Struggling with Blockages and Limited Diet - Need Suggestions!


Well, this past weekend I had my first official blockage. I tried some strawberries and ended up in severe pain for two days. I had a little discharge from the stoma but not much. I had to fly to Salt Lake City VA for a checkup on my throat surgery and had to suffer the pain until Monday at 0530 when it finally cleared and then all hell broke loose!! I had googled blockages and went down the list doing each fix. When I finally soaked in the hot bath, the blockage worked itself out and the pain stopped. I stayed in the bathroom for 10 minutes leaning over the commode while everything that was backed up cleared. By that time, I had been up for two days. By the time I returned home, I was barely functioning. I am angry because it seems that I can't eat anything!! It seems as if all has to be white, no fruit, no vegetables, no nothing!! I read so much about other ileostomy owners that claim they have no problems and it makes me mad that everything goes on my no-go list!!! My question is why me?? Food just seems tasteless and unappetizing to me more each day. More and more as I try to eat and more things go on my no-go list, the more I don't enjoy eating anymore. The only thing that was good about this is that I learned to deal with it so I didn't have to go to the hospital. I have reached out to dietitians for help but no one can help me figure out what to eat. Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated.

Hello freedancer.

Sorry to hear that there are so many things you don't seem to be able to eat without an adverse reaction. You seem to be approaching the problem of blockages in a sensible way by testing each of the foods individually before deciding which ones go on the no-no list. However, what I found was that almost all of what I could not eat for the first year or so, I gradually experimented with after a couple of years and voila! I found that I could eat more or less anything I wanted as long as it was masticated thoroughly. At first, I put it in the liquidizer and reduced it to a sludge because I wanted to see whether it was the food that caused the problems or the texture. It turned out to be the texture, so I gradually liquidized it less and less while I chewed it more and more. The end result is that I can now eat everything I like with confidence that I will not have problems.

I hope this helps.

Best wishes


Aww. I, like many here, understand where you're coming from. It is frustrating and it won't last forever. I like Bill's reply. Maybe a processor or a juicer would be a good idea. You don't have to mix all your food in it, especially not all different types at once. Maybe just something "new" that you want to test. Kind of what some of us used to do when we wanted to give our young children before so much commercially made baby food in a jar became so popular. If it is small enough to swallow without much chewing, it shouldn't cause a blockage.

Best wishes

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Hi FreeDancer, in the early days I also experienced some issues with my ileostomy. I was instructed by a wound care nurse to drink lots of water when I ate, which was contrary to what I usually did. I know, I know....I should drink liquids while eating but I never needed to... I would drink all my beverage at the end of a meal. Anyway, I also chew my food a lot today. These two additions to my routine have helped me out. Give it a try, it may help you as well. Also, I do not eat anything with little seeds such as strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, or grapes. If these fruits are offered, I may eat one (1), no more. They do not agree with me, and I never liked the crunchy seeds. I also take the seeds out of cucumbers and tomatoes, and I love summer tomatoes and cucumbers. Good luck and please keep us posted. LadyHope

Hi Freedancer: I really feel for you. My ileostomy is totally different from yours. I can eat whatever I want. I have had my ostomy for 2 years now, and I can eat whatever I want to, including meat, fruit, veggies, all types of berries, watermelon. The only thing I am careful with is anything with skin on it such as apples. I just peel the skin off and eat the apple. Maybe I am just lucky. If you get a chance, Google Hollister company and ask them to send you all the literature they have about foods to eat, etc. They will send it at no cost to you. Hope this helps, and please let me know if this helps.

Regards, Raydog.

Getting Support in the Ostomy Community with LeeAnne Hayden | Hollister
Hi Freedancer, a blockage can be a nasty and painful experience. I've had my ostomy for 50+ years, and while I was able to eat almost anything from the beginning (except raw veggies like carrots or celery), the occasional blockage did happen. Doing what Ladyhope does (drinking a lot of water, chewing well) helps. Ironically, as I've gotten older, more foods began to cause backups, if not quite blockages. I'd have belly pain, cramps, gas, liquid output, and nausea. Sometimes, it would take a day or two for the culprit food to make its way out. There's no way of knowing the condition of our inner bowels, but many of us may have lesions that make easy digestion more difficult. Problem foods for me now are any kind of veggie with shells (peas) or high fiber (corn). I avoid poppy seeds and most nuts, and although I can eat some salad, I never do it on an empty stomach. All my veggies are cooked "well," to almost a mush consistency. Broccoli, cauliflower, etc. I've become a fan of making my veggies into a soup... squash or pumpkin soup. Fresh fruit can also be a problem... either too high in sugar (I'm diabetic) or too high in potassium (bananas), or too much fiber (apple skins, oranges, etc.). I've learned to eat more simply... and be attuned to hidden problems (no mushrooms). I use applesauce as a side dish... not just a dessert. If you continue to have problems, check with your doctor to make sure you don't have a physical blockage. For a time, my endocrinologist thought I might have "nerve damage" in the bowel because my digestion slowed down. I'd feel like I had a blockage... because foods took 24 hours to pass, instead of the usual 4-6. My suggestion to you is to "test" yourself by limiting your diet to basics and then add one new food every day or so. Use broth, cereal, mashed potatoes, applesauce, bread as a basic diet. Avoid dairy products for a while... Then start adding proteins... well chewed, easy to digest. If any of those foods cause problems, it may not just be the food. Best of luck. Marsha

Thanks for the great input. I just found out "Maxine" likes venison and gravy with biscuits. My veteran friends brought me 20 pounds of venison and I was very happy!!

I use a body wand high frequency vibrator. Laying down flat on my back. 15 or 30 minutes does the trick for me. You just need to relax. I eat one small meal around 1 o'clock then granola, milk, V8 juice, watermelon, oatmeal, juice. Good luck, Kemo Jerz.

V8 Juice -- Regular Original variety is excellent. You need to cut everything into small pieces or chew very well. I lay down after eating and it helps. If you suspect a possible issue, soak in a warm bath and then be sure to press a bit here and there to make things move around a bit inside -- I have a lot of organ tissues removed and am careful to remind myself to do a few sit-ups or toe touches or whatever. You do have to be very careful with any uncooked food. And anything that might become a potential "dam builder". Water and/or hot tea are "by my side" 24 hours a day -- and every time I clear the bag, I drink a glass of fluid just as a habit. Short walks keep the food from lodging too.

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