Diet after bowel surgery ?

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Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 21
   Posted 5/29/2009 11:19 AM (GMT -6)   
hello to all, this is my first time in this forum. I haven't had any surgery but I do have UC. I've been really close to having surgery and getting a pouch but I'm trying to avoid at all cost. I'm just curious about diet after. Do you have to restrict certain things from your diet due to the fact that you're missing half of your digestive tract. Also what kinds of things do you do about gas. I mean its got nowhere to go. I'd much rather look for answers from the people who've experienced this than from a GI who's anxious about putting me under the knife. Any experiences you can tell me would be greatly appreciated. I'm absolutely terrified to death about this but I certainly can't live like this forever.



Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 74
   Posted 5/29/2009 12:00 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Jay
I had my OP about 3 months ago now. Gas was one thing I didnt think too much about. For me (and others from what I have read) my stoma was quite loud to begin with (gas passes into your bag instead of travelling on down through to your butt). But after about 3 weeks it quietened down to a little bubble noise that no one elses really notices.  I find this a lot better than having a big problem with painful trapped gas when I had UC.  One of my first posts on here was about gas - but it really does quieten down after a few weeks.
I find I eat everything I could before so far - and the eating is a lot easier now.  I was able to have a full dinner then go out to the movies to watch star trek and not worry about needing to rush to the toilet or hold on to gas.  Didnt get home till about 10:30pm and still didnt need to empty the bag.  I couldnt have done that with UC.
I was like you - trying to avoid surgery at all costs.  On my good days with UC (on lots of meds and steriod dependant) I would still be going to the toilet about 5-6 times a day.  I go  the same now I have a bag BUT when I want to go - not when UC  wants to go (thats a BIG differnece).  I can sit through a whole movie/tv show without rushing to the bathroom.  I am going to be able to get fitter and go back to the gym etc without the fear of making the UC angry! 
I guess everybody will get to the point where they just say enough is enough.  Before I had the OP I read loads on the web and met a couple of people who had been through it.  You are right, making contact with people who have been through it is a great way of learning and helping you make your choices.
Elli 28
UC since 17
Azathioprine, prednisolone, Asacol,
blood transfusions, iron infusions.
Colon Removed 18 March 09.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 6571
   Posted 5/29/2009 2:21 PM (GMT -6)   
if you have a permanent ileo (the bag) you will be able to eat anything you want, just have to chew ALOT, some people, me included choose to stay away from seeds and nuts, but lots of others eat them with no problem

Gas goes into the bag, like Elli said, and it comes out through the filter, you dont smell it. Or you can "burp" your bag, i never have to do that anymore, i only had to do that for the first two months or so.
I do still have gas come out of course, everyone does. You can take some gas-x to help keep from having as much and keep the noise down.
And you wont have to worry about the smell or or anything! You can empty whenever you want, at first its ALOT but after about 2 weeks it slows down and now i empty whenever i pee, but i could go 4 or 5 hours without emptyign if i want.
Its really nice to not wonder where a bathroom is all the time.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 2765
   Posted 5/29/2009 5:41 PM (GMT -6)   

I understand your hesitancy to having surgery. I was scared, too, and suffered with Crohn's for 7 years before finally agreeing to have my large intestine and rectum removed. Since our bodies absorb all nutrients through the small intestine, I was happy to find out that you can live a completely healthy and active life without a large intestine.

I'm glad you're here asking questions. I've been able to eat a normal diet since surgery and have not found anything I can't eat. I love being medicine and disease free and not having to always be near a bathroom.

Nobody can tell that I have an ileostomy, because it is completely hidden under my clothes. You might want to ask your doctor if you can meet one of their UC patients who now has an ostomy to see for yourself.

One thing to think about is that this surgery is the only known cure for UC, so there are wonderful benefits to having this done, like getting off all medicine and being healthy again.
Dx'd Crohn's in '99 at 28. Proctocolectomy and ileostomy in '06.
Disease-free, medicine-free, and very thankful to be healthy again.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 788
   Posted 5/29/2009 9:19 PM (GMT -6)   
Hey Jay,

I have LESS problems with gas than I did with u/c. I used to have accidents when I'd pass it with u/c. Now it just comes out on its own. And my abdomen doesn't feel uncomfortable any more b/c the gas can actually escape.

It is noisy for the first couple of weeks, I think b/c you new tract is adjusting itself, but then it quiets and no one knows. I find the gas builds up the most at night (I don't think the filters work very well) but when I get up in the morning, I empty it anyway. I never have to get up in the middle of the night like I did with u/c (about 7 times then)!

I can eat more now than I could with u/c. I was on a restricted diet to TRY to control my symptoms. Not any more. BUT I did go camping (for the 1st time in years) on Memorial Day Weekend, and I had smores (YUM! :-)) and I think the marshmellow kind of had a hard time working itself out.
Some people say they eat marshmellows a couple of hours b4 they change or shower to slow down. I know why now.
But who eats those very often? I eat them 2 times a year when i have smores (if that often).
But you know the important part of that story......I WENT CAMPING! Yea! and we even stayed in the "primitive" sites. I NEVER would've done that with u/c. I had to be on the toilet too often.
28 yrs. old. married with one beautiful daughter (born 11/20/07)
-diagnosed with severe pancolitis u/c 2002 had total colectomy 12/19/08; emergency surgery due to abscess-had to redo ileostomy and switch to left side 12/25/08; 2/15/09 found blood clot in superior mesenteric vein (prob. from inf. and surgery inflammation)
coumadin, prenatal vit.
(temporary ileostomy....maybe)

"Things turn out the best for those who make the best of the way things turn out."

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