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What to Eat

Posted by LadyHope, on Mon Jan 07, 2019 1:52 pm

Hi DMP, Welcome to the group.  I have been part of the organization for many years.  I do not understand why you can't eat what you enjoy?  It could have been recommended to take things slowly post op such as limiting the amount of veggies and fruit consumed.  Raw fruits and veggies are more difficult to digest and pass through a new stoma (sometimes). Why don't you try cooked fruits and veggies at first.  Try a baked apple or pear without skins or maybe some cooked squash or brocolli.  See how things go....  I have an ileostomy and eat most foods.  I do avoid skins on fruits and veggies and I do not eat raw nuts any longer.  If I crave nuts, I buy nut butter and it satifies my craving.  I chew alot more than I did prior to surgery too.  I make certain to drink A LOT of liquid during my meal to make it easier on my GI tract to digest the food. That being said, test the waters slowly and introduce your favorite foods back into your diet. Good luck!  

Reply by NJ Bain, on Mon Jan 07, 2019 3:36 pm


  As everyone has said, chew your food thoroughly to almost a paste consistency.  It aids in digestion, makes the "I feel full" meter work better so you don't over eat and you absorb nutrients better.

  When medical professionals tell you that you "can't" eat those foods, usually they mean immediately after surgery.  I have an ileostomy and was back to a normal diet 2-3 weeks after surgery.

  Below is a link to an Ostomates food reference chart.  There are several online, but this one is simple.  Hope it helps.

Ostomates food reference chart



Reply by moonshine, on Mon Jan 07, 2019 3:46 pm

lots of souped veggies. I had my ileostomy in 2010 and still have a hard time with raw veggies. occasionly I can tolderate a bite or two of a raw carrot. However I have to chew each bite 25x - and yes I count. I have Scleroderma so I also have problems with peristalic wave function and esophegeal motility problems.....I use gavity to help propel the food my dinner hour is no later than 3pm

Reply by Newbie Dana, on Mon Jan 07, 2019 3:59 pm

Wow, the range of problems people have. from none to lots! For what it's worth (and much like many people on the site) I had to start with what dieticians call a low-residue diet - easily digested, very little fiber, easy to pass through the digestive tract. This was for the first 3-4 weeks. After that, I introduced my old foods one at a time until I was on a long-term healthier diet. Yes, a low-residue diet will help you colon heal, but in terms of general overall health is one of the worst diets you can go on long-term! Within a couple of months after that, I was pretty much back to my pre-surgery diet with only a few exceptions. I found out that some foods swell in my intestine and are hard to pass, like popcorn and some seeds. Occasionally corn gives me problems, and appears to pass totally unchanged. And beans and split peas need to be cooked longer than usual or they tend to give me gas. Other than that, we (my husband and I) eat a mainly vegetable-based diet with lots of stews, soups, salads, etc., filled with lots of vegetables. No real problems. So you do have that to look forward to. But please do follow a low-residue diet until your surgery heals; it will geive you a leg up toward a more normal diet in the future.

Reply by MarVee, on Mon Jan 07, 2019 5:50 pm


I have not read all the replies to your post so I may be repeating advice.  Time will tell what you can and cannot eat.  In the first few months after surgery you should stick with easy to digest foods - eggs, baked or mashed potatoes and  avoid spicy or foods high in fiber especially corn and corn products.  As time goes on you should introduce more of the foods you prefer and see how your body handles them. I was eating most foods in a few months to one year from surgery EXCEPT CORN.  Everyone is different so it is trial and error.  Within a year I was able to tolerate any and all foods - salads and raw veggies included.  Good luck and stay well.

Reply by NewlifeVictoria, on Mon Jan 07, 2019 5:54 pm

I didn’t know  there is different colostomys? I had one and now I have a ileostomy 

Reply by TaneraNicole, on Mon Jan 07, 2019 6:06 pm

I eat anything I want. I havent had any problems with nuts or veggies. I have an ileostomy. But so far im able to eat anything. i chew my food really well and i drink loads of water. 

Reply by bigal1579, on Mon Jan 07, 2019 7:02 pm

You definitely need to check back with your doctor.  Unless you have other issues, there should not be a reason that having a stoma rules out those foods, so the restriction might just be for immediately after surgery.  I have an ileostomy and I eat everything.  The ideas mentioned (chew your food, moderation, trying one at a time) are all perfect suggestions. 

