13. Dietary Modifications

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The patient is able to identify dietary modifications.

Having an ileostomy is not usually associated with a highly restricted diet. After surgery, the diet will require some modification, but eventually the person will be able to enjoy most if not all of their favourite foods.

During the first six weeks following surgery, it is often recommended that “potential problem foods” such as skins, seeds, nuts, fibre be excluded from the diet. These foods tend to be more difficult to digest for a person with an ileostomy and could lead to a food blockage. Following the six week period, all foods should be gradually reintroduced. A person with an ileostomy should always be aware of the importance of fluid intake – at least eight glasses of fluid per day, as well as extra salt and potassium. The colon has either been removed or bypassed and thus some of the ability to absorb water, salt and potassium has been reduced.

There are generally no dietary modifications related to colostomy surgery. Unless otherwise indicated, the importance of healthy eating, including foods high in fibre need to be stressed.

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