Diet for Colostomy

Diet Guidelines for Colostomy Patient

    1. Carefully select foods and give one at a time. Add new foods one by one. It is important to experiment and watch for any digestive problems.

  • Keep a food record to check which foods are troublesome foods which give side effects. Sometimes a food may not be tolerated the first time, but after a couple of week it does not present a problem.
  • Regular meal timings are necessary. Do not skip meals as skipping meals can increase gas rather than eliminate it.
  • The environment you eat in, should be relaxing and pleasant. Remember that emotional disturbances, stress, tension or traveling may result in stomach and bowel problems even with foods which are usually well tolerated.
  • Chew your foods slowly, with a closed mouth. Avoid talking in excess during eating time as you swallow air. This can increase gases.
  • Inform the physician or your dietitian about any special diets you may have followed previously. This can help them combine your usual diet pattern with the ostomy diet plan.
  • Always sit upright when eating. Do not eat in a lying down position.
  • Do not self medicate yourself without your physician’s permission.
  • Begin initially with a bland low fiber light diet and later progress to a well balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grain products to ensure soft, voluminous stools.
  • High fiber foods that may cause irritation are some raw foods like apples, oranges and strawberries, some cooked vegetables like green beans, spinach, corn. Also some foods with seeds, hard to digest kernels or cellulose can cause irritation.


Other foods are nuts, popcorn, coconut, highly seasoned foods and tomatoes.

Diet Guidelines for Diarrhea Control

  1. Switch to a low residue diet after surgery. Avoid milk for many days.
  2. Avoid cooked broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, beans, spinach, highly seasoned (spiced) foods, raw fruits and beer.
  3. Eat ripe mashed bananas, applesauce, boiled rice, tapioca and creamy peanut butter.

Diet Guidelines for Constipation Control

  1. Drink plenty of fluids (water and fruit juices)
  2. Increase intake of fruits and cooked vegetables to add bulk to the diet
  3. Chew foods completely before swallowing
  4. Limit intake of foods like dried fruits, nuts, popcorn, celery, corn-on-the-cob, coleslaw, Chinese vegetables and coconut.

Other tips: Never take laxatives and it increases dependence on them. Consult a physician if there is no improvement in the health condition.

Diet Guidelines for Gas Control

  1. Eat in a relaxed stress-free environment.
  2. Eat regularly; a colostomy works better when meals are regular
  3. Chew your food with the mouth closed.
  4. Avoid gulping down the food.
  5. Avoid carbonated beverages, beer.
  6. Avoid consuming large amounts of cabbage, onions, beans, and other gas forming foods.
  7. Avoid using a straw to drink anything. Drink directly from the glass or can. It is a good idea to allow a carbonated drink to sit for a while so the fizz escapes.

Diet Guidelines for Odor Control

  1. Cranberry juice, yogurt and buttermilk have been shown to reduce fecal odor in some patients.
  2. Avoid fish, eggs, baked beans, onions, asparagus in particular, certain cheeses, vegetables of cabbage family, alcohol and prunes.
  3. Spinach, lettuce and parsley are foods which may help reduce odor.

Other tips: Odor resistant sprays, deodorants, appliances and maintaining cleanliness are good ideas. Consult your physician for suggestions if the problem does not go away.

It is important to remember that each person is different and may react to foods in different ways. Problems are not always diet related, so consult the physician if problems persist.

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2 Responses to “Diet for Colostomy”

  1. Julia Ward

    I have problems with bowel obstructions. Do you have any recomendations to help prevent them? Have been told the cause is scar tissue.
    Julia Ward

  2. admin

    Hi Julia,
    You seem to have colitis. Spastic colitis or Irritable Bowel Syndrome is the most common form of inflammation of the colon, can result from anxiety, stress, or lack of adequate fiber in the diet.

    It is very important to de-stress with meditation and relaxation techniques to stay calm to improve your condition.

    You can search for colitis on our site and you will find some useful information to guide you to deal with intestinal obstructions and colitis.

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