Limited Fruit & Veggie Options with Ileostomy - Seeking Advice!

Morning glory
Aug 03, 2018 4:08 pm

I had my surgery 37 years ago; I was told that I would be able to eat anything. I have a huge problem eating any fruits and veggies. I mainly eat carbs and meat. I can eat okra, squash, and tomatoes. This makes no sense since they all have seeds. I have an ileostomy. Any thoughts as to why?

Aug 04, 2018 10:29 pm

Hey Morning glory, what problem do you have eating fruits and veggies?  Given some specifics there will probably be folks with similar experiences who might help.



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Morning glory
Aug 10, 2018 10:43 pm

My problem is that after eating fruits and veggies, it is leaking. I start out with diarrhea. I then will have a huge cramping sensation, then my bowel will be hard. This causes my pouch to loosen. The diarrhea then comes full force and gets on my clothes at times.

Aug 11, 2018 7:13 pm

Hi Morning glory.  I just don't know enough about this to offer advice to you.  I'm also somewhat confused.  Was the leakage and "D" always a problem for you?  I don't know what the seeds have to do with your situation since your colon isn't involved.  I won't stop researching and, hopefully, we'll get some good advice.



Morning glory
Aug 13, 2018 2:04 pm

Yes, it has always been a problem for me. I know others with ileostomy and they seem to be able to eat anything they want. Thanks for replying.

Getting Support in the Ostomy Community with LeeAnne Hayden | Hollister
Aug 13, 2018 3:15 pm

Hi Morning Glory, it's good that you joined as a lifetime member. Staying connected means you always have the option to connect with others. Regarding issues with fruits and veggies...
The same thing happens to me, but ironically, not all the time. Some fruit/veggie fibers have the tendency to "ball up". I find that especially with peaches and asparagus...and some others with "long" fibers. I don't eat much "raw" stuff anymore...just some lettuce, finely chopped tomato without the skin. Onions...I chop up. I'm "afraid of mushrooms", as they come out the way they went they're finely chopped and overcooked...Raw celery and carrots are out. I used to be able to eat popcorn and corn on the cob...but don't do it often... Try what I do...start the meal with bread/meat...and have a small taste/serving of a veggie or fruit...mid-meal. Sometimes, it triggers the runs...with all liquid coming out...within the hour...while the fiber can stay "in" for days. But I don't always get pain. I cook veggies very well, and sometimes even puree broccoli and cauliflower...Digestion is so individual..

Next time you write...tell more about yourself. I usually pass through North Carolina, en route to SC or Fla. But I've been to Raleigh several times. Where is Thomasville? What did you do when you worked? I was a preschool disability teacher, and I really miss it. I'm hoping I can find some part-time work this year... That's a nice pic you it your daughter or granddaughter? Hope to hear from you. Marsha

Aug 14, 2018 8:33 pm

Fruits and veggies are a problem for me also. I had a colostomy 3 years ago. I eat mostly meat, carbs, and starch.

Aug 14, 2018 9:16 pm

I'm one of those people who can pretty much eat anything, so take what I say with a grain of salt.

I find that although foods tend to behave a certain way, there is also a fair amount of variability.

I also at times experience a rather hard stool (relatively speaking) followed by more watery output. Sometimes it seems like a bodily reaction to make sure the hard stool keeps moving and doesn't get stuck.

I have several suggestions:

1) Mix foods, both on your plate and in your mouth. Sometimes it feels like varied foods in my mouth at the same time generate different mouth digestive enzymes to break things down more.

2) Chew for a long time (this makes #1 more likely to occur)

3) Try troublesome food in moderation, and keep trying over time. Right after surgery popcorn was difficult. Now I make sure to eat it in moderation and it's fine. Try something now that you have avoided because you had a problem. That could have been 5 years ago and a little bit now might go well.

4) Try counterintuitive foods. Pre-surgery I always worried about cherries, sauerkraut (they don't sound that great together in the same sentence, do they?) and other things causing loose bowel movements. Now they seem to be the opposite.

