal hernia alongside my stoma. Therefore, I have to alternate between two types of bags, one which has the biggest baseplate you can get for the two-piece and then I have my standard size baseplate, and this works as I do not get used to one type. If you want a reliable delivery company, then I would recommend Securicare, who are based in Hertfordshire and I have never had a problem with delivery. If you forget to ring them to order supplies, they will ring you and ask what you require. They will ring at least once a month to check. I was with a company called "Bullen" and I made an order one day, but never received it and I phoned for a new order and had the same problem so went with Securicare and have never looked back. They are very friendly and caring, and if you need to change products, then they will inform your local GP.

Anyway, I hope this helps and just take it easy. It took me seven months to get back to normal. Keep a diary, so that you can see what foods make your output thick/thin and also what reacts with your bowel that will cause you pain. This way it will help you avoid foods that cause you grief. Take care, Sister Ostomate. :>

Reply to Anonymous

Hi Ashton, I really do empathize with you! I started having issues with declining bowel function in my early twenties, and it was a gradual thing. It just got worse as the years went on, and for the last ten or so years before my ostomy, I was living on boatloads of laxatives to make things work, but even then, it was not working very well. I was constantly in discomfort and pain, and I always used to say that I didn't control my own life, my bowels did! My doctors were all reluctant to recommend an ostomy, and I was terrified of the idea, so didn't press it. I was resigned to live the rest of my life like that, very poor quality of life. In the end, the ostomy was the result of my bowel rupturing. The poor thing just couldn't take it anymore. It has been a hellish past 2 1/2 years, with four surgeries and several bowel obstructions, but now I realize that it was probably the best thing that could have happened. I now have good quality of life and can do what I want, when I want. So, hang in there. You are young and hopefully this will be your one and only surgery, and you will have avoided many years of pain and discomfort!


Reply to Anonymous

You are not far out of surgery and it does take the bowel a bit of time to settle down after the trauma of surgery (which is why you're on a soft food diet). I don't know how much large bowel is remaining (I assume some is given you say you have a colostomy, not an ileostomy) but even most people with an ileostomy end up with thicker output. Some use loperamide to thicken output but I don't know whether or not that would be used with dysmotility - one to ask the surgeon about. Also, you should find that when you start to incorporate solid foods, things will improve.

New to this
Reply to Bill

I too have this problem and after my colostomy, my bowel just never started working again!
My colorectal surgeon is an absolute pig and has discharged me despite me not being able to poo without taking masses of laxatives (increasing nearly every week).

My esophagus has stopped pushing my food down, so I'm having more tests. I was prescribed metoclopramide for the nausea, which helps empty my bowel, but I was told it could only be taken temporarily as it caused neurological issues. So, I'm just waiting to see a neurogastric specialist now.

Good luck xx


Hello, you are a very new ostomate. Continue with soft foods and lots of water until you heal!! I celebrate 30 years on July 7th and my output is like that sometimes. It is according to what I eat. I was very young, as you are. I had rectal cancer which spread to the colon with rectal removal and sigmoid colon. I irrigate, so I don't know if that will be an option for you when you are healed and your body adjusts!! Wishing you the best!!

Past Member
Reply to carrlouann1

Thank you very much for the reply advice, so crazy learning all this new stuff


Hello. Welcome to the Ostomate Society. As others have said, it takes a while to heal and find the new normal. I had to stay in the hospital for over a week after getting my colostomy as nothing would come out. The colon gets shocked by the surgery and takes a while to start functioning. In my first couple of weeks, I ate softer foods then moved to a regular diet but with stool softeners. Now, I eat whatever I want and have no issues. I do irrigate the stoma every day as it allows me to go all day without any output and gives a better feeling of control. I am sure you will progress, and meanwhile, there are many good places like this and Facebook to find support.

G-ma 1053

This is wonderfully helpful information! I have a friend I'm going to share this with!

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