Food Related Issues

Gas and odor can be embarrassing, but thankfully there are ways to minimize them.

1. Gas

Gas and odor can be embarrassing, but thankfully there are ways to minimize them. Here are some things you can do:

Notice changes: As your bowel begins to function, you’ll notice a varying amount of gas in your pouch. But, if you had excessive gas before your surgery, you’ll likely still have that issue.

Avoid swallowing air: Gas is not only caused by diet, but also by swallowed air developed while eating, so you should eat slowly. It will also help if you avoid chewing gum, drinking through a straw and talking with food in your mouth.

Food Related Issue

Other gas producing foods and drinks:

  • Certain Vegetables like: Cabbage, Cucumber, Onion, Cauliflower, Peas
  • Starch food like Corn, Rice, Bread and Potatoes
  • Beans and Lenticels
  • Milk
  • Whole grains such as Oats and Brown rice
  • Certain fruits as Apples, Peaches and Pears
  • Soft drinks
  • Beer
  • Mushroom

Foods that cause bad stool odour:

  • Fish
  • Eggs
  • Cheese
  • Garlic
  • Certain spices, such as curry, cumin and chili powder
  • Red Meat
  • Chocolate
  • Coffee

2. Diarrhea

If your stool changes to mostly liquid and there is a marked increase in the volume, you may have diarrhea. This could be related to food, medications, or an intestinal flu. If you need to empty your pouch once or twice every hour, you may be losing far too much bodily fluid. If diarrhea suddenly occurs, and it lasts 24 hours or more, you should seek medical attention. Here are some ways to help resolve diarrhea:

Diarrhea causes you to lose water, sodium and potassium, all of which your body needs. So drink plenty of extra fluids. A rule of thumb is to drink 250ml of fluid every time you empty your pouch. Replace electrolytes with sports drinks, bananas, soup, potatoes, tomatoes, cheese, and rice.

Avoid foods that may increase output: Fibrous foods, raw fruits and vegetables, spicy foods, high fat foods, caffeine, nuts, and corn

Please remember that these steps don’t resolve your diarrhea within 24 hours, contact your healthcare professional.

3. Constipation

Find potential causes: Certain types of medications, infrequent exercise, stress, or not enough fiber in your diet can cause or contribute to constipation

Drink more water: Taking in more water will help resolve your constipation. However, disregard this tip if you’re on a fluid restriction diet

Eat more of these foods: Fresh vegetables like Spinach, Fruits like Apples and Kiwis, and whole grains like oats and brown rice.

Avoid certain foods: Constipation can be caused by foods low in fiber, many meats, dairy, refined sugars, and processed or fast foods.

4. Food blockage

If you have cramping and abdominal pain, along with watery diarrhea or no stool output may mean that you have a food blockage or bowel obstruction and need to seek medical attention. Stool may be released in spurts, as your intestines try to get the waste past the blockage. Minimize your risk of food blockage by:

Avoiding high-fiber foods: High-fiber foods can have difficulty passing through the intestine and exiting the stoma. Don’t eat raw vegetables, coconut, corn, nuts, dried fruit, popcorn or other foods with lots of fiber. oats, citrus fruits, apples and beans.

Avoiding other foods that can cause an obstruction: This would include coffee, gluten products like wheat, rye, and barley, chocolate, dairy products grapes, raisins, and mushrooms.

Chewing foods thoroughly: The digestive process starts when you chew your food properly. Chewing releases digestive enzymes in the stomach that helps break down food.

Drinking more fluids: Fluids help break down foods into smaller and smaller particles, aiding digestion. Eight cups of water a day is a good general guide.

Following a fruit and vegetable diet: Your surgeon may have told you to eat only cooked (not raw) fruits and vegetables for six to eight weeks after surgery. This gives your body time to adjust to the changes in digestion.


Note:  If you have no output and have vomiting, it is important that you see your healthcare professional immediately, or seek care at an emergency room.

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