Understanding Stoma Transit Time for Consistent Diet with Colostomy


Just trying to understand how all this works, so if you eat a meal, how long does it take to reach the stoma? So if you eat a breakfast, is that what you see or are you seeing a previous meal waiting to leave? Been trying to figure out a diet that works consistently, ...............one day it works great...the next not so good....colostomy for 2 months now


Only one word for you letsrock.....IRRIGATION.

Look into it. You won't look back.



Yeah, I have been thinking about that, but from what I have understood you still have to wear a skin barrier, and some still wear a pouch... if I have to do all of that I may as well keep doing the same as I do now

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Hi letsrock and welcome to the forum,

In the 1980s, Mayo Clinic researchers measured digestion time in 21 healthy people. Total transit time, from eating to elimination in stool, averaged 53 hours (although that figure is a little overstated, because the markers used by the researchers passed more slowly through the stomach than actual food). The average transit time through just the large intestine (colon) was 40 hours, with significant difference between men and women: 33 hours for men, 47 hours for women.

This is a link to the article, http://www.mayoclinic.org/digestive-system/expert-answers/faq-20058340


Totally agree with Veejay. Been living with colostomy bag for 2 months now, post-op June 2015.

Started irrigating 5 days ago, at 500ml, which I've found will get me through 24 hours without the need for a bag, I'm just using a stoma cap.

Hoping to eventually extend that to 48 or maybe 72 hours.

Irrigation equals freedom.

Staying Hydrated with an Ostomy with LeeAnne Hayden | Hollister

Not sure if my ileostomy is the same GI involvement as a colostomy - but I have scleroderma since 2005, ileostomy bag since 2010.....we as humans have about 20 feet of small bowel (intestine) and 5 feet of colon (large bowel) and for sure it takes time for the small bowel to absorb nutrients from food......I have heard people say 'that meal came right out of me'......It's actually the previous few meals that are being expelled......If you ever had kids, think about how when a baby drinks a bottle.......It stimulates digestion and as they might be drinking a bottle, a parent will feel a diaper bubbling out the last meal......................


I was having a lot of problems, nothing would stay in me and I was very dehydrated. Doc put me on codeine pills, never felt better...


I've had a colostomy for several years now. The first year, no matter what I tried, the food kept rushing through and pouring out of my stoma. Finally, a friend suggested taking loperamide, which is the diarrhea pill Imodium. After trying different amounts, I found that one pill with breakfast and one with supper did the trick. However, lately, I have had to add a pill at lunchtime. It is a great relief to be able to enjoy a meal without worrying about it rushing out through my stoma, and of course, I am now getting the nutrition I was not getting when it passed through so quickly. I buy the loperamide on Amazon, where it is quite cheap.


Best way to find out is to eat sweetcorn or green peas! When you see them come out, you know how long they took to travel :)

I am sure irrigation is a wonderful thing but might I just say that not everyone is suitable for this method. I, for one, please don't rub it in, we do our best with what we have.

Francine x


I like that fledgling, it is a fact. It's a frequently asked question that I get from the non-understanding masses. I look at it as a way of thinking of a full-to-the-rim glass of water on a flat surface. Put one drip in and one drip will come out, but it may not be the same drip. I think we are much healthier because we never have any more waste in us than we need. I know it's a bit weird, but what do you think about the mushrooms when they come through? Ha ha.


I love the borders and you have a lovely new railway. You lucky things.


I have an ileostomy and have to have regular endoscopies. I've timed it since I don't do the prep. Exactly 12 hours after a meal, I'll see it again.

If I want to thicken up my output, peanut butter does the job wonderfully. I love peanut butter sandwiches but it pancakes something awful.

Zalibee the Bumblebee!


Bananas, oatmeal, non-sweetened, mashed potatoes, or white rice helps too.


Hi, new here. I have had an ileostomy for 3 years (bowel cancer) from the most recent surgery in 12/2019. Now I have 150cm of bowel left.

I have never had much help in the way of diet or nutrition. I am now on insulin for high sugar levels, not classified as diabetic but insulin resistant. Any advice on how to manage? PS: Can you explain what "pancake" means? Thanks.

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