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Life after an ileostomy...

Past Member
Posted by Past Member, on Tue Sep 28, 2010 5:26 pm
I am curious, do others with ileostomies catch colds or stomach bugs easier after you lost your colons? Do you fatigue easier?

I ask because it seems that ever since I lost my colon, I get sick much more often.
Reply by three, on Tue Sep 28, 2010 5:51 pm



Last edited by three on Wed Nov 18, 2015 1:33 am; edited 1 time in total
Past Member
Reply by Past Member, on Tue Sep 28, 2010 5:57 pm
I'll have a look at that. I am aware of hydration issues, but sometimes don't follow through with drinking enough. I have a physical job and put in 10+ hours a day (the wonders of salary....). I have enough work for three people, yet have to do it all myself with unrealistic deadlines. I think this stress leads to me getting sick, but am not sure. I was wondering if it is easier for us with ostomies to get sick or if the stress of the job is causing it. It just seems that before I lost my colon, this sort of work environment didn't do this to me. Quite the contrary, I used to love it.
Reply by lottagelady, on Tue Sep 28, 2010 6:09 pm
elzie wrote:
I am curious, do others with ileostomies catch colds or stomach bugs easier after you lost your colons? Do you fatigue easier?

I ask because it seems that ever since I lost my colon, I get sick much more often.

Not sure if it is my ileo or something else but since I had mine, bizarrely I have not had a cold or sickness bug at all despite everyone around me catching stuff, but fatigue - definitely getting worse but that has been put down to Fibromyalgia, but not 100%sure it is that myself mind ....?

Rach xx
Reply by Tiggy, on Tue Sep 28, 2010 6:43 pm
If I may jump into the conversation with my two cents:

I believe that after any kind of serious surgery where your body changes and a healing process must begin, it's probably to be expected that you might be a little more susceptible to random infections. If your immune system is putting a lot of strength into healing the most dire issue (your surgical wound, internal wounds, etc), then it can't be expected to jump on the first common cold virus that enters your body.

That being said, it's true that you MUST stay hydrated! And remember to talk to your doctor if you feel like you're getting sick at a rate that is totally unacceptable.
Past Member
Reply by Past Member, on Tue Sep 28, 2010 7:05 pm
I probably should've mentioned that my colon was removed in 2005 and after a dozen or so procedures/surgeries I had the ileo made permanent in 2006.

Three, I ordered that first book in that link. Thanks for the tip!
Reply by Pinky, on Tue Sep 28, 2010 9:57 pm
Like Rach, I too have had fewer bugs, colds, viruses, etc. since I had my colostomy - and actually even before that...I've had very little in the way of that stuff since having colorectal cancer in 2002.

I attribute this to better hand-washing (constant hand-washing, really) and a vigilant immune system. I still use Biotene toothpaste and mouthwash like I did during chemo. Also, I'm not around school age children who I think probably carry the majority of contagious conditions.   Smile
Reply by WOUNDED DOE, on Fri Oct 08, 2010 8:02 pm
Elzie!!!  How did I miss this post hey SO cool to see you back on here!! SmileSmile  ....I don't get into the forums as much as I would like, sorry.............oooooh yes bro, have found out many of us, myself included, most definitely get sick easier, dehydrate faster, fight fatigue a LOT more...etc...our bodies are fighting harder to maintain, from every angle Sad  :/
Reply by beatrice, on Tue Oct 12, 2010 5:39 pm
For me (ileostomy Dec 09), I definitely fatigue more easily. As far as catching colds/flus ... don't notice any difference there.

Still have the autoimmune response UC happening in my body ... so I still have the body/joint aches ... which actually seem worse somehow.

Maybe it's just that I'm getting older.

Overall, can't complain ... still kicking.
Reply by Firegirl25, on Tue Oct 26, 2010 7:01 pm
Hi. I too have an ileostomy. I have a very stressful and physically demanding job. So, I do get dehydrated sometimes.  I am around very sick people alot due to work and think that my immune system is built up because of the exposures. I rarely get sick. I don't believe the colon helps to fight off illness, but it definetly plays a huge role in hydration.  Keep up with your fluids. I also work out alot which helps the immune system.  hope you feel better and stay illness free
Reply by Brown eyed girl, on Sat Oct 30, 2010 3:38 pm
Not only do I catch these bugs easier, they are much more severe.  I have had four trips to the ER in the last year because of stomach bugs causing dehydration and abdominal pain.  I am a fanatic handwasher with soap and water.  This is my second ileostomy due to colon cancer and fap and  had my colon removed in 2003.  The first time I didn't get as ill but this time I seem to catch a stomach bug from miles away.  And yes I also fatigue very easily.  This has worried me very much but docs find nothing out of the norm.  I have been curious if others had this problem too.
Reply by pundy145, on Sun Oct 31, 2010 7:54 am
hey brown eyed girl. You have to be careful with washing your hands because if you wash your hands too much you can actally have the opposite effect and weaken you immune system. We naturally have good bacteria on our bodies and this is often the first defence against the bad bacteria. and if you wash too often then you wash this bacteria away too.
Reply by Brown eyed girl, on Sun Oct 31, 2010 12:15 pm
Thank you. I use regular soap, not the antibacterial stuff, and don't use the antibacterial handgels unless I cannot get to a sink.  I assumed regular soap and warm water wouldn't cause this problem but perhaps I am wrong.  I teach music to very small children and am paranoid about all the germs!  Will try and pay attention to this.  Thanks again.
Reply by beatrice, on Sun Oct 31, 2010 1:22 pm
What I was told by health professionals during my colitis days was that washing your hands with hot water and soap often was the one most effective thing you can do to prevent transmission of germs. And keep hands away from your face.
Reply by Mystified, on Sun Nov 14, 2010 11:41 pm
I've never been much of a water drinker.  In the hospital after my ilestomy, the nurses kept insisting that I drink water to keep hydryated.  One of the nurses brought in a bottle of Ensure Plus.  It takes like a vanilla shake and is really pretty good.  I can handle that without any problem and I stay hydryated all day long.
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