Fruit and Veggie Alternatives for Ileostomy Output Issues?


I have had a permanent ileostomy for 30 years now. I have always had trouble with salad and fruits! I love them, but lettuce and any fruits like oranges, or pineapple etc. lead to output problems! What can I do?


Hi Lolamax - I have a colostomy and some of those foods are even a problem for me - especially fresh pineapple - causes a blockage every time. I generally eat iceberg lettuce rather than leaf varieties - it's much easier to digest and it's full of water. Oranges I can eat as long as they are not in "sections" - the membranes can cause blockages. I slice them (through the rind) in skinny slices, cut the slices in half (like you often see in restaurants for garnish) - then no problem! Hope that helps. Pinky

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Can you eat strawberries and red grapes? Or does it cause blockage? Only blockage I ever had in 35 years was from coconut! I just tried a few seedless red grapes and no problem so maybe I can eat them just not a lot at one time. Just wondering if I can eat some foods I usually have not for 35 years?


Hello sooziq, I have had my ileostomy since 1961. I eat everything, but in moderation. I know there are some fruits and veggies that will create problems for me - such as mushrooms, corn, and olives. I have been able to give up mushrooms but the rest, I just make sure I chew everything really well and go with moderation. Start slowly, eat just a little at one sitting, and see how you do. Having an ileostomy should not stop you from eating anything. Good luck and enjoy the fruits of the summer!


Nuts are my problem and I love them. What I have learned is to chew everything until there is nothing solid left in my mouth before swallowing. Always a fast eater, this has probably been very good for me as my food now has more digestive enzymes and is probably better utilized. I also cut and chop some things. Celery, I de-string. My stomach is very small and I was having 2 or 3 blockages a year until I learned to slow down, chew or destring, and chop!

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Moderation is the key. I eat salads/fruits without a problem. No blockages since 2001. Sometimes liquid builds up in my pouch.
I don't just eat salad. I always have chicken or fish or meat which seems to counterbalance any side effects. Also, I find that if I have about 4-6 marshmallows when I have a lot of liquid discharge, it seems to bind me up a bit. Hope this helps. Good luck.


What is considered a small stoma? About what size?


Limit your fiber! I have to limit mine because of multiple surgeries and adhesions causing narrowing. If I really want to taste an orange, or something, I chew some up and spit it out. Gross, isn't it? But it satisfies the craving. I limit to iceberg lettuce, baby spinach, all just 1 gram of fiber. It's better to do without than to risk blockages. Just goes with the territory. And always chew, chew, chew! I get into trouble if I eat too fast.

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I heard that pineapples cause problems in such a case.

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Yes, pineapple is a fruit to be cautious with, also bananas. I make one last all day, otherwise when eaten in one go, they push my pouch off - not pleasant.

Nuts, peas, sweetcorn, tomato skins also cause problems. Mushrooms can be tolerated if grated, and celery I make into soup and strain off the fiber. I miss lettuce, but enjoy spring onions, thinly sliced cooked beetroot, and radish in moderation, plus a hard-boiled egg are good substitutes for a salad.

If I have a sweet to follow a main meal, I wait about half an hour. Never overload, and visit the toilet immediately before and after eating as food goes through me so quickly. I like to keep the pouch as empty as possible at such times. When I go out, I ask for a child's portion, then I know I'll be safe!


If you love fruits and veggies and seem to have a problem eating them, get a juicer. Turn it to a juice; it will separate the fibers that cause blockages. This is what helped me out with oranges and grapefruits. Or, get a blender and after you blend, you have to strain them with a strainer and cheesecloth to catch the pulp so you have pure juice.


Does anyone know if you cook split peas really well and then blend them to make a smooth soup if it is okay? Does it cause an issue with any of you?

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