5) More smaller meals so your digestive tract has less to deal with at once.

Morning glory
Aug 14, 2018 10:01 pm

Thank you so much, bigal1579. I think I will wait awhile on the cherries and sauerkraut. LOL. I have gotten some good advice. Thanks to all that have replied. I sure am happy that I stumbled onto this website.

Morning glory

Aug 15, 2018 12:24 am

Morning Glory,

I too am one of those who eats whatever I want. The reactions vary, loose or thick output, depending on just what I eat. Seeds and nuts cause me no problems but for many they can cause a blockage issue because of adhesions and scar tissue which cause small passageways. Certain items have thick skins, like apples and potatoes, and these also can cause blockage problems. Chewing REALLY WELL is the best way to enjoy those types of items, and really should become a healthy habit anyway as chewing really well will help avoid any blockage issues. Some fruits for me will loosen the stool (like berries, peaches, nectarines, melons etc.) and then items like pineapple (very fibrous so difficult passing) or bananas tend to thicken the stool. Broccoli and cabbage will cause gas and the pouch will need to be burped frequently while spinach and corn go through me quickly and mostly undigested. I eat sweet potatoes frequently because they are loaded with vitamins, but they absolutely will thicken and slow down your output. Trial and experimentation is really the only way to discover how YOU will react to each different item. But use caution and keep track to not overdo any one item until you really understand how YOUR system will handle them. Good luck.


Aug 15, 2018 4:23 am

What are squash tomatoes? I had my redo in February. A complete start over. Now I can eat a lot more things but I ate carrots the other day, frozen bagged ones with no skin and very well cooked. Unfortunately, New Maxine was not amused and partially blocked up for two days. So even though I chewed them to a pulp, still couldn't eat them. I can eat seedless watermelon and cantaloupe, also mush melon. I really would like to try strawberries and blueberries, but am nervous about it. I haven't tried tomatoes at all, just tomato sauce. It seems if the squash tomatoes had seeds that they would cause issues. However, if they are small and smooth, perhaps they just slide through.

Past Member
Aug 15, 2018 1:17 pm

Hi Morning Glory, I have the same problem at times digesting certain foods. I have had my ileostomy since 1994. I can tolerate cucumber seeds, but not rice, tomato skins, grapes. When I first had surgery, I was able to have these foods with no problem. Just wanted you to know that you are not alone with this.

Morning glory
Aug 15, 2018 1:53 pm

Thanks for the support 3008. It just goes to show you how different our bodies are. I can tolerate rice very well. I too have to peel off the skin of tomatoes. I am so happy to have others to talk to.

Morning glory

Aug 15, 2018 2:38 pm

I have trouble with raw fruits and veggies - it isn't the seeds but the fiber! Cooked I am usually OK, I eat apples raw - peeled and cored. I go through phases of things not wanting to pass. I got my stoma in December 1989. I have had numerous revisions - and mesh - so this is an ongoing thing - scar tissue issues and now a big gas problem - waking up nightly with a hot air balloon on my belly! Those charcoal filters don't work with an ileo!

Morning glory
Aug 15, 2018 4:01 pm

Thanks JudiA,

Yes, the fiber is the biggest problem! I know what you mean about waking up with the balloon! Lol. Sometimes I just have to slide out the bed in hopes it doesn't break.


Morning glory

Past Member
Aug 16, 2018 11:02 pm

I find anything to do with milk will be watery and immediate, in my case. I am addicted to chocolate ice cream, or used to be. I used to love oranges, but now they come back almost whole despite chewing. Corn is a pain. Mushrooms come out as they went in.

I have not given up on lettuce, tomatoes (some), bananas (heavy), apples. Dark chocolate can be slow. Any processed food will come out easier, unfortunately.

I eat rice and digest it well. Same as tortillas. Pasta is heavy, and bulky. There are days I stay home, and in those days I eat freely, to a point. I love cakes, pastries, scones, etc.

Bottom line is knowing how you particularly digest each food, and keeping track in writing your output so you can learn your digestion, is not a bad idea. Also, it took me years to find the right appliance.

