Concerns about post-ileostomy symptoms, seeking advice



I've just recently had an ileostomy and have only been home 3 days. The output for my stoma seems to change a lot from really thick to quite loose. Yesterday when I got up, I felt really dizzy and had headaches and felt absolutely freezing and couldn't get warm at all. I've been trying today to drink lots more fluid as I was worried it might have been dehydration. Now my output has gone like diarrhea consistency. I'm wondering if it could be a bug of some sort. Has anyone else experienced these symptoms? I'm hoping I won't have to go back into the hospital as it will soon be Christmas. Any advice is much appreciated. Thank you.



I've had my J-pouch for 21 years now and it still changes its output (normally weekly).

The only advice is to eat a varied diet and try to work out how many tablets you take to control the output and remember the more you eat, the more your output will be, and your liquid intake over the day should be about 2 liters. Any more will make your flow loose.

Good luck

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Depends on what you eat and how much you drink. The main thing is it's emptying!


All good advice from Russell and honestable. I have had my ileostomy since 1994, and in time, you will adjust to your way of living. You will get loose stool and empty frequently, depending on what you eat and how much you eat in a day. Don't be afraid to try foods too; you won't know unless you do. Everyone is different, but we all are experiencing different things. Any other questions, don't be afraid to ask.

ron in mich

Hi all, early on your flow will vary as your system is still waking up and any internal swelling is shrinking. Small meals are best along with varying fluids: water, milk, juices, teas, but stay away from carbonated drinks until things are healed. Good luck.

Words of Encouragement from Ostomy Advocates I Hollister

Good morning, thank you for the post and your question. My only advice to you is to take it slowly and give your body time to heal from this surgery. I would keep hydrated by drinking water, juice, and maybe some Gatorade. I would also limit my consumption of caffeine drinks such as tea and coffee. In addition, I would suggest eating soft foods and limiting raw and cooked vegetables. Peanut butter, applesauce, potatoes, rice, and pasta will thicken your output too. Always remember to eat slowly, chew your food well, and drink lots of liquids. It helps your body digest the food. In my early days, my output was very liquid too. Over time, it did slow a bit and thicken too. Best wishes to you and a very happy holiday. Sincerely, LadyHope


Hi TickledPink,

Everyone has given you very good advice.

I know it's all new to you, but you don't have to worry if you have the runs for a few hours or even a day. Your system is still adjusting to not having a colon (which absorbs most of the fluids we need).

Think of your digestive track being like a new baby... and try new foods or new combinations, one at a time.

Allow for the consistency of the output to vary.....depending on how much water and other liquids you've had to drink, and the type of food you eat.

I've had my ileostomy for over 50 years, and the output still varies. I know I can eat some salad greens (lettuce, tomatoes/ no celery) but never on an empty stomach. If I do, it's instant "runs". But if I have bread or other starchy foods with it, no problem. I agree with LadyHope.....try to avoid carbonated beverages, and if you had ulcerative colitis or Crohn's, you might want to avoid too much milk or milk products, which could be a trigger for the runs. I still eat some cheese, but gave up drinking milk....and the "runs" went away. It's all trial and error, and very individual... Best of luck and a very Happy and Healthy New Year... Marsha

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