Ostomy Do's and Don't

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Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 942
   Posted 9/4/2007 2:11 PM (GMT -7)   
I am still on a low residue diet; however, my family and I are leaving for a cruise this Saturday and I am not sure what I can and cannot eat.  Can some of you please give me an idea of foods that I might want to avoid on the cruise (just as a precaution).  For example, a friend of mine ate grilled asparagus when she was three weeks post surgery.  The strings of the asparagus got caught in her stoma and caused blockage.  She ended up in the hosptial for 4 days because of this.  So now I know....NO ASPARAGUS on the trip.  I am nervous about eating something that I shouldn't and then I would have to be flown by helicopter to some unknown hospital in the Keys....
Ok....now here is something I learned I should DO.....always carry a stick of gum (or a breath mint) in your right pocket.  I was on my walk today and a big dog kept smelling my bag.  The owner looked at me funny and then I pulled out a stick of gum tongue .  It worked like a charm. 

Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 6571
   Posted 9/4/2007 2:47 PM (GMT -7)   
i would say no pizza yet, lol. low residue means staying away from cabbage and other veggies, and stringy meats, like BBQ or roast beef. Also, nuts and seeds. I would think though, that as long as you drink ALOT you could eat about whatever. have fun!

Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 1998
   Posted 9/4/2007 3:41 PM (GMT -7)   
Okay here we go with some very "old" advice from my ET back in the early 80's ------  if you can put the food item into a glass of water, except for meats, and it disintigrates, then you shouldn't have a problem.  For example, tho pretzels are hard, they turn to mush in water.  Same with fritos, potato chips, tortillas.     NOT the same with corn or some fresh veggies and fruits.  Watch fibery, stringy items.   If you can mush it up between your fingers, it's ok.  If you experiment, just remember to chew, chew, chew and drink lots of fluids.  If you know of things that are "iffy", don't try them on the cruise.  You want to enjoy the cruise.  Just don't drop your food into water or mush it up in your fingers at the dinner table..!!!!! 
Go ahead and make fun of me everyone!!  I can take it.
Where are you going on your cruise?  How long?
Diagnosed with CD in 1979, many resections and meds
Perm Ileostomy July 1984 at Cleveland Clinic
Disease free since surgery 

New Member

Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 9
   Posted 9/4/2007 4:06 PM (GMT -7)   
Mimosas are usually very popular and abundant on cruises, but I would steer clear of the orange juice . . . go for straight champagne!!  :-)  The acidity in OJ seems to eat right thru the wafer in no time flat (in my experience anyway).  I've had OJ twice since my surgery and both times I ended up with a major blowout - the last time was at brunch in a really nice restuarant . . . it wasn't pretty!!
Bon Voyage . . . have a wonderful trip!!

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 2765
   Posted 9/4/2007 4:57 PM (GMT -7)   
Ever since I had my butt-ectomy, dogs like to sniff my bag, too! :-) Good advice on the gum.

They'll have such a variety of food to choose from on the cruise, that you'll be able to find plenty of things that you know are safe to eat. I've had my ileostomy for 18 months and have never had a problem with blockages, and I eat everything under the sun.

Enjoy, don't worry, and make sure to wear plenty of sunscreen! cool

Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 6571
   Posted 9/4/2007 8:04 PM (GMT -7)   
cruises are really for people who like to eat, at least that's what i think, lol. the only time we went i had my UC, and couldnt' eat anything but rolls and that sucked! i hated it.
One thing i just thought of, they will have fresh pineapple probably ( i just ate some, that's what made me think of it) and it's kind of stringy, and also you have to be really really careful that you don't get any of the outside either. I just sort of picked those parts out and if i got a really stringy part i just spit it out and put it in my napkin, now i don't think you should do that at dinner, but i fyou wanna eat something like that, take it to your room. Also, liek when i eat salad i cut the lettuce up really really little, that way if i don't get it chewed good, it's already small enough that my stomach acid will probably break it down.

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 1250
   Posted 9/4/2007 11:57 PM (GMT -7)   
After your cruise, I hope that you'll start experimenting more with food because eventually, there should be very little (if anything) that you can't eat. Just because a food causes problems for one person DOES NOT mean it will cause a problem for you. I (and the majority of other ileostomates and colostomates) eat whatever we want without a problem.

This far out from surgery though, you will probably just want to stick with eating what you KNOW will be safe foods for you, esp during the cruise, since you don't want any problems.

When you get back home, introduce new foods into your diet, one at a time and CHEW, CHEW, CHEW! You'll be suprised at what you can eat. I eat pineapple, nuts, corn, mushrooms, salads, etc without a problem.

Remember, there are no absolutes when it comes to ostomies. Everyone is different in what they can and can't tolerate. You don't want to miss out on your favourite foods simply because you're too afraid to try them.

Good luck.
I have had an ileostomy for 31 years now due to UC.
Moderator of the Ostomy Forum
I'm not a complete idiot - some parts of me are missing!

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 942
   Posted 9/5/2007 5:10 PM (GMT -7)   
Peggy, I love the idea of dissolving the foods in water to make sure they are soluable. That is great! Thanks for the tip.

Cecilia... where did you get the term "butt-ectomy?" You crack me up, girl. That is toooo funny!

Shaz, thanks for your comments. You are exactly right. I have lots of time to experiment later...it's better to be conservative than to end up in a hospital outside of the country.

Thanks everyone!

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 2765
   Posted 9/5/2007 5:45 PM (GMT -7)   
I made it up tongue since nobody (except you all) seems to know what a proctocolectomy is!

Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 6571
   Posted 9/6/2007 8:27 PM (GMT -7)   
i thought of something else earlier today.  It's kind of gross (but isn't most of the sutff we talk about!) anyway, rooms on cruise ships are REALLY small, unless you have one of those fancy cabins, and so you might want to watch out for eating the stuff that makes a really strong smell. 

Glad Bag
Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 699
   Posted 9/7/2007 2:30 PM (GMT -7)   
i would ask your doctor again how long you have to stay on the low-residue diet....

I agree with Shaz......

i personally love food, it is one of my favorite aspects of being alive...so I started eating regular food very soon after my getting my ileostomy....and have never had a problem....true, that is only my experience, but i think Shaz is accurate in saying most of us eat whatever we want now that we have ostomies.....that is one of the good things about getting one.....yeah, you have a pouch stuck to your belly, but at least you don't have to worry about the pain of everything coming out your rear end....

in my opinion.....you ought to personally experiment with all foods so that you don't stop yourself from eating too many things...

Fear nothing but fear itself...... sad :-) yeah
"All we need is love....love is all we need"

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