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Gaining weight after ileostomy

I am looking for advice on what I can eat that won't go right through me. I had my ileostomy surgery 8 weeks ago and can not seem to gain any weight. I have tried protein shakes with a banana, jelly beans, crackers, etc. I had lost over 40 pounds when I was sick and have only gained six pounds. Any suggestions would really help. Please and thank you.
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After my ileo surgery 5 years ago I was underweight too and it took about 3 months before I started to gain some weight (now I have the opposite problem, am a little too healthy!).  Ice-cream (the full fat variety) may help in your protein shake (I used to have a milkshake with every meal).  I ate a lot of pasta with the creamy sauces (alfredo, carbonara, mac+cheese etc), loaded mashed potatoes, any kind of potatoes for that matter, chips, fries, etc.  Basically go for all the stuff that dieter's steer clear of, full-fat, full-cream, deep-fried, high carbohydrate; within reason of course, make sure there is plenty of healthy stuff in there too.  Balanced diet is the best in the long run, but high-carb food is good after surgery as it thickens output plus helps you increase your weight (and it tastes good too!)  In my case I was delighted to have a healthy appetite again.  Give yourself some time and hopefully you will see the pounds gradually increase.  
Me to I was 90lbs now I to have the opposite problem but I'm  happy the weight will come back and you will feel better lots of gas at first and then subsides, hope this helps.
Thanks so much for your comments. I feel like an outcast. I do not know anyone who is going through this way of life and today I found this site and it is nice to have a little support. I truly appreciate that you both took the time to respond.Have a great weekend.   Thanks again,Michele
Jo is right, I did the same thing and it worked for me.  It took about three months after surgery for me to gain weight; I was down to 98 lbs at one point.  Now I weigh a healthy 135 9 months later Smile  I have two words for you - CREAM CHEESE!  LOL I covered everything I ate in cream cheese.  You are not an outcast; there are thousands of us and you probably know people who  have one, they just don't tell anyone about it.  After I had mine done a friend from high school told me she had had a colostomy since we were 19 and I had no idea before that she had an ostomy.  So you never know!
Hi Michspo, Please don't feel like an outcast. There are more of us out here who have a hard time gaining weight. I have had my ostomy for 6 or 7 years and I am still not at my average weight. Jo is right, pasta, potatoes and other foods that can help to keep us healthy as well. I try and have ice cream once a day sometimes more often. Now that summer is here it is even harder to keep weight on. I am down to a size 6 from a 12. Sometimes it is scary and my oncologist even was nervous and thought cancer was hiding somewhere else. Praise God the cat scan showed nothing. I still eat small meals but when I want something in between I try to eat something that will put the weight on. Thinking about trying a powder called Whey Protein.
Wow Mrs. A, I too went from a size 12 to a size 6.  I have never wore a size 6.  I am 5'8 and look like a skeleton!Thanks to all for your responses. It really helps. I am just afraid that by eating all the stuff needed to gain weight, I will end up with an angioplasty next. Sad. Although I am going to eat what you guys say. I am determined to ride my Harley this summer. Right now I am not strong enough to handle the bike.  Many thanks,Michele
I eat grilled cheese sandwiches all the time after my surgery till I was more comfy on testing what more I could have I don't heal fast so I had to take my time so I didn't get blockages they were easy and fast and well I can eat a lot of them also lol and 4 yeas later I am only 20 lbs heavier then what I was before the surgery but that's cause I don't do all the work I used to do now its hardly anything cause wore out my body working
hi michspo i,ve had an ileo. for 29yrs. and if i want to slow my output i eat applesauce or bananas, oatmeal, also its still early in your recovery and it will take your body some time to adjust, i also ate a lot of pasta with meat sauce for energy and protein for healing.  good luck ron in mich.
I had an operation to remove colon cancer in April 2012 five days in hospital, ended up with an ileostomy and had lost about 30 lbs. From a high of 230 at one time down to 185; great; except it didn't last long. My normal weight of 215 keeps coming back. March 2013, back in hospital seven days this time to remove a gall stone, down to 190 lbs, again gained weight. April 2013 gall bladder removed, only 8 hrs in hospital no weight loss. Guess what I'm back at 215. And for 5'11 (when I was young and handsome) I still claim 5'11 maybe in the morning, and I can't seem to loose any weight.Oh haven't heard of Jigsaw, but I read somewhere on here and now use it, mouthwash seems to work wonders I add a bit every time I empty the bag.So maybe you should follow my diet (or lack thereof) and I'll follow yours. One of the things that seem to work for me as far as getting all the nutrients is yogurt (no fat) with fruit (banana, mango, strawberries or blueberries) and sweetener.As far as getting up during the night there is little difference now than before the operation, but that is probably due to old age. Read somewhere peanut butter or marshmallows should solidify your stool.All I can suggest is: Don't worry be happyLook at the bright side you could have my problem. :-)Ed
Hi Ed!I admire my fellow ostemates who has been dealing with our situations for such a long time. I hope to hear you are cancer free.  You are so tall so your weight is just fine. I am 5'8 and always weighed a out 164lbs; in my adult life that is.  :-)In my situation this whole situation came as a total surprise. I got sick at the end of March, with no prior symptoms and in the middle of May I am having an ileostomy. No time to even think about anything, just lots of tears. Then still don't know what is wrong with me. Only a bunch of guesses and an emotional roller coaster ride. I have never been a big eater, so with me using everyone's suggestions; it is a lot for me. Although, I do not have much of a choice. Only gained a whole six pounds since the end of May. Maybe my nerves are involved some how. MicheleFrom Chitown.
Hey Ron,Thanks for the info. Some fellow members have stated that it takes at least three months to see any weight gain. Every time I have seen the docs, they say gain some weight.  I am trying!   Having to live on the toilet is no picnic!  Michele

