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Health and fitness, (intentional) weight loss and parastomal hernia...oh my!

Joined: 1 year ago
Posts: 11
Topic starter  


I wanted to start a thread on the topics of health and fitness, intentional weight loos and parastomal hernias.


Like most people with crohn's disease my life has been a roller coaster of weight loss and weight gain.  After my emergency ostomy surgery I lost a ton of weight but put it all back on plus some when I developed pressure ulcers around my stoma.  Partly due to the large belly I also developed a parastomal hernia.  My surgeon said she would do the hernia surgery on me but not until I lost some weight.  She suggested a ketogenic diet (sorry vegans).  I started immediately and dropped weight like a falling anvil.  The surgeon was astonished and did the surgery.  After the surgery I was able to loose even more weight and allllllmost hit my goal of 200 lbs.  I was feeling pretty svelt and was able to keep the weight off for over a year and even replaced my entire wardrobe to fit the new me.  I have since developed another parastomal hernia.  This, in conjunction with going off the keto diet due to the availability of appropriate foods during COVID-19 has caused my weight to climb up again and I am sitting at a pudgy 225.


I really want to get back on the horse and get down to 200 lbs and have this hernia repaired.


What do you do to stay fit and keep the weight off?  Diet?  Activity?  How do you avoid parastomal hernias?


I have found that the only way I can loose weight and keep to it is to virtually eliminate carbs (especially refined ones, less so on veggies since I love them), industrial seed oils and sugar.  For me the easiest thing is to go modified keto.  Keto also drastically reduces the output of my ostomy and also reduces the risks of blockages.  Respecting the fact that this is a vegan web site I wont try to turn this into a keto conversation.   But I am wondering how others use diet to manage their weight with an ostomy.



Joined: 4 years ago
Posts: 1736

This is a very interesting topic, We all know the severity of weight loss due to illness! I have always been conscious of keeping my weight in check since surgery and it was on the advice of my surgeon. I am 5 fr 11in and am 175 lbs. I can put weight on very easily if I snack so I stick to 3 small meals a day and don’t follow any diet just eating as healthy as I can. My job is physical so I have to be careful lifting. Keeping a strong core is a big plus for appliance wear and avoiding a hernia. I do plan to take up Pilates come the long evening s. I would say get to know your food as so many things have hidden sugars and fats.

ileostomy 31st August 1994 for Crohns

Joined: 7 years ago
Posts: 3281
Posted by: @braveness23

What do you do to stay fit and keep the weight off?  Diet?  Activity?  How do you avoid parastomal hernias?

You'll probably get 100 different answers to this question, but it's important to know that most activities can be done safely to avoid hernias, although having a history of hernias does put you at greater risk of developing one in the future. 

My suggestion is to always keep a food diary and track your calories. Knowing where you stand calorically can help you make a plan towards weight loss. Being keto, vegan, high carb, low carb, etc. doesn't really matter if you are eating more than you need to lose weight. 

If you can't work your core because of a hernia, there are other activities to get you moving that don't work your stomach too much. I enjoy hiking and on a good year, I'm usually doing 10-15km on any given day (with weight on my back). I never feel like it's straining my stomach. 

What activities do you enjoy? Are you looking for something outdoors or something you can do at home or around the neighborhood? 

Just your friendly neighborhood ostomate.

~ Crohn's Disease ¦ Ileostomy ~