Colostomy Diet Complications

Colostomy is a surgical treatment done when the colon (portion of the large intestine) and rectum are irreparably damaged. Cancer, bowel obstruction, fistula or stricture, congenital defects, ischemia, trauma, inflammatory disease are some conditions which can damage the colon and rectum. Nutritional problems are associated with this colostomy treatment. You can avoid most dietary problems faced and colostomy patient can be given comprehensive nutrition management.

The main function of the colon is to absorb water from fecal mass, store, and eventually eliminate these waste products from the body through the anus.

Dietary Complications in Ostomy Patients and their Causes

  1. Diarrhea

Causes of Diarrhea: Watery unscheduled bowel movement can be caused by eating too much raw fruit, beans, broccoli, green leafy vegetables like spinach, highly spicy foods or foods which irritate the mucosa, milk, prunes. Various other reasons for diarrhea are large fluid intake particularly beer, some medications, emotional pressure or excessive excitement, travel related water intake from strange unfamiliar sources, generalized illness such as a viral condition.

2. Constipation

Causes of constipation can range from insufficient bulk in the diet contributed by lack of enough fiber in the diet, not drinking enough fluid and water, high stress and emotional disturbances, side effects of some medications.

3. Gas or Flatulence

Causes of gas formation: Some reasons for forming gas in the body are anxiety, chewing gum and swallowing air by such activities, fast eating, smoking, excess talking while eating, snoring, certain foods, food combinations and drinks, skipping meals. Some gas producing foods are fish, nuts, eggs, some cheeses particularly string cheeses, milk, melons, onions, sweet potatoes, asparagus, vegetables of cabbage family (broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, brussel sprouts) and beer.

4. Malodors

Causes for bad odor can be an unclean skin are around the stoma, eating gas forming foods, vitamins and certain drugs mainly antibiotics. Foods that may produce strong odor are eggs, chicken, fish, baked beans, cabbage, brussel sprouts, onions, certain cured cheeses, mushrooms, alcoholic beverages.

Goals for Colostomy Patient

  1. Reduce and minimize common health problems like gas, constipation, diarrhea, malodors.
  2. Prevent dehydration
  3. Prevent nutritional deficiency symptoms by ensuring adequate amount of calories, protein, sodium, potassium and fiber.

Diet for Colostomy page will guide you on the dietary management for Colostomy patients


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