After Ostomy Surgery: Diet and Care Tips
When most people think of ostomies, they picture a life-saving yet traumatic surgery. They may imagine all the hospital time that often comes with such surgeries. They likely don’t consider the long-term effects of living with an ostomy on the individual and their loved ones.
Ostomies require ongoing care and attention, which can be challenging for those who have never undergone this type of surgery. In addition to learning to take care of your ostomy, it is also important to focus on your diet. A healthy diet is essential to keep your body strong after surgery.
Here are some tips for managing your diet and self-care after ostomy surgery:
1. Ensure You Have Enough Ostomy Medical Supplies
It is essential to have a sufficient supply of ostomy medical supplies on hand to ensure that you can properly care for your ostomy. This includes items like ostomy bags, adhesives, and wipes. It is vital to ensure that you have enough of these supplies to stay supplied and are forced to go without them.
One way to ensure that you always have a sufficient supply is to purchase them in bulk. This can help save money in the long run and ensure you always have the items you need. Also, set up a monthly or yearly subscription to ostomy care supplies with an online retailer specializing in these products. This guarantees you always have the items you need, no matter what.
2. Focus on a Healthy Diet
A healthy diet is essential for your physical and mental health while you’re healthy and even more so while your body is recovering after ostomy surgery. A good recovery diet means eating plenty of fruits, vegetables, lean protein, and whole grains. It is also best to avoid foods that are high in fat or sugar, as they can easily lead to weight gain while you are recovering.
In addition to focusing on your diet, paying attention to the types of beverages you consume is essential. It is best to avoid acidic drinks like coffee, soda, and alcohol. These beverages can irritate your ostomy site and make it more difficult to heal after surgery.
3. Avoid Stress and Engage in Healthy Habits
For people with ostomies, stress can be a huge problem. That’s because stress can lead to inflammation, which can cause issues with the pouching ostomy system. It can also make you more likely to experience leaks and other complications. So it’s crucial to find ways to manage your stress and keep it under control. One way to do that is by engaging in healthy habits. Healthy habits help you feel good both physically and mentally, which can, in turn, help reduce your stress levels.
4. Drink Plenty of Water
Staying hydrated is one simple thing you can do for your overall health, but after ostomy surgery the importance of drinking enough water can’t be stressed enough. Not only will it help keep you feel more awake and focused throughout the day, but it can also help reduce inflammation and improve digestion.
The rule of thumb is to drink at least eight glasses of water a day, but do drink more if you live in warmer climate or keep your room temperature higher.
It’s usually fine to add in some cucumber slices for extra flavor to your water, the soft flavor will make it easier to drink more during the day. You might also occasionally add unsweetened drinks like green tea, which is also high in antioxidants, but plain water is the best.
Whatever you do, ensure you’re drinking enough water daily to keep your body strong and healthy after ostomy surgery.
5. Be Careful With Dairy Products
Dairy products, like milk, cheese, and yogurt, can be difficult for people who have had ostomy surgery. That’s because they can lead to bloating and gas, which is uncomfortable and can cause further complications with the pouching ostomy system.
To avoid these issues, limiting your dairy product intake is best. Try swapping your usual milk or yogurt for a dairy-free alternative, like coconut milk or soy-based yogurt. Avoid eating a lot of cheese or other high-fat dairy products, as they can lead to other weight and digestion issues that are not ideal after ostomy surgery.
6. Consult With a Nutritionist or Other Health Professional
If you are struggling with your ostomy diet or other related health concerns, get advice from a nutritionist or other medical professional. They can review your current diet and help you develop strategies for managing complications.
They can also guide what types of foods and beverages are best for your health and offer tips and advice on how to engage in healthy habits like regular exercise and relaxation techniques. This can be especially helpful after ostomy surgery when taking good care of yourself physically and mentally is so important.
It is also important to remember that everyone’s experience with any surgery differs. So while the tips above may help you during your recovery, finding what works best for you and your body is crucial. With time and patience, you can manage any challenges after your surgery and enjoy good physical and mental health and well-being.