Ostomy Diet 101: What Foods Can I Eat With An Ostomy? (2023)

Food and diet is one of the topics that new ostomates are most worried about. Can you still eat your favorite foods after having ostomy surgery? What about alcohol? Meal times can become a source of worry rather than enjoyment — but it doesn’t have to be that way!

In this video, we’ll cover everything you need to know about your ostomy diet.

Video Transcript

Hi, my name is Siobhan and I lead ostomy education here at Better Health. I have an ostomy myself, that I’ve had for about six years. So I know the ins and outs and the ups and downs of life with an ostomy. Me and part of my job here at Better Health is to be a coach and help other people who have recently had ostomy surgery or may have it in their future.

Today I’m here with Duncan who has recently had ostomy surgery and Duncan, and I are talking about ostomy diets and food. Hi Duncan, how are you? I was recently told at the hospital that I need to be in a certain kind of ostomy diet with to me. Yeah. They told me a lot of things and my memory’s a little fuzzy.

(Video) Ostomy 101: The good, the bad and the messy!

Do I need to be in a certain. Yes, Duncan. I’m so glad you asked that question. You do need to follow a couple of certain diets after your ostomy surgery, it’s very normal to come out of the hospital, feeling a little fuzzy about the instructions that they told you. I know that that was my own experience.

I couldn’t remember all of the things that they told. So with the diet and the first four to six weeks after surgery, you want to eat a low residue, low fiber diet, a low residue, low fiber diet includes foods that are easy to digest. Things like scrambled eggs toast, mashed potatoes, lean proteins. Fish and chicken.

You want to stay away from those thick thick, but delicious vegetables like broccoli cauliflower, onions, all of those things add a lot of fiber to your diet. Also red meats can add a lot of fiber to your diet, and those things are hard to digest. The reason that you’re following this diet, and that was four to six weeks after surgery is because your balance is still healing.

So this low. Low fiber diet. We’ll let you we’ll let your stoma heal from the surgery it just underwent. And it won’t make it work too hard. Yeah. So there is a change in lifestyle really important, especially up front then to eat certain kinds of foods, particularly the low fiber foods. Well, I’m healing.

Yeah. When can I go out to a restaurant? Oh, okay. I love eating out. It’s I love to eat. And I’m glad you asked that because it sounds like you love to eat too. When you’re eating out at a restaurant, there are a couple of guidelines that they want to follow. I would stay away from those really high, spicy, highly acidic foods.

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And the reason for that is because those can be very inflammatory and irritating, especially to a gut that is. Another reason. Another thing to avoid at restaurants is those really greasy foods, especially a French fries or anything else that’s fried. And the reason for that is because that also can be inflammatory and irritating now.

I love a good glass of wine. Those things are going to be okay to re-introduce after a couple of months. But wine and in other alcohols can also be irritating. So, you know, all of these things are, are guidelines to make sure that you are comfortable with your ostomy afterwards, you don’t want to deal with more output than you’re expecting because a meal at a restaurant was.

You know, problematic for you afterwards. Yeah. That clearly makes sense that I would have to make the dietary adjustment. Now I heard something in the hospital about blockages. Can you describe it? For me and what I need to do to manage it. Absolutely blockages are a problem. And for every ostomate you should be watching out for blockages, or when food output waste cannot leave the body through the stoma and it can occur for two reasons.

One reason is because your intestines have maybe twisted on themselves and created a physiological blockage. That is something that might need to be resolved by surgery. The other way that a blockage can happen is it’s the food that you’ve eaten might be too too fibrous. Maybe the particles are really big and they’ve kind of compacted together and they aren’t able to leave through the stoma.

It’s just, it’s called a food bolus. And a food bolus is just a fancy way of saying a compact ball of food. That’s sitting behind your stomach, like a plug. And so when you might have a blockage, you might see that your output has slowed way down. So say usually you’re seeing your output come out after a meal within six to eight hours.

(Video) Managing liquid ostomy output: Ostomy Care Tips

With a blockage. You won’t see that, or you’ll see fluid coming out, but maybe not food particles, like you might expect from a meal that you had earlier. Another thing about blockages is that they can be painful. So you might see swelling in your stoma. You might see swelling in your abdomen. And those things might, well we’ll do it.

Bring your attention to the fact that, oh, I might have a blockage. So if you have discovered that you think you have a blockage, there are some things that you can do at home. One of the things that you can do at home to resolve a blockage is to take a warm shower or bath, and that might help the muscles in the abdomen release and allow that blockage to naturally be broken up and pass through.

Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. You feel very loose after a workout. Yeah. Another thing that’s good to do is maybe not a heavy workout, but go for a walk. Our digestive systems are activated by walking, by moving around. And so that might cause that that, you know pulsing action.