As a urostomate, I don't share your problems.  However Before she died, I nursed my wife for 3 years and she had terrible problems initially with coping with her ileostomy. Finally, my Stoma nurse solved the problem, well made it manageable, by suggesting using Loperamide HCL at 2X2mg 20 mins before eating. This jellified the output and made it much easier to deal with.  It also calmed down the stomach and made her feel much better.  As for putting on weight, be patient, lots of good stuff here about diet, but try to bake your own white bread, use white rice and stay away from the healthy vegetables that we are usualy encouraged to eat.  Watch your fluid intake as dehydration will be an issue if you neglect your fluid intake.  Try black Tea and lay off the coffee.Lots of good wishes and relax.
Hi Michspo, I agree with what everyone else has said on here about what to eat, carbs like pasta and potatoes are great and eat lots of cheese! Something else I would say is whenever you are hungry, then eat! It doesnt matter if its not lunch time or if its late at night, if you want something then eat! Let yourself have anything that you fancy!  As you have an ileostomy, your output may be more liquidy and of high volume because (if like me) you may not have much bowel left so if this is the case then it might be worth speaking to your doctor or stoma nurse about tablets which slow down your digestive system and that way the food will be inside you longer so your body has more time to absorb it all. Hope that helps! Sophie x
Michspo, Most of these posts are good. Just remember you are still a Newbie. It will take your body time to heal and adjust. Being an 'Ileostomate' you will have loose stool ` this is because the ostomy was performed in the small  intestine, where the body liquefies nutrients. The large intestine or colon is where absorption of this liquid occurs. I'm enclosing a link to the UOAA, where you can download a number of food Brochures plus general information on your situation .......Drink lots of liquids... Stay Hydrated!
Thanks so much for all the info!  
Michspo,I also had to gain back weight. But I will say that you also need to think about giving your body HEALTHY calories to rebuild itself. Protein is very important for rebuilding and healing. One of the things I would use for breakfast was organic peanut butter on whole grain toast. That really helped. Think balance and healthy.
All these food suggestions for gaining weight have been great. I am on TOM at night, an IV food supplement because I have an sodomy as well as a fistula that discharges liquid on my back. I have gone from 88 lbs to 126 in 7 months. Today I just found a new yogurt at my health food store, Liberte yogurt Mediterranee. In 6 oz it'S 230 calories and 8 grams of protein. I am going to consume these like candy! Catberine
hi michelle having never been a big eater is to your advantage as its actually better to eat smaller meals spread out over the day, having food in the system also reduces gas unless you eat gassy foods. take care ron in mich.  ps  drink a variety of fluids not just water
Drinking lots of fluids is good but dont drink too much in one go or it will all just go through you and youll get dehydrated, thats what happened to me! Keep drinking little sips all day. Also I wouldnt eat whole grain bread just yet, best to stick to white at first! x
Actually, I have thought a lot about that whole grain thing. Why should it be a problem if it's not full of large items (tree I just couldn't stand the idea of white bread, rice, real I carefully ate my way back to health by putting healthy food into my system.Though I have thought of finding a naturopath or such to help me understand what items are useless to me without my large intestine.
I hear you about the whole grain thing. I will eat whole wheat bread but not the tree logs....lolI just received my Nurtibullet and have had to smoothies, and my stool has gotten thicker. Not sure if it is the spinach or fresh fruit. In this machine you put the whole fruits in there and it extracts all the nutrients. So I am keeping my fingers crossed that it keeps up. I make green sun tea and that seems to stay with me longer than just water. I do love my water. I go through 6-8 bottles of water daily. Always.  
I do smoothies too...I use my Ninja to zap a mixture of frozen mixed organic berries, organic banana, handful of walnuts, organic plain yogurt (greek is best for protein), organic washed stemmed kale sometimes,and organic orange juice. You can also use powdered organic freeze dried super greens to add more nutrition. As a beverage apart from that, pom juice adds a super antioxidant punch. You can add a splash of sparkling mineral water to make it seem like a soda. I also drink Sport Tea for a lift and the electrolytes. Smile)  L

