Change in Taste Preferences After Colon Surgery: Common Experience?


I'm trying to gauge if this is common or not. After I had my colon removed this summer, foods/drinks that were my favorite changed drastically. I don't know if it's the same for people who still have some of their colon... I started craving salt above everything else. I never used to like club soda but now I do. I used to love sneaking leftover cake for breakfast (hiding it from my kids) but now sweet things like that are meh to me. When I do recognize hunger, I always want something warm and salty. I spent a week experimenting trying to figure out what type of eggs are my favorite now, and then I got tired of eggs for a bit. I'm a couple weeks shy of being 7 months out from having my colon removed, so I don't know if my body is still trying to get to know how it works now? I wasn't prepared for the loss of knowing what I like and not having any predictable "go to's". Wondering if this is a Jodie (myself) issue or if it's something that is even semi-common?


I crave salt and ice cream now. LOL So my favorite ice cream has peanut butter in it. If only I could get Ben & Jerry's Chubby Hubby here... chocolate-covered salty pretzels in fudge and peanut butter ice cream. To die for!!!

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Yes! It happened after my big surgery many years ago (colon removed) and again in Oct when I had major surgery/ileostomy. After both times, I do not want sweet foods - no candy, no desserts, nothing. And I have always had a huge sweet tooth! I can do sweet drinks like juice and even applesauce that is sweet. But cookies, candy, etc. have no appeal and just don't taste right. The first time it was a year before I seemed to get my sweet tooth back again. No idea if it will last as long this time. That's been the only real change but it's just so strange!

Reply to SallyK

Sally, I was doing well with ice cream but when I came home from the hospital around Thanksgiving, I was on thickened liquids still so I just opted to eat ice cream lol. Or I'd get shakes. With having ice cream every day, a couple times a day, and then it getting cold, I got tired of it. I was staring at some chocolate PB ice cream the other day (probably my all-around favorite) debating if I'd actually eat it or not. But I love PB in my ice creams too. I'd send you some Chubby Hubby if I could! It's cold enough between here and there it would probably still be frozen when it reached you.

Reply to Storm54

It's encouraging to me that some of your likes came back after time.
My most recent surgery in November, the surgery itself went okay, but my body decided it was done cooperating once I was awake.

Living with Your Ostomy | Hollister

I have no large intestine anymore either, and had four surgeries in total to get where I am today, but I have not experienced any change in taste or food preferences. Interesting that others have. I wish my sweet tooth was gone!! Dark chocolate is my biggest vice. Still love my brownies and dark chocolate/peanut butter ice cream, but I do ration it! I don't crave salt, but then I add it to my water and also am pretty liberal with it when cooking.



Hi Crappy,

Yeah, it seems whenever your body goes through a surgical trauma, things can change. When it's our bowels, it's a big deal. Women seem to always have weird cravings... but I won't go there, as I think I'm outnumbered on here. What I've found is that with myself, if I'm perfectly healthy, my favorite drink is pure ice water. I love it and will take it over anything. But as soon as I start to feel a bit off... ice water seems boring and has no taste... and I need something sweeter or just plain different. Then when I get back to fully healthy... I gotta have ice water again. I got a feeling that'll never change.

When I got my ostomy, and was short-gutted, I developed an incredible insatiable thirst. I mean, I was thirsty all the time. And I really couldn't drink water (or anything that wasn't glucose-sodium balanced) without doing myself more harm than good. Once I came to understand the whole hydration thing, I've found ways to cheat, but back in the beginning, it was rough. The obsessive thirst lasted about 4 years, and then slowly decreased as my body adapted.

Salt is a good thing to crave, especially if you have no colon... but you might want to add just a bit of sugar to it to keep your hydration up. So don't worry too much about your cravings and changes to them. Your body is trying to figure out what the heck just happened and compensate for what's not there anymore. Just don't expect it to figure it out overnight!




I haven't done a count but if you feel you're outnumbered, you probably are.

I wish I had cravings for food. I put some sugar in my coffee today, which I don't usually do. I usually have at least 2 different drinks with me. After both of my surgeries, all I wanted was ice chips for days and then this past time when I could only do liquids, I kept asking them to bring different drinks so I could experiment with making mocktails (I was bored).
In some ways, I feel like my brain is trying to catch up to what has happened to my body and is like, "What the crap happened this past year?"


I haven't experienced those changes but I still have my colon, useless as it is.

I can say that having an ostomy, it has ruined the smell of coffee for me. I'm not sure if some wires got crossed, but all I smell when it's brewing is my ostomy. It still tastes the same, but the brewing part is messed up now. Weird, eh?

ron in mich

Hi all, I've craved salt ever since I've had my ileo, and not sweets other than chocolate. But if there's donuts, I'll eat the plain, not the ones with icing.