Break up the blockage. Another good option is hot teas, hot drinks, water with lemon. Keep your hydration up because that blockage might be a sign that you’re dehydrated and there wasn’t enough fluid in your bowels to to allow that fluid food balance to pass out. Another thing that you can do, if you suspect a blockage at home is to gently massage it.

So gentle massage is good. Do not press too hard on your stomach, that can damage the ostomies. And and you know, you never want to try and force something out. It’s bad idea if your blockage has gone on for more than six to eight hours and nothing is coming out and it’s getting very painful, go to the hospital.

(Video) Nutrition for Ostomy Patients | Dr. Michelle Pearlman

Let them know that you suspect that you have a blockage in your ostomy, they will usually fast-track you, because it can be a life threatening situation. Yeah. That’s a lot of information, but I understood it. It’s helpful. And it’s clear if I have an ostomy, I’ve got to do a bit more self care, self management, and I’m willing to do that, but I don’t have to be afraid of it.

You don’t have to. No, absolutely. It’s very manageable. Take it in small. And small chunks. That’s a food joke.

Yeah. And you’ll find that you’ll get back to enjoying some foods that you went. Great. Great. Well, thank you so much. Well, thank you Duncan. For all things ostomy stay tuned to this series will where we cover topics like Exercise, travel activities, relationships going back to work and the ins and outs of products and how you can use them and how to get the best results.

Thank you for joining us today here at Better Health

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What foods should be avoided with an ostomy? ›

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.

Can you eat whatever you want with an ostomy? ›

You can eat whatever you want if you have an ostomy

Just as some foods gave you gas before your surgery, you'll likely experience gas with certain foods now that you have an ostomy.

Can you eat salad with a colostomy bag? ›

Foods Not to Eat with an Ileostomy or Colostomy

Raw vegetables, including salad e.g. lettuce, celery, raw bell-peppers and spring onions. Hard to digest vegetables, including beans like butter beans or green/runner beans, sweetcorn, peas, mushrooms, cabbage, brussel sprouts, spinach, kale and spring greens.

Can you eat peanut butter with an ostomy bag? ›

Foods such as bananas, pasta, cheese, applesauce, peanut butter, and tapioca have been known to produce thick stool. You can experiment with the food items to prevent stool from being too thick; thick stool could affect the functioning of the ostomy.

What snacks can you eat with a stoma? ›

Refined grains, like white bread or white rice, and low fiber fruits and vegetables are a few examples of foods that are usually recommended on a colostomy diet ( 4 ). It's also important to eat foods high in protein, like lean meats, eggs, low fat dairy, and nut butters. These can help support wound healing ( 6 ).

What is the best thing to drink with a stoma? ›

Keeping hydrated is an important aspect of living with a stoma. For many people it is just making sure you are drinking plenty of fluids throughout the day. You should try to drink 6-8 glasses of water each day along with any other drinks such as tea or coffee.

Can you eat pasta with a stoma? ›

Try to include a range of foods from each of the following food groups to make sure you have a balanced diet: Protein rich foods such as meat, fish, eggs, nuts, lentils and beans. Protein and calcium rich dairy foods such as milk, cheese and yoghurt. Starchy foods such as bread, rice, potatoes, pasta.

Is an ostomy considered a disability? ›

According to the ADA an ostomy is considered a physical impairment that affects an activity of daily living, which requires a prosthetic to replace the function of a body part. It likely falls into the hidden disability group as it is not immediately visible.

Can you eat ice cream with a colostomy? ›

They may have a negative impact on digestion and affect your colostomy bag. Stay away from these foods when you've recently had colostomy surgery: Dairy products.

Can you eat cheese with a stoma? ›

It is important to increase your intake of calories, fat and protein to aid your body's healing process. In addition to your normal diet, you should look to include the following foods: Full fat milk and cheese.

Can I eat anything with a stoma bag? ›

In general, people with an ostomy can eat and drink what they want unless the surgeon or ostomy therapist has given counter-advice. But as before the surgery some food may be easier to digest than others – and right after surgery it may be helpful to pay some extra attention to the signals from your body.

What bread can I eat with a stoma? ›

Choose some foods from the following list daily:
  • Wholemeal bread.
  • High fibre cereal e.g. Weetabix, porridge.
  • Vegetables.
  • Fruit – make sure it is peeled initially, following your operation.
  • Bananas.

Can you eat oatmeal with an ostomy bag? ›

After having an ileostomy, you should avoid foods rich in insoluble fiber (bran-enriched breads and cereals, certain fruits and vegetables, legumes, and dried beans) and eat more foods rich in soluble fiber (oats, rye, barley, apples, bananas).

Can you eat burgers with a stoma? ›

You can eat anything with a stoma.

Can you drink orange juice with a ostomy bag? ›

This will decrease the amount of bowel movement that comes from your stoma at night. Avoid acidic, spicy, high-sugar, and high-fat foods. These foods can cause diarrhea. Acidic foods include citrus fruits such as oranges.

