Best time to stop eating for colostomy care?

May 03, 2019 12:03 am

I'm new at colostomy care. Is there a best time to stop eating in the evening or late afternoon? I have no output during the day. When I wake up in the morning, I need to empty my "pouch".

I worry about constipation because I've dealt with this issue all of my life. I now use Benefiber and a Colace. I am 4 weeks out of surgery. I feel wonderful, lost 20 pounds.

May 03, 2019 1:47 am

I would suggest that you eat smaller meals and eat more often now that you have an ostomy. I have a colostomy from cancer and in my case, I avoid fiber. I eat a high protein, low fiber, low residue diet. How is your output? Is it firm? Did your doctor or nurse mention irrigation? If not, ask if you would qualify for it. It's the easiest way to manage a colostomy. Welcome to the forum. :)

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Past Member
May 03, 2019 2:21 pm

What MMSH said... Check out irrigation and see if you can do it. I don't know what kind of colostomy you have, but you have to have either a descending or sigmoid colostomy to do it. You have to have enough colon left to do it. It will really simplify things and make your life so much better. If you opt to irrigate every two days, it's good to avoid fiber and tweak your diet to do that as MMSH said. I opted to irrigate every day and if you do that, you don't need to avoid anything. I eat the same things and at the same times I always did, with no problems. Irrigation takes care of any constipation too. It's more of a hassle to do it every day, but to me it's worth it. It's pretty hard to regulate your colon without irrigation. I tried it for quite a while, but colons seem to have a mind of their own and I never really succeeded in accomplishing much. Irrigation saved me a LOT of hassle and grief. Hope you can do it too. Hospitals never seem to mention that to you. Not sure why or what's going on with that... but they'll fill you in if you ask them.

Glad you feel great! That's a good start to things... the best! Good luck to you and remember... it gets easier.

p.s. I just read your profile. You answered a lot of my questions. lol You have a sigmoid colostomy, so you shouldn't have any problem irrigating. 4 weeks out of surgery is a little soon, though. They'll probably say to wait a while before you try that. Good luck.

May 03, 2019 8:56 pm

Hey BeachRN,

Welcome to the site! My buddies MMSH and Weirdnewlife have pretty much said what I would say too. I don't have to be careful what I eat and my ostomy sleeps when I do as a rule, but irrigation has been the life changer here. Once I found the two-piece pouch systems, my life changed for the better and then progressed to irrigation that made it normal again. Check into it and after a few months, you may be ready to go! It would end your constipation issues! I am sure that would be wonderful! You may not ever need to take Colace or OTC stuff for it again.


May 08, 2019 2:55 pm

Another vote for irrigation, I only wear patches. It's like a band-aid with a little more absorbing power.

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Shitt Happens
May 08, 2019 6:08 pm

Hello Beach RN,

As many of you answered, I also irrigate my stoma every day and it changes the vision of managing a disability. I copy the address of a Coloplast video to give you an idea of how it works. For my part, I have been doing my irrigation for over a year and I do not use the enlarged bag. I kneel directly in the toilet, which facilitates the irrigation time. Good luck.

May 08, 2019 6:16 pm

Hey Danielle,

It has been forever since I have seen you on here! Glad to see you again. Question: How do your knees stand all that kneeling? Mine would give in! But, it goes to show, everyone finds what works for them! I could not kneel or lay down. I would have a big mess. I used to stand to put the water in, but now I just squat at the toilet, sitting. Easy!

Take care,


Shitt Happens
May 08, 2019 7:06 pm

Hello Puppy,
Yes, long time ago, the reason is that I started working 40 hours/week again. I miss you all. To do my irrigation in front of my toilet, it is less hard for my knees because I put a big carpet of foam. It is soft and comfortable and makes my irrigation take me 4 minutes to introduce 1500cc of water and 30 minutes to evacuate almost everything. I still have some residues but I put a small round plastic dish that is held by my panties, and this way I empty the dish as needed. Before bedtime, I put on my Tegaderm film. I'm at work right now. Talk to you later:):)

May 08, 2019 8:46 pm

I had an ileostomy reversal and deal with constipation at times. Do you take a Colace every day? Thank you.

