After Ostomy: Adapting To Life After Surgery

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Life after an ostomy surgery would take some time to get used to. Like most surgical procedures, following a healthy diet will improve your recovery and overall health. This article will explore the best diet for ostomy recovery -including proper eating habits, foods to avoid, and more.

What Is an Ostomy?

Ostomy surgery is a medical procedure that creates an opening, called a stoma, from a space inside the body to the outside. With this method, there will be a new way for waste to come out from your body.

Doctors perform this surgery to treat some diseases of the urinary or digestive systems. The procedure can be permanent if it requires the elimination of an organ. But, it can also be a temporary one when an organ needs to heal for the time being.

Life After Ostomy: Post-Surgery Diet

First Days to Weeks: Liquid Diet

You will only take IV fluids for a couple of days after ostomy surgery. Doing so will give your body enough time to recover. After some time, your doctor may allow you to start a clear liquid diet. This method is important to prevent complications during the first few weeks of recovery. It also prepares your digestive system for its new route before moving back to your normal diet.

Transition Stage: Going Back to Normal Diet

It is best to introduce foods back into your diet slowly to see how your body reacts. After being on a liquid diet for a couple of days, you should start with meals with clear consistency. Examples are simple to-process foods like oatmeal and toast. From this point onward, you can add soft and easy-to-digest foods. Remember to eat slowly and chew your food thoroughly.

You can go back to your regular diet afterward. Although, you might need to refrain from food that causes gas. Accumulation of gas can cause the colostomy bag to blow up, which is hard to manage.

Ideal Foods to Include

There are different foods to help people recover from ostomy surgery. These include:

  • Lactose-free dairy products. Cheese, yogurt, non-fat or low-fat skimmed milk
  • Low-fiber carbohydrates. White pasta or bread
  • Vegetables. Must be well-cooked vegetables without skin
  • Fruit juices. Mostly pulp-free fruits such as honeydew melon or watermelon

Why Bland Foods?

Bland foods are cooked meals that are easy to digest. It usually consists of low-fiber foods and is neither heavy nor spicy. A bland diet helps an individual recover from an ostomy and reduce the risk of persistent gastrointestinal problems.

The digestive system can endure bland foods better than other types of diet. It is also advisable to eat chewing gum and less acidic foods, making less stomach upset. It is also advisable to have cooked meals instead of raw as uncooked foods are harder to process.

Smart Eating Habits

Take Things Slowly

It takes time for your appetite to return after any procedure. The same goes for ostomy surgery. Often, it takes much longer for your digestive system to recover. During this time, it is best to practice patience. Soon enough, you’ll get back to your normal routines.

Chew Thoroughly

Make sure to chew all that you eat thoroughly. Chewing is a significant part of the digestive process. So, everyone should chew down food to some degree. Keep in mind that it is better to chew everything until it is like a liquid in your mouth.

Manage Your Meals

To avoid intestinal pain or irritation, doctors recommend dividing your meals. It means having small meals several times a day. Doing so will allow you to eat slowly and digest food completely.

Foods to Avoid

After an ostomy, your stomach is prone to inflammation. It is best to avoid foods that can upset your digestive system and affect your recovery. As much as possible, it is advisable to refrain from the following:

  • Food high in fiber
  • Raw food
  • Carbonated drinks
  • Legumes
  • Fried meals
  • Whole grains

Wrapping It Up

The pandemic is causing us to delay our health care visits. Therefore, we must take charge of our health from the comfort of our homes. For those who cannot get a professional colonoscopy during this pandemic, you can find the best at-home colon cancer test from Pinnacle Biolabs. These are easy-detection methods that can determine whether you might need an ostomy.

Colorectal disease is the most common reason for an ostomy. It develops when a mass grows in the large intestine or near the rectum. This condition may lead to abdominal trauma and other complications. Thus, early detection and treatment are important. These are the most effective weapons in the fight towards a healthier life.

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