Can you use soap and water on a stoma? ›

Bathing and showering

Soap and water will not flow into your stoma or hurt it in any way. Here are some helpful tips: You can shower or bathe with your pouch on or off – the choice is yours. However, removing the pouch from a two-piece system before showering may weaken the skin barrier adhesion.

What benefits can I claim with a stoma? ›

For those of us with a stoma and underlying medical conditions then PIP (Personal Independence Payment) may well be a thing that you may be able to claim. For those who aren't aware, PIP is a disability benefit that can be claimed even if you work. It is a benefit that is not means-tested.

What can I eat for breakfast with a stoma? ›

The low fibre versions are better tolerated so try white bread, breakfast cereals like rice krispies or cornflakes, white rice/pasta, and avoid skins on potatoes. These provide protein, vitamins and minerals which is essential for health and repair of body tissues.

Can you eat spaghetti with a colostomy? ›

low-fiber carbohydrates, such as white pasta or bread. well-cooked vegetables without skin. lettuce. pulp-free fruit juice.

What is the best diet for an ostomy patient? ›

It's best to eat mostly bland, low-fiber foods for the first few weeks after your surgery. Bland foods are cooked, easy-to-digest foods that aren't spicy, heavy, or fried. Eating bland foods will help you avoid uncomfortable symptoms, such as: Diarrhea (loose or watery bowel movements)

How many ostomy bags Will Medicare pay for per month? ›

Medicare Coverage for Ostomy Supplies
Urostomy pouchesUp to 20
Closed ostomy pouchesUp to 60
Skin barrier with flangeUp to 20
Adhesive remover wipes150 every 3 months
5 more rows

Can you go through airport security with a stoma? ›

If the airport has a body scanner then your stoma bag will show up, but the normal scanners should not pick it up. but should they wish to examine you then you are able to request that they do so in a private room.

What are the three major problems associated with having a stoma? ›

Overcoming common stoma problems
  • Leakage. Leakage is a big concern for many people with a stoma. Read more information about leakage and find out how to prevent leakage. ...
  • Pancaking. Pancaking is a problem for many people with a stoma. ...
  • Bleeding. Bleeding when you wipe your stoma is common and nothing to be alarmed about.

Is it OK to rinse your colostomy bag with water? ›

It is not necessary to rinse the inside of the pouch. Some ostomates and WOC nurses have reported that excessive pouch rinsing has led to shorter wafer wear time. Rinsing can weaken the inside seal around the stoma. Change the pouch (use a new one) when the wafer is changed.

What can't you do with a stoma bag? ›

Once home, avoid strenuous activities that could place a strain on your abdomen, such as lifting heavy objects. Your stoma nurse will give you advice about how soon you can go back to normal activities. At first you will pass wind through your stoma and then, usually within 2 or 3 days, you poo through it.

Can you eat grapes with an ostomy? ›

Foods to avoid

For the first 3 to 4 weeks after your surgery, don't eat raw fruits with the skin. Examples are: Apples Strawberries Blueberries Grapes These fruits may cause an ileostomy blockage.

What can you not do with a stoma? ›

Once home, avoid strenuous activities that could place a strain on your abdomen, such as lifting heavy objects. Your stoma nurse will give you advice about how soon you can go back to normal activities. At first you will pass wind through your stoma and then, usually within 2 or 3 days, you poo through it.

What can you not do with a colostomy? ›

With a colostomy or ileostomy, you will not be able to control when stool and gas move into the pouch. Amounts of stool and gas that go into the pouch will vary based on the type of ostomy and your diet. Avoid foods that commonly cause gas. These include beans, cabbage, onions, and spicy foods.

Can you have an ostomy and still poop? ›

After ileoanal pouch surgery is complete, the temporary stoma is closed. Stool and gas will leave your body through your anus, as they did before surgery. At first, you will have more frequent bowel movements, up to 15 per day. You may have mild bowel control problems and may need to wake up from sleep to pass stool.

Can you still open bowels with a stoma? ›

Immediately after your surgery, your anus may continue to expel poop and other fluids that were left inside. But new poop will now exit through your stoma. Most people will be able to feel their bowels move and know when poop is about to come out. But you won't be able to control it anymore.


1. Ostomy 101 - Everything you Need to Know about Ostomies and Pelvic Pouches
(Crohn's and Colitis Canada)
2. 8 Ostomy Leak Prevention Tips by Stealth Belt
(Stealth Belt Inc.)
3. Are You Brand New to Having an Ostomy? Now What?
4. 5 Tips for Having a Heathly Life with an Ileostomy/Ostomy
(Joseph Greenly)
5. All Things Ostomy Feb 2017 CRCWebinar
(Fight Colorectal Cancer)
6. Cooking Demonstration with Nude Dude Food | Ostomy Awareness Day 2020
(Hollister Incorporated)
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