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What to eat when you’ve got a Colostomy
Having a colostomy does not mean you need to follow a special diet. The exception
is in the first 6-8 weeks following your surgery, where avoiding certain foods can reduce the chance of a blockage
(see Preventing Blockages section below).
It is possible that you may experience problems with gas, odour, watery output and constipation. If any of these are
a problem for you please refer to the relevant sections below.
Everybody’s gut is different so it may take a bit of trial and error to work out what works for you. It is important not
to cut out too many foods. Consult your dietitian if you have any concerns.
Preventing Blockages
These can happen if large pieces of food get caught just before they exit the stoma. After the surgery the site may
be swollen making this more likely. The following foods should be avoided for the first 6-8 weeks: fruit and
vegetable skins and seeds, raw vegetables, corn and popcorn, peas, stringy vegetables such as celery, sprouts,
nuts, seeds, coconut, passionfruit, berries and mango pulp. It is also best to avoid meat gristle, sausage skins,
tough meat and prawn shells long-term.
Always chew your food well.
Gas (wind) and odour
Gas can occur due to air that you swallow as well as from foods that promote gas to form in your bowel. If you are
concerned with gas try the following:
1. Reduce the air you swallow- avoid fizzy drinks, using straws, chewing gum, eating too fast, talking while
eating, consuming very hot or very cold drinks
2. Reduce vegetables that cause gas formation i.e. legumes (kidney beans, lentils etc), cabbage, Brussels
sprouts, garlic, onions
Odour can be caused by consuming fish or fish paste, eggs, cheese, dried beans (legumes), the ‘gassy’
vegetables, beer, very spicy foods, vitamin/mineral supplements and some antibiotics. Note: Don’t stop taking your
vitamins or antibiotics without consulting with your doctor first.
Watery output
If you are finding your output is quite liquid the following foods can help to thicken the output: peeled apples, apple
sauce, marshmallows, bananas, rice/pasta/noodles, smooth peanut butter, sago, tapioca. You may also find
reducing caffeine, alcohol, fruit juice, licorice and spicy food may help.
Constipation
Firstly, think about if you are drinking enough fluid each day. You should be aiming for about 2000-2500ml in total.
If it is more than 6-8 weeks since your stoma was placed and you are still having an issue with constipation you
could try prune or pear juice, fresh grapes or sultanas/raisins, bananas and legumes.
Dietitian: Natasha Leader
Telephone: 9382 6544 2013