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Regular Member

Date Joined Nov 2010
Total Posts : 61
   Posted 11/27/2010 11:26 AM (GMT -6)   
I am a few months out from surgery. My surgeon and GI told me that with most of my colon missing I could become dehydrated very fast. No problem - I was constantly thirsty before surgery so I ALWAYS have liquid with me. It was my "token" item whenever I went anywhere. I have hard plastic water bottles and keep regular water bottles around and fill them up. My favorite is water with a splash of lemon juice and a few cucumber slices! Try it - I call it "hippie water" because I got the idea from a hippie friend of mine. It's wonderfully refreshing.

My problem is I've been craving salt lately. I looked it up online and it says it's a sign of dehydration. So I increased my liquid input a bit and I'm still craving salt!!! I never had much of a sweet tooth but the salt cravings are ridiculous. Is this something I should be concerned about, or just a product of a new ileo??

Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2010
Total Posts : 286
   Posted 11/27/2010 11:45 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Bearbear,
I still have my colon (for now) but have suffered with severe constipation/possible CI since I was a baby. The past few months I've been going through many tests, and recently had a colonoscopy, for which my prep lasted 3 days and involved many different laxatives. Needless to say I was very dehydrated, and like you, was craving salt like there was no tomorrow. I called my doctor about it because I was very worried about getting too dehydrated, and I hadn't eaten solid foods for 3 days, and he said to drink something like gatorade because sometimes water is all you need, but occasionally your electrolytes can get a little out of whack, and gatorade helps replace some of them. He also said some people drink pedialyte. You could try an occasional glass of it when you're craving salt.

I also had to post just to tell you that I drink hippie water too, delicious stuff!

Hope you are feeling great with your new ileo,
best wishes,

Regular Member

Date Joined Nov 2010
Total Posts : 61
   Posted 11/27/2010 11:47 AM (GMT -6)   
Good idea Ali. I'll run to the store today for some. I did do gatorade right after surgery for about a month but it's not my favorite. But if it might help with this salt craving I'll try it. I don't mind the salt, its just getting a little ridiculous!

Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 474
   Posted 11/27/2010 2:00 PM (GMT -6)   
Right after surgery I craved salt. In fact the day that I was readmitted to the hospital because of an obstruction, when I went to Steak n Shake that day, I almost poured the whole bottle of salt on my fries.

I haven't craved salt since then though.
21 y/o male livin' in Georgia. Diagnosed with Left-Sided Colitis in 2002; re-diagnosed with Pancolitis in Nov. 2009.
June 2010 I beat UC by having surgery.
Drugs tried: Just about every 5ASA medicine, enemas, prednisone, turmeric, fish oil, Remicade, psyllium seed powder, Metamucil.
Temp Ileostomy and colon removal surgery - 6/2/2010
Takedown - Sometime next year; busy with job/school.

Equestrian Mom
Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 3115
   Posted 11/27/2010 5:22 PM (GMT -6)   
Just be careful with electrolyte drinks...they do contain sugar (and some have artificial sweeteners) that will cause higher output which can lead to dehydration.

If you crave salt it's okay to salt your food or eat peanut butter crackers, pretzels with salt on them...french fries are good, too, since they thicken output which is another way to combat dehydration! I usually salt my food when eating because I know I have to. Someone on here craved pickle juice...yes, pickle juice, so she just drank some when she had the cravingsmilewinkgrin Personally, I know when I crave olives w/pimentos I'm dehydrated...everyone has their own little clue and it looks like salt is yours!

Do you use Imodium or Metamucil? Those help thicken output to control dehydration...sometimes the goal isn't to drink more but to control how it comes out.
Crohn’s dx 1989
some terrible years before my
temporary ileo in 2001
Proctocolectomy w/end ileo in 2008
...wish I knew then what I know NOW!

Veteran Member

Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 1251
   Posted 11/27/2010 10:05 PM (GMT -6)   
The large intestine is primarily responsible for absorbing water and salt. Since we don't have one we hardly absorb any salts so we need a lot more than 'bowel intact' people. Never skimp on salt at meal times.

I've sometimes reached the point in my salt cravings where I've, literally, poured salt into the palm of my hand and licked it up! I know when I'm severely lacking salt because I tend to get excruciating cramps in the calves of my legs.
Ileostomy for 34 years due to UC. I had my surgery at 10 years of age.

Moderator of the Ostomy and Psoriasis Forums


I'm not a complete idiot - some parts of me are missing!

still a lot to learn
Regular Member

Date Joined Nov 2010
Total Posts : 33
   Posted 11/27/2010 10:28 PM (GMT -6)   
I agree with Shaz.  When I feel the awful muscle cramps coming on, I will lick salt from my palm.  I keep little packets from restaurants in my car. Seems like the cramps resolve in about 15 minutes after licking up a packet.
I NEVER skimp on salt with my meals.
crohn's since 1983, many surgeries later finally got a perm ileostomy & proctocoletomy in August 2009 (a life saver). meds: 6 mp, lomotil and immodium, vitamins. LIFE IS GOOD!

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2010
Total Posts : 1595
   Posted 11/27/2010 10:34 PM (GMT -6)   
My salt craving directs me to potato chips. I eat them by the bag. I also salt everything I eat. My wife used to be on me constantly that I use too much salt......but no more. I have not tried salt straight. Have to try it.


Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 457
   Posted 11/28/2010 12:23 AM (GMT -6)   
Basically what Shaz said. I am kinda dissapointed because I used to drink soooo much water before I had my surgery. Now I have to eat when I drink something and I don't always have food with me. If you don't, they say it will just go right through you.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2009
Total Posts : 2396
   Posted 11/28/2010 4:26 AM (GMT -6)   
I've never had gatorade but grew up in India where we continuously battled extreme heat and dehydration through most of the year. We didn't drink water but "nimbu pani" (lemon water) made of lemon, salt, sugar (use honey if you prefer) - about a spoon of honey and a quarter-a half spoon of salt per glass of water. you'll know when it tastes right (very yummy). You can put some mint in there too if you want. Make it by the jug and leave it in the fridge.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 6571
   Posted 11/28/2010 12:50 PM (GMT -6)   
you need more salt now, i was so happy to find out i had a surgery that required me to eat more salt, lol. So pour it on whatever! and lick it out of your hand if you want to, i do that too!
But like was said earlier, anything with sugar can make it worse, or artifical sweetners, so stick with your hippie water or regular water! foods with a lot of water content, fruits and veggies can help too!
UC for 8 years, before finally kicking its butt and having a permanent ileostomy April 17 2007!
-I have gone to find myself, if i get back before i return, keep me here-
No matter what kind of day you are having, take five minutes to sing loudly and dance like a fool!
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