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Probiotics for Ileostomies - what is your opinion?

Wed May 24, 2017 10:43 pm
"MeetAnOstoMate is the best website for people with an Ostomy. So much understanding. Everyone should join."

I realize a great deal of digestion and absoption of nutrients take place in the small intestine. There is a lot of information about being careful with time released and coated medications, so it only makes sense that some of the nutrients from foods are sacrificed as well.  I've been trying to determine what probiotic might work best with an ileostomy. Some sound like they're more like a laxitive, which is certainly not needed. If we no longer have a colon/bowel, should we look for specific kinds of pobiotics? OR are they even recommended? I sometimes wonder if medications are working properly. I still feel so exhausted - even weak at times. I'd like to be able to get back to workouts and have more ambition.

Thanks for any advice and/or recommendations,


Fri May 26, 2017 9:42 pm

This is just my opinion. I feel that the probiotic 'craze' is overstated. The gastric juice of the stomach (pH about 2) is such that microbial growth would not occur and even be destroyed rendering them useless. Of course, a potential bacterium, Helicobacter pylori does survive in the stomach and its growth can lead to ulcers among other deleterious effects.


MeetAnOstoMate - 27,770 members
Fri May 26, 2017 10:43 pm

Thank you Xerexes, your point is well taken. From what I've read, I have to agree that is might be more of a passing fancy. If I understand from my own experience, the H pylori is from the esophagus going INto the stomach.

I am having a lot of trouble getting my energy back. I've wondered if medication is being processed properly and that sort of thing.

How do you feel about vitamins?

Thanks again! Vicki

Fri May 26, 2017 11:18 pm

I've heard of folks going to their Primary care doctor and getting a blood test to see if they are lacking any minerals of vitamins. Maybe that would be a start?

Sat May 27, 2017 1:44 am

Hi, Vicki!

I agree with the group, but I DO think that it's important to keep our biotics going. 

Does your hospital have a nutritionist?  And if she doesn't seem to know her stuff, casually ask her where she went to school. Then find her professors and ask THEM. 

Sat May 27, 2017 12:14 pm

Thanks Mrs. A and NotDeadYet,

Excellent advice! I appreciate it. The hospital where I had my surgery does have a wonderful ostomy/wound clinic and nutritionist so I'll ask questions there.

Thanks again for your help... what I nice AND safe place to hang out :)

Best regards,


Mon May 29, 2017 8:44 pm


As a rule, under normal conditions, I really don't think it is necessary to take vitamins on a daily basis. However, we ostomates do not have normal conditions when it comes to intestinal flora simply because we are lacking segments of our GI tract where many of the B complex vitamins are sythesized by the microbes located there. This is particularly true of ileostomates who lack much of, and in some cases, all of the colon (large intestine) which normally houses these beneficial bacteria. Hence vitamin supplements are beneficial here.

Wed May 31, 2017 2:36 pm

My neice does use probiotics as per her medical instructions - she has an ileostomy that has been reattached.  She has FAP and will probably have further removals as the disease progresses.  

I too have FAP but had massive amounts of organs/tumors/etc removed and I was told not to bother.  However I do now eat some yogurt with fresh berries and love it.  I am in my fifith yr and this has just become a food I can handle -- before I really had problems with it and therefore followed medical advice.  I will say that if you are tired more than usual, you should have your blood checked.  I have to have iron and nothing got into my system.  With my GP's help, we went through all the multi vitamins available and discovered that the only one that worked was Centrum Specialist/Energy.  It is expensive, but my system will absorb the iron and my blood #'s are excellent across the board now. It was the only one with enough iron that did just pass through to the bag.

I still get tired enough to take a break for 30 minutes after lunch but what a huge difference.

The other thing that is an issue for FAP is thyroid.  I don't know if that is true for other cases or not, but we have to religious about thyroid cancer.

Wed May 31, 2017 5:50 pm

When I had my colon removed, my doctor, whom I totally trust, told me that virtually all digestion is done in the small intestine and that the colon merely removes the liquid to conveniently "package" the remains into fecal material for ejection.

That certainly seems to be the case for me.  I am totally healthy without my colon, and can actually eat foods I used to avoid due to colitis, which eventually led to colon cancer.

You should also consider fermened foods like sauerkraut.  I used to avoid it, but now I love it and my digestive tract seems to also like it.

Try anything new in moderation, and if it doesn't seem to work now, try again in 6 months.  I think your digestive system continually evolves as it heals.

Wed May 31, 2017 7:39 pm

Thanks for the response... makes perfect sense too! I think I'm just being impatient. Like you, I already tolerate some foods better than I did before the surgery.

Thanks again, Vicki

Mon Nov 06, 2017 5:50 pm

You could also check into prebiotics, designed for the small intestine and digestive help,  i’ve had an ileostomy for 20 years and just had a surgery due to food blockage since surgery my stoma puts out a lot of gas and by taking a prebiotic / probiotic combination it has Eliminated that gas 

Tue Jan 30, 2018 2:53 pm

Are there any recommendations for specific brands of probiotics?

Wed Jan 31, 2018 12:29 pm

I drink Kombucha, in fact I'm making my own.

Mon Feb 26, 2018 7:23 pm

Dear VdahL:

     I am in the same position as you are.  I have started taking Plexus last April. It is a plant based supplement.

The vitamins have aloe in them.  I also take their probiotics.  I feel just great with these products.  I do not have

to take any more medications.  I only take Plexus and love it.

    If you want more information on it, please send me a message.  Thank you

   yours truly. Petunia

Mon Jun 17, 2019 3:17 pm

70% of your immune system is in your gut! Antibiotics destroy your immune system! Rebuild it with probiotics, yogurt, cottage cheese! Majority of people are low on D3, magnesium, potassium! I take all above along with b 3, b complex and of course fish oil and Curcumin 

Sat Jul 06, 2019 10:27 pm

Good information. Which probiotics do you take.

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