Sweetcorn - Safe or Not - With an Ileostomy

Aug 03, 2023 6:24 pm

I used to love eating corn on the cob and it's in season now in the UK. I have thought about trying it in earlier years but am afraid of ending up with a blockage. I could puree it, but it's not the same as gnawing on freshly cooked cob with butter.

For perspective, I love black beans and have eaten those (home cooked with seaweed) with no problems - sometimes, if I ate a bit fast, a few beans have come through pretty much whole but with no blockage. Just to give an idea of what travels through with no problems for me. The skins of the black beans were soft, though and sweetcorn is a bit harder and doesn't tend to break down. I can eat lots of foods, like lettuce (cos/ other crisp lettuce) and tomatoes - I just cut them up pretty small. Cashews and pecans are fine so long as I chew them well.

I had surgery January 2019, 1st surgery leaving me with an ileostomy, then something burst on my duodenum - a cyst, I think. I was in hospital for 3 1/2 months - so it was quite a palaver and it was 2-3 years before my body started to behave in a normal sort of way - getting stronger with good nutrition and exercise. I was recently told that this is what normally happens when someone has been in and out of ICU and HDU for a long time. I wish I'd been told that at the beginning and I would have been more ready to accept that I just needed to rest a lot and wait for my body to re-set and get over the shock. Now, though, I'm feeling like my body is my own again. I don't want to end up with a blockage. That only happened once about 18 months after surgery (too big chunks of mushroom and an experiment with undercooked brown rice - I know).

Has anyone tried fresh, boiled sweet corn? If you have, what happened? I'm trying to judge how big of a risk I would be taking. Or is this a completely No Go area forever? This is with an ileostomy. Thanks

Aug 03, 2023 7:41 pm

It's not a simple yes or no answer, you have to weigh a lot of info. Me, I just ate 4 ears yesterday but I had surgery a few years ago and had all the adhesions removed (the main cause of blockages). I have had no signs of blockages for years or even slowdowns with any type of food, and when I eat corn, I do it in 2 layers so I don't get whole kernels (just playing it safe) and I don't eat more than 2 ears a meal. It's in season in the Midwest USA so 2 for breakfast cold straight out of the fridge, try it, it's very refreshing, and 2 at dinner.

Hope that helps.

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Morning glory
Aug 03, 2023 7:51 pm

It seems you can enjoy several foods that I can't. I know several people that can eat anything. I guess you're going to try it and see. Good luck and go easy and chew well.

Aug 03, 2023 8:16 pm

I have an ileostomy and eat fresh corn on the cob, and anything and everything else, with no problem. Chewing really well is the key, along with hydrating. If you are eating nuts and fruits with skins, you should be fine. Just don't start with lots, maybe try half a cob first? Good luck and enjoy.


Aug 03, 2023 8:27 pm
Reply to Cplumber

Thanks for the reply. What do you mean by doing it in 2 layers? I boil the whole corn on the cob.

Words of Encouragement from Ostomy Advocates I Hollister
Aug 03, 2023 8:29 pm
Reply to TerryLT

Thanks - that's really encouraging. I was thinking I'd chop off a piece a couple of inches long and start with that. I'll get the major things on my to-do list done and then settle down with my first corn on the cob in 5 years.

Aug 03, 2023 10:33 pm
Reply to SaharaToo

I had the same question - 2 layers?

Aug 04, 2023 2:34 am

2-layer corn cobbing.

My guess:

Maybe he takes shallow bites then goes back and mows them down to the cob??

I'm still in the "what can I safely eat" mode. Yesterday I took a walk on the wild side... ate a hamburger with pickles, lettuce, tomato, and onion. Normally I order a burger without them. So far, so good.

Aug 04, 2023 3:52 am
Reply to SaharaToo

When eating corn, I eat the top 1/2 of the kernel first, then go back for the bottom 1/2 like 2 layers so I don't get any full kernels #justhowidoit

Aug 04, 2023 7:18 am

I eat everything that I was told to be cautious about, in fact I had corn on the cob last night.

Aug 04, 2023 10:49 am
Reply to Cplumber

Now that is a talent!!!

Aug 04, 2023 12:47 pm

All you have to do with everything is chew chew chew and after that you chew chew again and then to finish off start chewing again. Regards IGGIE

Aug 04, 2023 3:13 pm
Reply to Cplumber

4 ears in 1 day? You have more issues to worry about than an ostomy.

Aug 05, 2023 1:22 pm

Hi, I think that it must be horses for courses when it comes to food. I myself cannot digest sweetcorn (or carrots that have not been very, very well cooked) yet several people in my stoma group say that they have no problem. I am able to digest oranges and pineapple which they say that they cannot. I think it comes down to trying a little at a time. Best of luck. Elwick

Aug 06, 2023 4:24 pm
Reply to Cplumber

Ha! Seems like hard work and too much thinking while chewing!

Aug 06, 2023 4:25 pm

I eat everything, just chew things I know I have to, really well. Sometimes I realize that I just mowed through that corn on the cob and wonder if I chewed enough. No issues for me, but maybe for others??

Aug 07, 2023 3:03 am

I have eaten it once a few weeks ago and was fine. I just bought a dozen from my neighbors' roadside stand yesterday so will definitely be having it several times. The only thing that ever bothered me was a fun-size (mini) Payday candy bar (or 5). Dumb of me, a Payday is peanuts in chewy nougat by the way. That was not a good idea. I did also eat popcorn at the new Indiana Jones movie and no problem at all. Let us know how it goes and good luck.

Aug 07, 2023 3:18 am

Hey JewelG!

I love Payday bars too. I eat a large one once a month. So far no problems... but I chew the hell out of each tiny bite. I also tempted fate and ate a chocolate-covered Payday... Fortunately no trouble. I have a colostomy with no underlying disease, so maybe that helps.



Aug 07, 2023 11:16 am
Reply to JewelG

Thanks for mentioning popcorn. I have been eyeing it up and wondering. Chew, chew, chew

Aug 07, 2023 8:05 pm

My ileostomy does not appreciate sweet corn on the cob. I limit myself to one ear or less.

Aug 07, 2023 9:43 pm

I have an ileostomy and was told to avoid corn, peanuts, and fresh pineapple. I do have some corn in mixed vegetables. But other than that, I eat anything else. Some generate liquid output :-) (free system clean out).

Aug 23, 2023 1:24 pm

I have a colostomy and have problems with both corn on the cob and black beans so I avoid both.

Jul 08, 2024 4:45 pm
Reply to Lorr

What kind of problems did you encounter with corn and black beans? I'm just about 1&1/2 years post-colostomy and I pretty much have eaten anything I want with no issues. I have had corn a few times but not like I had this past weekend, so I'm wondering what problems I may run into. We had street corn salad with fresh corn off the cob, and I have eaten it since July 4. Finally finished it off last night. I haven't had any issues so far, but I also don't have a normal bowel compared to most. Keeping my fingers crossed everything clears as it's supposed to. Lol.