Alcohol and Ostomy: Experiences and Advice?


Hi all,

So I have another question, not really related to food specifically, but about alcohol, which I figured could be included in diet. I have very rarely had anything to drink when I have had my ileostomies because I was worried about nausea and accidentally getting too drunk and forgetting to check my bag (so it leaks). What is any of your guys' experience with alcohol in relation to this? (*About the nausea -- I had a lot of it when I got my second ileostomy, but I think it has settled down now finally after about 6 months. I don't want to push my luck, however, of course.)


Hello HardTimes. I have never had any problems with this issue because I don't drink alcohol. However, given what it tends to do to our insides, I would suggest that a more appropriate drug would be cannabis. There have been a few posts on this subject and the general consensus seems to be that people benefit from using cannabis, whereas alcohol has too many negative effects.

Most of my ex-clients would recommend heroin, but that carries its own risks.

Best wishes


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Hey, hardtimes, I'm not a drinker but like Bill said, all things have side effects. Do read over collections, something in there might help you!!



Hi Hardtimes, I drink alcohol on occasion and I have an ileostomy. The problem with enjoying spirits is dehydration, especially with an ileostomy. My stoma runs out of control when I have a drink or two, so you need to be careful, stay hydrated and pace yourself. I usually have one drink, one glass of water or non-alcoholic beverage. Yes, I have overindulged a bit with my ileostomy too. It does present challenges when you are trying to empty or, better yet, change the entire appliance. In the early days, I tested the waters by having 1/2 glass of wine and waiting to see what happened. From there, I had one glass and no more than two glasses. Two really is my limit. Good luck and if you are going to have a drink or two, take it slow and be aware of your body and how you are feeling. Everyone is different... what works for me may not work for you. LH

Just reversed

Hello hard times,

I went on a cruise in the summer with an ileostomy. It was all inclusive and I do drink. However, at my age 56, I don't really ever get to the point of way overindulgence. I had no problems at all, was able to empty as needed, knowing I may need to do that more frequently. You know what is best for your body, listen to it and stop if you think you're going to get too drunk. One thing, I never got drunk while I had my ileostomy even when having more drinks than I usually do. Maybe it was just how my body handled it. Good luck to you! And cheers!

Words of Encouragement from Ostomy Advocates I Hollister
Marilyn Flowers

I've had my ostomy for 53 years and drink wine daily. I don't consider it a problem at all.


I have had no issues with drinking adult beverages and I have probably had too many more than once ;-)


When my colon was removed due to ulcerative colitis in 1994, it was on my chart that I was a sober alcoholic, and I'd told everybody there as well so they wouldn't slip me any sedative-hypnotics (except for general anesthesia for the surgery, of course,) 'cause those are way too much like booze for me.

So I thought I'd have a little fun with the dietitian when she told me before discharge "...and you can drink wine and beer..." I told her "No, I can't!" She said "Yes, you can!" It went back and forth like that several times with her getting more and more flustered till I finally clued her in.

I'm one ostomate who can't drink at all, and it's not because any medical professional told me that. It's 'cause I know in every cell in my body that alcohol is deadly poison for me. I was a desperate, sloppy, sometimes violent drunk whose only goal in "life" was to get stuporous and stay that way, till my survival instinct clicked in not a moment too soon on November 9, 1975, and I haven't had a drop since then.


I drink a glass of wine maybe two with no issues. I do drink water just to be safe from dehydration.


Hi all,

I was only a teen when I first had my ileostomy, so adult beverages didn't become an issue until about 6 years later.

Of course I've tried beer and mixed drinks on occasion, and never had an issue with them. I learned more about wines and enjoyed a glass or two with dinners out, on occasion, but never drank on a regular basis.

I was diagnosed in my 40's with Hep C and liver disease (from transfusions), so I gave up drinking at the time... But I recently completed treatment with Harvoni and kicked the virus. My liver disease is low and stable, so I have a glass of wine on occasion with the doctor's permission. But I'm always careful about drinking enough water to balance the alcohol and keep from getting dehydrated, especially in the summer. Best of luck... Marsha


As mentioned by others, dehydration presents the biggest challenge. I am mostly a 1-2 drink on the weekend guy, but I've still whooped it up a time or three and had 3-4. That tends to be my limit and I always drink a glass of water for every alcoholic drink I have to try and stay hydrated.

One thing to also consider, carbonated drinks create gas and gas fills bags and blows them off. So if you're worried about that, stick with still drinks.

Newbie Dana

I've never been much of a drinker ever since I left my stress-inducing job 15 years ago. I do enjoy a glass or 2 of wine now and then, and have never had a problem. I don't generally like beer (although I will take a few swallows of dark ale if my husband is having any), and I really have no serious desire for heavier alcohol (I only drank to relieve stress I don't have any more!). Once in a great while, I will have something to be sociable (tequila sunrise my favorite), and I have no problems with that, either.

