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Weight gain after colostomy surgery

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Fri Jul 14, 2017 12:49 pm

I just had a colostomy bag placed on the first of July, 2017. Before surgery I was at a healthy 125 lbs for my 5'5" frame. Now I weigh a little over 110 lbs. I am curious as to how long it will take before I gain weight and people stop asking me whether or not I am anorexic. It's absolutely embarrassing and I'm eating tons of protein bars, as well as protein shakes to maintain a healthy weight. I eat 5 small meals a day as directed and it's always full of protein. My question I guess is, is there any supplements or vitamins that I can take to help gain weight? I'm already insecure to begin with. Unless I gain weight I don't know if I'll ever attempt to leave my house again. Any suggestions would be great! Thanks 

Fri Jul 14, 2017 1:28 pm


  It sounds like you're just 2 weeks out of surgery.  It does take time for your body to adjust to the trauma it's just been through.  When I had my surgery for a permanent ileostomy, I walked in weighing 140 lbs and when I was discharged a month later, I weighed only 118 lbs.  The first week post op, I wasn't allowed to eat anything except ice chips and the second week, I was allowed soft surgical food.  I still hate jello to this day.

  Gradually, your body will absorb nutrients normally.  The nutritionist in the hospital ordered a can of Ensure or Boost for every one of my meals.  After a few months, I started getting back to my average weight.  Give your body time to heal.  You will be able to get back to your ideal weight.

  As far as weight "gain" suppliments, I haven't a clue.  Wish I could be more helpful.



Fri Jul 14, 2017 1:46 pm

Thank you.

Sat Jul 15, 2017 5:29 am

Hi Rwilliams3433, how are you? I also have that problem but at this point the weight is not coming back . My digestive system won't allow me to hold food, or protien, so I've learned to embrace me!! I was a size 6 , I am know a zero and yes people do make comments but oh well. You might gain , if not embrace you!! Good luck!!!

Sat Jul 15, 2017 9:23 am

I've always be fairly tiny, but it makes me so insecure. People are so darn judgemental nowadays. It's almost discouraging! So far I'm still wearing a size 7 so hopefully it stays that way. Thank you so much for contacting me. This has been really hard to deal with alone. Thanks again. Take care!

Sat Jul 15, 2017 10:20 am

R williams3433, hang  in there do you!!!


Sun Jul 16, 2017 2:47 pm

Hi RWilliams

I had exactly the opposite problem. I went in at 125 (after years of acute UC) and when I had my ileostomy, I was most comfortable eating meat, pasta, potatoes, bread etc. Vegetables caused a bit of gas and minor blockages. I put on a fair amount of weight over the first year, and have spend the following five years trying to lose it. Veggies don't cause me problems any more.  So, I guess if you want to gain weight, eat lots of carbs!

Good luck


Sun Jul 16, 2017 3:35 pm

My weight, unfortunately, has bounced around so much, I don't know whether I'm going up or down! During chemo, I went from 135 to 118, then bounced back eventually to 130. When I got peritonitis and then my colonostomy, I went back down to 115 - and stayed there for two weeks, then went back to 125 by the time I got out of the hospital several weeks later. I lost and gained the same 5-10 pounds over the next two months as I was learning what I could and could not eat. When I suffered a relapse and was in the hospital again, everyone was pushing food on me all the time. Since I finally felt better, I quickly ballooned to 150 pound! I am now struggling (slowly!) to lose that and get back to a healthy 125.

I guess the worst part is not knowing exactly what put the weight ON, and now having to work so hard to take it back OFF.

If I could just stay one weight for a while, I would be so much happier!

Sun Jul 16, 2017 10:06 pm

Hi.  Just be patient.  Add some cereals, fruits & juices to your diet plan.  You need more time to adjust to your ostomy & taking care of it & yourself.  Enjoy the benefits of the surgery whatever they may be from less pain & less medicine.  Good Luck.  I have learned a lot from you tube on ostomy care.  Pat R.

Thu Jul 26, 2018 1:05 pm
Hello. I have learned to take Beano before eating fruits and veggies. Meats, pastas, and breads come out applesaucy, which is what is recommended. It is going to be trial and error for awhile. Don't give in or give up!! You got this!!!
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