Eliminating fiber will tend to keep your output more watery.  I eat an apple everyday (with skin), and that fiber seems to be a huge positive.

The other very important thing to consider is that you have had a major surgery and things have been moved around, and if you had a lot cut out, they have been moved around dramatically.  You might be 70-80% healed in 4-6 weeks, but you will literally be healing, and organs settling into more comfortable positions for themselves for years.  That means don't give up on foods.  You might eat 3 pinto beans and chew them well today with bad success, but in 6 months you are better healed and they might be no problem.  Keep trying over time, especially the foods you love.  I also find that combinations can sometimes work better than individual items.  Try a nut and a banana or a nut and an apple - to me they seem to break down quicker in my mouth when eaten together.

Reply by medic361, on Mon Jan 07, 2019 8:05 pm

Hey there DMP. I believe what you are referring to is diet restrictions for those with an ileostomy. If you have a colostomy then you shouldn’t have many restrictions. I would add a veggie every couple of days and see how you do eating them. Some food can cause excess gas and that can make you noticeable in public.

Reply by paulaAZ, on Mon Jan 07, 2019 10:14 pm

I have an ileostomy that I swear, thinks it is a colostomy LOL  But I am very fortunate and can eat just about anything.  Moderation is the key!  And try one thing at a time at first and see how it does.  Sort of like when you start a baby out on food -- one thing at a time so you can gauge any reactions.  

Reply by dls, on Mon Jan 07, 2019 11:19 pm

As everyone else has asked, what sort of ostomy do you have?  I have a decending sigmoid, but I also had a hernia and cancer, so understand eating problems although for different reasons.  Try baby joking, I still have some in my icebox, I lost three teeth and some bone (at my gumline) to chemo.  Can you eat bread? If butter and oils are causing a problem, try baby prunes on toast.  It willgive you fiber, sugars, and depending on the bread you use starch and more sugars.  I love real Jewish Rye--caraway seeds and all.  That, and pumpernickel has the most fiber, and the least sugars of all breads ( pumpernickel has no sugar). My point is that when I was alone, chemo'd and just sooo sick, I could drag myself down to the kitchen and feed myself.  Another thing to try is yogurt--plain, as 'flavored' yogurts are full of sugars and presevertives that essentially negate the healthy bacteria that helps digestion.  Eggs, custards, bananas--and yes baby food.  It will be temporary but you'll be stronger for your next round if you're well nourished.  Ask you Docs what you should be eating, not what you can't!

Reply by Sasquatch, on Tue Jan 08, 2019 12:37 pm

Yep, trial, moderation, and chewing very well are the keys to it.  There may well be somethings you'd rather not eat for fear of a blockage, but eating small amounts of them is what you do to figure that out.  I can eat just about anything, except nuts on their own.  If something contains nuts, or I eat them with other food, I don't have issues.  But sitting down and snacking on almonds  or the like is an absolute no-no for me.

Reply by newyorktorque, on Tue Jan 08, 2019 7:02 pm
Hi dmp I'm a pescatarian so meat is not on my menu. I eat seafood when I can afford it. I was told no salads (but I will still eat them although not everything digests) and veggies are ok if cooked. The only problem I have had food wise is that initially I could eat whatever post jejunostomy but as time goes by my stoma has become more sensitive. I cannot eat anything too salty, no jalapenos and no chopped garlic. Sometimes they end up sitting on top of my stoma and just burn. Where as I used to do a lot of stove top cooking with spices, I do more broiling now with a little salt + pepper.
Reply by honestabe, on Wed Jan 09, 2019 11:42 am

Hello, I used to steam my veggies with ileostomy! Steve

Reply by BayGal, on Tue Jan 15, 2019 11:48 am

Hello I do eat salad it all depends if you like looking at what you but as for nut's, seeds, sweetcorn, pea's, it's a no no as it will block your docotr told me that when I eat like apple or pear then I need to peal it and chew it very finely.... banana's they are very good for you... I eat mostly Fish, Chicken very little pork and beef if I do eat them it's once a week...I hope this is helpful to you if you like to know more I will sure try and help to answer your question's take care and all the best to you.... regards Baygal xxx

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