Don't get fixated on diet. Just remember that dietary fibre is not what you require at the moment.  There is a whole industry selling 'Organic' foods some are snake oil salesmen. Try different things one at a time then assess what works for you.  It is still early days yet.  Be glad you are alive.
Sorry, wrong Forum.

Hi Michspo, I too had lost a lot of weight(went down to 82 pounds). After my ileostomy,the weight only really started to go back on after about 3 months. When you say that food goes right through you , do you mean you have very watery output? I was told that people with an ileostomy have a very watery output but mine was very thick.Before surgery I was eating a diet high in fiber. Then with the ileo a low fiber diet was recommended. But even with this my output was very thick. I did not eat foods containing sugar previously because they would flare up my arthritis pain. Every one at my ostomy group said their output was watery  I wondered why mine wasn't. So I ate a bit of sugary foods  surprise my output was watery which I did not like (afraid of leaks)! Since I enjoy my fruits  veggies I eat them. Fruits in smoothies  veggies well cooked  most times pureed in soups. When I need to thin out I will have some honey or a bit of chocolate or add a bit of mild spice to my foods like curry.Hope this helps. Your weight will come back on as your body becomes stronger.Good luck, HUGS
Hello flowerlady, I wish I had time to bulk up on fiber before the surgery. It was unexpected. I am going on 9 weeks recovery. I just started drinking smoothies. The fruits and veggies seem to bulk up the stool and seems to stay with me longer. It's like, within an hour the food goes right through me. Now the stool has more of  watery shake, but not thick like after drinking the smoothies.  I am not much for sweets and sugar, but I do drink a Pepsi in the morning, as I don't drink coffee.  I also drink almost four liters of water daily. Always have. I can't stand the taste of metamucil so have been taking it in tablet form.  I need to get ready for my reversal. I am not strong enough yet. I've just really started getting my appetite back. I was dealing with a lot of anxiety not knowing what was wrong. I was waiting for a correct diagnosis. I will lose between 8-10 inches of my lower colon. Thanks for your help.
Michspo, after looking at the info on your profile, I will give you my perspective on your situation. I, too, had a sudden surgery situation. Apparently, they aren't sure if it was U.C. or what. That concerns me, because before going into a reversal surgery, I want to make sure I am doing everything possible for a successful outcome. I was told to go home and get strong and healthy before any thoughts of further surgery. I had lost 35 lbs and was skin and bones.  Now I am looking way better and doing very well. It has been a year and I will be talking to the surgeon next month. But I also intend seeing a new gastroenterologist and seeing what I can do to make this reversal work. Looking at the posts regarding other's reversals is very enlightening. Some have had reversals after treatment for UC and Crohn's. I didn't know that could be done before.My main take is...take your time, get healthy again, and get all the info you can. Beyond that...absolutely all the power to you!!! Smile))

Wow reading all these comments is nice, a lot more idea's of how to gain weight, I was 107 before surgery, perm- Ileostomy---now im done to 98 lbs, I look like crap, need to gain weight so bad, had surgery on 1/7/ still trying...

GreenEyes. It is difficult to believe that you look crap.  Most blokes can walk down the beach looking like a whale or a stick and believe themselves to look sexy.  Why can't you?  Those who know will find you attractive, who cares about the rest.  Don't fret.
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