Ballooning: When an ostomy pouch fills with gas, leaving the pouch wearer frustrated and irritated by the football-sized growth that has seemingly appeared out of nowhere.
One of the things I do from time to time is to audit my diet to see if I’m getting in enough nutrients from the food I eat. It was especially important for me to do this while I was in a Crohn’s flare, but it also came in handy after my ostomy surgery.
In this post, I’ll explain how to do this.
Once you’ve passed your post-op healing phase (usually six weeks), and you’ve gotten tired of the restricted post-op diet, it’s time to start getting back into a more standard diet that will support you long-term.
Fortunately, most ostomates can return back their old diet, but there are some exceptions that ileostomates should know about.
Diet can be a very complex subject when it comes to living with a digestive disease. People who have an ostomy can also find that eating certain foods simply don’t work for them. I’ve written about ways in which we can substitute certain foods HERE, but in this post I’ll be explaining a bit more about how I tend to eat.
Food. I enjoy it now, but I was tormented for years by the pain that eating or even smelling foods caused me. These fears meant that I’d often skip meals or stopped eating partway through a meal, and ultimately lead to a very weak, underweight and anemic me.
Finding out that you’ve got Crohn’s Disease or Ulcerative Colitis can be scary, especially if you’re new to the world of IBD, so it’s natural to scour the internet looking for solutions and treatments that fall outside of allopathic medicine. I was in that place once, but there are some things I wish I had known way sooner!
While you can find some great information about diet and nutrition online, the most qualified information comes from Registered Dietitians. In fact, your GI or surgeon may refer you to one if you’ve got any questions about nutrition (and they should!).
I was fortunate to have received quite a bit of information about what foods to eat (and avoid) following my ileostomy surgery. The information was quite important because it was aimed to not only prevent dehydration but also to avoid potential blockages.
Because our stoma swells up after surgery, we can’t eat meals that would be hard to pass through that swollen stoma.
Knowing how to reduce the risk of blockages is important (saving you a trip from the ER!).
Hopefully, the title will make sense by the end of this post!
Jan 2015 – Jessica Grossman is the founder and spokesperson for the ostomy awareness campaign, Uncover Ostomy. Founded in 2009, Jessica and the campaign work to change the negative conversation surrounding ostomy surgery into an open and positive discussion. I’ve been a fan of Jessica and her campaign for about as long as I’ve had an ostomy, and she was one of the first people to inspire me to advocate for ostomates.