When you have an ileostomy, your intestines no longer function in the same way that they did before the surgery. Although most people who have ileostomies are able to eat a relatively normal diet, certain foods may cause problems. Some of the foods that you may want to avoid after your ileostomy include:
The National Institutes of Health reports that certain foods may cause increased odor when the pouch is emptied. Examples of foods that may cause odor include:
• Brussel sprouts
• Baked beans
• Certain types of cheese
While it isn’t usually necessary to eliminate these foods from your diet completely, it may be wise to eat them in moderation. The NIH also suggests consuming buttermilk, yogurt or parsley in order to reduce odors when then collection bag is emptied. You may also be able to reduce odors by adding vanilla or peppermint extract to the pouch before closing it.
Certain foods may thicken the waste in your pouch, which can result in clogs and other problems. According to the Mayo Clinic, foods that may thicken waste include:
• Peanut butter
If you want to consume these foods, be sure to do so in moderation. If you do experience constipation after eating certain foods, drinking prune juice or apple juice may help to alleviate the problem.
Sorbitol is an artificial sweetener used in sugar-free foods, gum, peppermints and other candies. This chemical has a known laxative effect, which can cause problems for people with ileostomies. Before consuming any product labeled as sugar-free, read the ingredients carefully to ensure that it does not contain sorbitol.
The National Institutes of Health reports that foods that are problematic for some people may not be problematic for others. Thus, some of the foods listed above may cause problems for you, while others may not. To optimize your ileostomy diet, pay attention to the foods you eat in the weeks following your ileostomy and limit those foods that cause problems.