May 09, 2019 1:30 am

Glad you have been able to get back to full-time work! That's awesome. I missed you here, so try to check in when you think of it! I know life sometimes gets in the way, huh? Lol

Wishing you the best! ;,


May 15, 2019 2:13 am

Thank you so much for replying to my question. My output is very watery. Nothing all day but the colostomy fills up during the night. My doc never mentioned irrigation. Cheryl

Shitt Happens
May 15, 2019 11:20 am

Good morning BeachRN,

Don't worry, same here in Quebec, Canada, no doctor mentioned irrigation.

I sometimes wonder if doctors do not have a percentage on ostomy kit......lolllllllllllllllllllllll

Have a great day :)

May 15, 2019 2:31 pm

Thank you for your quick reply. I'll discuss irrigation with my doctor. I'm sure it would be down the road. My output is still very liquid. It's all so unpredictable at 6 weeks post-op. I have such a fear of constipation as I struggled with this forever. I used a fiber source to thicken the stool but it hasn't helped very much. I guess I will continue to be positive but it is a bit of a pain. This website is great and everyone is so informative. Cheryl

Shitt Happens
May 15, 2019 3:18 pm


Our bowel is like a child ..... it takes consistency ..... lollll ... the more you will be regular in your meal times the more your bowel will be more regular. In the morning I eat all the time a fast Quaker oatmeal, it helps a lot in consistency

May 15, 2019 3:34 pm

I will start having oatmeal in the morning. I would love to have anything but brown water coming from my stomach. I just ate a banana. I read applesauce can help with the consistency.

I am basically on a high protein diet - eggs, yogurt, cottage cheese, and protein shakes. I try to drink 60-70 ounces of water a day. My first being warm water with fresh lemon.

I will begin the oatmeal tomorrow morning. I think my "soft diet" may not have enough fiber in it.

If you have any other ideas, please pass them on to me.

May 15, 2019 10:11 pm

Thank you so much for that great irrigation website. It was wonderful and so informative. I continue to have a very watery output. I believe you can only use irrigation if you have a semisolid stool. Any more info would be greatly appreciated. Best, Cheryl

May 16, 2019 6:13 pm

I had a very watery output for a long time as well. You can use different foods to help thicken that out. I do not like taking drugs but Imodium works when really needed. I imagine what constipated you before surgery, would still do the trick now!

Hope you can figure it out and it might just be worth a try!


May 17, 2019 2:04 am

To qualify for irrigation, you must have some descending colon, and that colon must be healthy. I hope you will ask your doctor or nurse and give it a try if you do qualify... It's a life changer! Good luck

Jun 27, 2019 4:11 pm

I have an ileostomy, but it took my body probably 6-8 weeks to be more "normal" in output. And still, from about 5am-11am, it is liquid, like stomach acid, with very little output. It increases in amount and solidity as the day goes on.

Jun 27, 2019 4:23 pm

Thank you for the information. I will meet with my ostomy nurse soon. My output is pretty watery but I will ask. Good luck and thank you again. Beach RN

Jun 30, 2019 6:15 pm

Thank you so much. Any suggestions for foods to thicken my output? I eat a lot of high protein cottage cheese, bananas, applesauce, yogurt. Do you have any other ideas? Beach RN

Jul 02, 2019 4:28 pm

Peanut butter and bananas work great for me!

Jul 02, 2019 11:15 pm

Thank you, I currently eat 1-2 bananas a day. I will try peanut butter on an English muffin tomorrow. Output is a bit thicker! What a subject. Beach RN

Jul 09, 2019 12:01 am

Beach RN,

I also love a peanut butter and banana sandwich! Yummy!