Stoma Dietary Advice

Came across this article while replying to another post and thought it was quite helpful

  • Hi

    Just 'bumping' this post for anyone who hasn't seen it yet.


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  • HI, thanks for posting this article, latchbrook. I always pick up some bit of useful information when i read this kind of advice.

    My problem, however, is that I find it really difficult to link what I eat to my output. I can eat the same kinds of foods on different days and have very different results.

    After my surgery which included an ileostomy in March 2021 for the first few months I had a very high liquid output, despite a fairly limited diet and following all the advice I was given. I was on a high dose of loperamide and had to drink St Mark's solution to avoid dehydration. Finally, after about 3 or 4 months there was some improvement and I thought I had turned a corner. My output was variable but the consistency was thicker on more days than it was thinner, which was quite a change. I had already started to vary my diet more, including more fruit and vegetables but there was never any clear correlation between what went in and what came out! In the last couple of weeks, for no apparent reason, asI haven't changed anything much in relation to what I eat my output is once again mostly watery, .

    Reading other people's posts, most people seem to know what upsets the balance for them and can avoid the foods that don't work. Does anyone else struggle with linking cause and effect in terms of what you eat? Maybe I need to go back a few steps to go forward again - ie, restrict my diet, eat loads of stewed apple/apple sauce (which was about the only thing I thought helped for sure) etc.

    Any ideas/thoughts would be welcome.



  • Hi

    I'm 'tagging'  as she was the person who posted the article and might be able to help with your questions.


    What is a Community Champion?

     "Never regret a day in your life, good days give you happiness, bad days give you experience"
  • Hi . It’s frustrating isn’t it and sometimes these stomas seem to have a mind of their own? It might be worth discussing this with your stoma nurse and see if they recommend restarting the loperamide? You could also try keeping a good diary and see if you can identify a culprit that way? If I’m honest mine was always pretty liquid and I just (rightly or wrongly) lived with it. ‘Luckily’ my worst output seemed to be at night so I used to get up every 2 hours and empty it - I got quite good at doing it with only half an eye open and then going back to sleep! 

  • hi Osboz, when I asked my Stoma Nurse about best foods for an illiostomy she told me eat only root veg I.e. carrots, fruit: only stewed apple and bananas. Potatoes,rice and pasta all good. Peel and pips caused me grief. 

    I also could eat the same diet two days on the trot (no pun (intended) one day l'd be fine, the next day have dihorrea. My Stoma nurse didn't know why, said it was quite common.

    What about keeping a diary over the course of a week? and noting how your stoma was at the end of each day? A pain I know but it might throw up some answers.

    "don't think about tomorrow"

  • sorry, didn't read Kareno62's post. I've repeated her advice about diary. Sorry.

    "don't think about tomorrow"

  • Hi Osboz

    I’m nine weeks in with illeostomy, I kept a food diet and was very careful for six weeks. Then I started adding more variation to my foods.  I have noticed that two dry crackers before bed help my output to slow down.  Before operation my body didn’t like to be starved of energy foods too long.  The crackers idea was from my stoma nurse and the somehow work.  It sounds crazy, I’ve had wotsits, jelly babies marshmallows and all the usual but two crackers give me a one empty night. Also a good splash of baby oil in the end of my pouch smoothing it up makes a speedy exit of my output which I really appreciate in the early hours. I also find that my output is not consistent to what I eat apart from fish and chips, I know what that causes…lots of air freshener.

    My ileostomy seems to have a mind of its own. 

    Hope things improve soon.

    best wishes


    Best Wishes

    Artsie Ann 

  • Hi Osboz 

    I've had my stoma for 8 weeks and output and consistency has been pretty regular and  consistent until a couple of days ago when it all got abit runny. Like you,  I've not done anything differently so not sure why it's happening.  As Artsie says below, crackers worked for me in the past and macc cheese is great because it's so gloopy!

    Hope it all settles down soon.


  • Hi Kareno62 and KathH2, It's good to know my experience is not uncommon and you're probably right, Kareno62, stoma's have  a mind of their own and logic does not seem to apply!

    I continue on quite a high dose of loperamide/immodium melts but my GP has said it's OK to increase or decrease as things improve or not. I went down to 12 tablets a day about 2 months ago, but today I decided to increase to maybe 14 and see if that works.

    I agree that a diary is a good way to identify patterns, but I agree with you Kathh2, they are a pain to do and I lose the will after a few days! Still, either I put up with what I've got now, or I get serious and keep a diary to try to get to the bottom of it, as 'twere! Thankfully, I like stewed apple and have a banana every day with my breakfast Slight smile I started to leave the skin on fruit recently. Once again, it didn't have any clear effect, but it might be cumulative with other things I've added to my diet.

    I also find I'm losing weight again. I lost a huge amount after surgery (which was fine as I had it to lose!) but it had stabilised a few weeks ago and now it seems to be going down again!

    Does either of you think that external things play a part in how our systems work? I went back to work a few weeks agoz and it's beginning to 'hot up' now after a gentle start and very soon I'll be back at full tilt. It's just a thought....

    Thanks to you both for your responses. I really value people's advice.


  • Hi Melly73, 

    Sorry - I seem to have missed your reply, but thanks for doing so Slight smile

    I'm really glad you  got off to a good start with your output, even if it has gone a bit skew-wiff recently!

    I think I'm beginning to see a pattern for me. I get 2 weeks or so of things working well with a thicker consistency and good colour, then, all of a sudden for no obvious reason, it goes runny and yellow (sorry TMI?) and some weight loss, then after a few days of this it settles back again. The dietician is really helpful in advising on how to manage this and ensuring I get the nutrients as there may be a malabsorption issue.

    Hope yours is a temporary blip and you've already returned to your previous normal.

    Now the Autumn's set in I'll get making maccaroni cheese again! I'd forgotten the crackers, so they're on my shopping list  now! I've become a bit of a jelly baby addict, though don't think they make a whit of difference - I just like them! 

    All the very best