Yogurt and Ileostomy: Seeking Advice

May 16, 2023 8:10 pm

Hi there: Just had an ileostomy 2 weeks ago. My surgeon advised against any dairy, but a bunch of websites I've perused say yogurt is fine, even advisable. I'd really like to have some for the calcium and other nutritional benefits. Any thoughts?

May 16, 2023 8:19 pm

Hi Knitter! You can still enjoy yogurt and avoid dairy. So Delicious makes coconut milk yogurt with all the probiotics in it...there are many other brands as well...some are made with almond milk and other substitutes. Just check the yogurt section of your grocery store. I cannot have milk products and still enjoy the benefits of yogurt. Best wishes!

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May 16, 2023 8:38 pm

What did you have removed when they made your ileostomy? The protein shakes they love to give in the hospital have dairy in them. I was eating pudding right away. Grilled cheese. After my second surgery all I ate was ice cream for 2 weeks ‍

May 16, 2023 9:55 pm

I have an ileostomy and I eat yogurt all the time.  

May 17, 2023 4:11 am
Reply to HenryM

I do, too

How to Manage Ostomy Leaks with LeeAnne Hayden | Hollister
May 17, 2023 5:14 am

I eat either Oikos or Ratio protein every day. It's about the highest protein ones you can get.

ron in mich
May 17, 2023 12:43 pm

Hi Knitter, I'm lactose intolerant so I get the lactose-free yogurt, there are a couple different brands out there.

May 17, 2023 12:49 pm

Thank you all! I like the Oikos yogurt because it supplies something like 15 grams of protein. Will try a bit and see how it goes down.

I had a rectal tumor removed and am scheduled to have a reversal of the ileostomy when I heal from the first surgery. In good shape otherwise so I'm hoping for the best.

I'm learning a lot from these discussions. Thanks again!

May 17, 2023 8:14 pm

Not sure why your doctor would tell you not to eat dairy! I drink skim milk every day and also eat cheese and yogurt a lot. I think someone on here said that milk made things go right through them, but that isn't the case with me, so don't know how common that is. Like most things, the best thing is to try it yourself.


May 18, 2023 6:48 pm
Reply to CrappyColon

I had a rectal tumor removed and my tubes, ovaries, and lymph nodes in the area of the tumor. I'm hoping for a reversal in a few months, but meantime I'm anxious about changing the pouch on my own. A visiting nurse comes the next couple of weeks to help out, but I have to rely on myself soon. Worried about cutting the wrong size hole for the stoma, leakage, and general problems due to a bad fit. Normal anxiety, I guess, when everything is new.

May 20, 2023 12:48 pm

Yogurt is good. They even tell you, especially if on an antibiotic, to eat yogurt. It helps with, I think, antibodies. Don't quote me. A nurse told me. But GI also said yogurt is good for you; it has something in it.

Me, I was able to drink milk for a year, then nope. Eggs, yes, then nope. But it was just the yolk. Everyone's diet is different. I think we all just have to take a chance, eat, drink it, and find out. It stinks, but that's how I did it. And now I just stick to what I know.

May 22, 2023 5:11 am
Reply to CrappyColon

Start with small amounts of yogurt or any new food. If you tolerate it then you can slowly increase the amount.

Important. Never introduce 2 new foods at the same time because if you have a problem you won't know which one is the culprit.

May 22, 2023 3:29 pm

My husband has an ileostomy and has yogurt in homemade shakes. It hasn't caused any issues.

May 22, 2023 7:47 pm

I eat yogurt all of the time with no problems.

May 22, 2023 10:55 pm
Reply to AlexT

I agree, Oikos is really good but Ratio is even better.

May 24, 2023 12:40 pm

While I had to drop dairy from my diet 20 years ago, I have still been able to eat yogurt and sharp cheeses (yes, the best sharp cheddar runs about $21/lb!) as well as buttermilk and sour cream. It seems that fermentation must do something to the lactose. I've recently discovered that sourdough bread is also the tastiest alternative to problems I had when I ate yeast breads— and I DO love bread!

I'm surprised the doctor told you flat out to avoid dairy, as most of the time they tell you that diet's pretty much an individualized issue.

If you're not sure about a food, try a bit and gradually increase it if you tolerate it.

Good luck—there's quite a learning curve as you navigate the world of diet.....

May 24, 2023 12:53 pm

Siggi's yogurt is delicious, all natural, low sugar, and very high in protein. I'm eating it now!

Jun 15, 2023 6:38 pm
Reply to knitter

Sorry, just saw this. I wish you could tag people in replies somehow.

It's been about a month. How's changing the bag on your own going? How's your body healing?

Jul 10, 2023 6:03 pm
Reply to knitter

Repeat after me...everything is going to be fine. Every mistake you make can be corrected. You will get the hang of this. I was a total headcase when I woke up in the hospital with an ileostomy after emergency surgery. I cried when the ostomy nurse in the hospital came to teach me how to change my bag and I saw all the different products I had to use. "I'm never going to remember all these steps!" and had a total meltdown. Before being discharged, I had to try to change my own bag. I was nervous and shaky, but I did it. At home, my visiting nurse was great. She was patient and kind and offered me all sorts of terrific advice and suggested some product changes from what the hospital sent me home with. The first thing I replaced was that stupid bag with the barrett clip and switched to a bag with roll-up Velcro strip which was a 100% improvement for me. In the beginning, leaks felt like the end of the world to me. Eventually I realized that leaks are inevitable no matter how well we cut our barriers or follow the food rules. Forgive the pun, but shit happens. Once I accepted that, things got much easier for me. I didn't take it all so seriously anymore. It didn't happen overnight, but I finally learned to relax and just take my time during bag changes and now it's no big deal anymore. You will get there, too. Have faith in yourself. You've got this. - KC