I think our bodies crave what we need. I craved nuts with both pregnancies, maybe I needed the fat? I definitely crave salt now, even more than I ever did and I always did, even before my ileo. "Normal" people who cut salt out of their diets (not family and close friends - they understand) look at me like I'm an idiot but I don't care. Now sugar, I don't know about that one. For me, it's always been a purely emotional craving and it's my go-to when I'm anxious. CCD, I'd just go with it, ride those craving waves!

Past Member

Hi all, my tastes have changed as well. Definitely crave more salty foods. I used to hate regular mayonnaise but now I love it. For about 10 months after the initial surgery, everything tasted like shit and I couldn't eat chocolate without feeling sick, which sucked because it was my favorite. Thankfully, my tastes have rebounded and I can enjoy it all (even spicy stuff) but I defer to my gut. I'm in complete agreement that my body will guide me to the foods it needs via cravings.

Reply to eefyjig

When my mother was pregnant with my little sister, she kept saying that she craved the potatoes as soon as we picked them out, soil still on them! Our bodies make us do weird things when they're depleted.


Perhaps off-topic here, but the following information may be of interest to ostomates. Researchers from the Université de Montréal examined Inuit poop and found it similar to modern Western populations. The gut bacteria and the biome were the same as the population of Montreal. That is strange since the Inuit eat mostly meat, fish, and blubber, no roughage due to the lack of vegetables and fruit there. There are stories that they don't poop all winter; the temperature is -50 degrees Celsius, but that is probably false. The Inuit and the Alaskan Yup'iks also have significantly lower risks of heart disease. These results have far-reaching implications and should make the cardiovascular people sit up and think. The carnivore diet suddenly sounds like there is something to it. Cardiologists never tire of advising more fruits and vegetables in your diet and less meat. If you told them you ate blubber, they would have a fit. "There are more things on heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy."

Reply to bowsprit

Hi Bowsprit, you said "...the temperature is -50 degrees C, but that is probably false." It's probably true! It was -48°C windchill here today earlier and we are not that far north.


I spent 22 days in the hospital and only three of them eating real food. My taste did change in the beginning. I could not eat anything sweet for a long period of time. I think it's like a reset for our bodies. But now after 2 years, I'm trying to stop my sweet tooth again. Mexican food is the only thing I can think of that I still crave, colon or no colon.

Reply to SallyK

I meant the story about them not going all winter, not the temperature. Wow, Sally, that's really cold where you are, stay indoors. Best wishes.

Reply to Feb9HH

A soft taco from Taco Bell was one of the first things I ate when I was transitioning back to real food. I was like, "Let's see how this goes." I was surprised my body was good with it, but I didn't care for Taco Bell much before, so I'm wondering if my brain doesn't associate that with sickness.

ron in mich

Hi all, mmm tacos with medium spicy salsa.

Reply to Storm54

My doctor explained to me 48 years ago after my ileo and total colostomy to add salt to my diet since I wouldn't be absorbing it automatically. I never salted my food before but since then I have


I had a huge change in preferences after my surgery (they removed my entire colon). I loved ice cream before and it didn't even taste good afterwards. No one had ever said a word to me about this happening. So I was totally baffled! Most foods really seemed to taste different for a while. All of my preferences did seem to come back after several months though. I do notice that I like potato chips and snacky foods a lot more. I'm wondering if that's related to needing the salt! But fear not, some of your old taste may return!


Part of the large intestine's job is to absorb salts and fluid back into the body. Without a large intestine, we need extra salt and liquids to make up for the loss. I try to turn most of my drinks into some sort of rehydration mix — usually by adding some honey and a dash of salt.

Reply to Bluesky

You know what's funny, I tried an off-brand potato chip last week (someone had given us a bag) and I was like nope lol. I didn't used to care about chips much before, apparently now I'm going to be picky about them.

Reply to SallyK

I actually crave sweet stuff!! Very weird!


AGESUISA,  LOSS OF TASTE- 3 LEVELS: mild, severe, profound. 

well, well, butter my butt and call it a  bisquette.  There were ten of you replying to this thread when Jodi first open the thread up in Feb of 2023. All agreeing their taste has changed and all concluding their intake of salt and or sugar  has changed now after surgery.  Most of you agreed salt cravings have increased.   But there is a "huge" change in taste noted for some.  Upon my own research for ageusia- for me, complete loss is what i am experiencing.  Some of you may have seen my own thread from last month regarding loss of taste after surgery? cause some of you replied in October.  Jodie's thread begins in Feb.     I am satisfied with the idea, loss of colon and or rectum does create ageusia to some to varying degree. I only wish I found this information sooner cause i went into investigative mode trying to find an answer. googled the shit out of agesuia, and what meds caused it.   learned alot of things cause it, particularly head injury, and covid.   And medications? seems like any  from  A to Z can also cause it, but this thread and discussion nails it for me,  case closed. 

Of course, we weren't aware of this prior to surgery.  It does seems taste does return eventually which gives me hope.  Thanks to all of you for  chiming in. Only here you will  find answers that make sense.

much obliged Warrior


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