If I am going to eat ice cream, once every ten days or so, I use the Hollister high-output two-piece system so I can just not worry about the output -- in case I eat half a pint which I probably repress in my mind doing each time I do it, so I have no recollection. Netflix and Hulu are terrible things for your diet; reading is less ice-cream-inducing.

Morning glory
Aug 17, 2018 12:11 am

Thanks for all of the help and good tips to my problem. Great site

Aug 28, 2018 3:58 pm

So glad we could help you! Yes, this site has been a valuable asset for me! Have a great day!

Past Member
Sep 03, 2018 1:09 pm

Hello from Maine!!!

Past Member
Sep 03, 2018 1:11 pm

Have you considered Beano? It helps break down foods and causes less gas. I also take one before bed, and it helps with the airbag deploying at

Morning glory
Sep 03, 2018 2:39 pm

Hello Two_buttz, I have used Gas-X for my gas problem but will give beans a try.

Maine is a beautiful state.

Past Member
Sep 07, 2018 1:30 am

I have noticed the same thing. I can eat squash and lettuce, but other veggies have to be cooked. Meats, breads, and pasta digest very well. I have had to switch bags, as my normal ones ran out (the VA for you). I am so used to clipping my Hollisters, I forget to sometimes velcro the bag, or I sometimes open it without noticing it, until I feel wetness. I carry not only emergency supplies in my car, I have 2 changes of never know when that blow-out will happen..

Morning glory
Sep 07, 2018 4:29 am

Yes, that is for sure. I like the clip ones better too. I don't like the Velcro ones at all. I always carry a change of clothes if I am going to be gone for any distance from my home. J. It is so interesting how so many of us can eat and digest different foods well. I can only say we are all unique people. Thanks Two-buttz

Past Member
Oct 25, 2018 8:05 am

By traveling, I found foods infused with cannabis and it's totally great! I tried frozen yogurt infused with cannabis before and it really tastes good! And now, there's something new and interesting! On the other hand, ingesting cannabis has a side effect that can lead to addiction because of its high dosage that you'll never know how much dosage that food has. By continually doing research, I came across this article

Morning glory
Oct 26, 2018 6:15 pm

Thanks for your input, Chandler. I think I will pass on ingesting this.

Best wishes,


Jul 25, 2021 6:23 pm

Hi! I ate some corn that sent me to the ER. So be careful

Jul 25, 2021 7:05 pm

Hi Morning Glory!

I've had my ileostomy for 46 years. I was a child and could tolerate a little corn, popcorn, sunflower seeds. Now those 3 are a big NOPE! I cannot eat raw veggies at all and overcook the few veggies I can eat like carrots, green beans, broccoli. I'm having issues with French fries too - ugh! Fruit is also a problem. Definitely no pineapple. I can handle applesauce but it gives me a big increase in output. Same reaction as you, cramping, diarrhea, and leaking. If I eat too much, I suffer a blockage.

Jul 25, 2021 8:17 pm

My recipe for "Orange Soup":

1 sweet potato, peeled and cubed

1 butternut squash, same prep

1 bag of baby carrots

Toss all in 3 T. olive oil, salt and pepper and roast in a 350 degree oven for 1 hour

Add 2 c. chicken or vegetable broth or stock. Puree all. Add 1 can of pumpkin, garlic powder, curry powder, or spice of choice to taste

Jul 25, 2021 8:30 pm

I'm a vegan and I haven't had an obstruction for at least 2 years (which is great for me). I have an ileostomy and plenty of scar tissue in my bowel. I actually eat nuts now more than ever. I typically avoid raw veggies except I can't help but eat the snap peas when gardening. Everything else is cooked well. The most important thing I found was chewing more than I use to. That prevents partial blockages and related pain. As for the diarrhea, others have commented on that and how fiber plays a role. I usually stick to berries and bananas.

Morning glory
Jul 25, 2021 8:31 pm

Yes, corn is a big problem for me too. Thanks. Stay safe.