Past Member

I cannot speak for other ostomies but with the urostomy I can drink or eat anything. One night in a casino and drinking, I forgot about my bag (see, it's possible) and when I realized it was full to the max!!! Saved it from exploding haha. Have a friend with you always who can remind you and help if necessary. My son is good with this, but be careful.

NJ Bain

All wonderful experiences and advice. I myself am an ileostomate. I drink on average anywhere from 3-6 beers a day. On the weekends, I buy a case of beer and it lasts me all weekend.

I don't go bar hopping as I'm not looking to hook up with random women anymore and it's cheaper to drink at home. Plus, you don't have to worry about emptying your bag in your own bathroom.

In my experience with drinking beer, it does produce a lot of gas and increases output. So when I drink 3-6 beers in the evening, I usually have to get up around 3-4 AM to empty my bag and relieve myself. Luckily, my brain wakes me up to go to the bathroom where others may have to set an alarm or something. And even after the 3-4 AM empty, I'll still wake up sometimes with a football on my stomach to where I have to lay on my back and burp the bag before I attempt to empty it again.

I have gotten sloppy, fall-down drunk with my ostomy, but I was always able to manage dumping my bag without making a mess. But I wouldn't recommend it. Throwing up always sucks.

Beer and carbonated drinks produce a lot of gas, whereas wine and mixed drinks not so much. And yes, hydration as mentioned is key. It doesn't hurt to down a bottle of water or Gatorade after a night of drinking.



Good morning,

I had my surgery this summer. I adored, and continue to love, martinis. I have maybe one or two in a week's time. I definitely notice the bag change following the cocktails is more watery and a little funky.... better if you make sure you follow a drink with a glass or two of water...


I have a urostomy. I don't normally drink a lot. Maybe a 6 pack a month. For this Christmas, I have been having a 4oz glass of eggnog and a shot of rum every night. I found myself getting thirsty, but I drink lots of water daily to flush my kidneys. If I don't drink lots of water, I get urinary tract infections. I don't have a bladder or prostate anymore. Bottom line, no issues with alcohol and my urostomy. I have noticed that if I eat lots of salsa, the glue on my barrier breaks down and leaks are more likely.


I drink what I want, normally red wine or cider. I tend to drink most nights. I sit with my wife every night for a few hours and we chat. She on white wine, me on the red. Normally, no more than a bottle of red. If we go out, I will have a few pints of cider down the pub. I don't really get rat-arsed anymore; it's more a bit unsteady on my feet. I do notice that the more I drink, the more forcefully and fluid the output is. I have had a couple of leaks, but with extra products like the elastic tape, it is less frequent. The main thing is I don't let the bag alter my behavior in any way. I eat as I did and drink as I did and don't worry about the output. I do make sure I have a fresh bag on a regular basis and if going out, use my support belt that clamps it all in place. I've never really had sugary drinks like lemonade or coke, so I can't really comment on where that goes.


Hi hard times. I do enjoy an odd drink of rye, and on occasion, I will have 3 or 4 with no problems. Everyone is not the same, so I say each to their own. Hope this helps. I guess trial and error is the best way. Happy life.

Regards, Raydog


I eat and drink whatever I want, sometimes it is looser sometimes it is noisier and certainly not under any controls at all. I drink wine, cider, and gin and tonic. None of them have much impact on my stoma output. I have become pretty drunk at times and carried out a change on a few occasions without incident. On two occasions when out at the pub, I have had very liquid output in quite some volume. I don't know if it was due to the cider or wine at the time, but it certainly wasn't a pleasant experience or outcome. I tend to drink responsibly on the whole.



I'm having surgery on 7th May, ileostomy

I do enjoy a few glasses of white wine,

probably more than usual at the moment as I'm already stressing about surgery in 2 weeks' time

I'm guessing it will be a very long time after surgery before I will be able to have a glass of wine

I also wonder how long I have to wait before I can have a bong (sniggers)



Same here! I have always drunk alcohol!


Have had colostomy for 5 years! Drink whiskey, no problems! Do eat very healthy and take supplements!

looking forward

Hi all, I decide it's better all around not to drink so I don't


Hi VB,

I like your priorities... don't sweat the big stuff! But I have a funny feeling after you get your ileostomy... drinking wine will be the least of your problems for a while... it really is a life changer. If I were you, I'd stop reading posts on here about all the problems people have and just enjoy a few more bottles of the good stuff. You can't change the future... oh wait, maybe that's you can't change the past. Oh, whatever.

I gave up alcohol a zillion years ago when some ill-informed doctor told me I couldn't have any when taking Prednisone. I instantly noticed I had money in my pocket all the time and didn't miss the hangovers. Funny thing is now I don't want any at all, and my tolerance for dealing with slightly to severely inebriated dumb-ass people has dropped to zero. Pains me to think I used to be one. But we all live and learn, I guess.

Bottom line is you'll be able to get back to your wine fairly quickly. Until then, your ostomy will provide you with plenty of entertainment. Welcome to the team!



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