Having discussed diet for those with a colostomy and an ileostomy in previous blogs, here are some tips for those amongst us who have a urostomy. There is no diet or any food restrictions which you need to follow if you have a urostomy when you are fully recovered from your stoma surgery you are free to eat any foods you like!
Immediately after your surgery you will be advised to eat little and often rather than large meals to help your bowel slowly recover. A section of the intestine (small bowel) will be used to form a urostomy/ ileal-conduit, to allow the urine to drain from the body. It is then attached to an opening in the abdomen called a stoma, hence the name urostomy. You will be advised to eat a light diet to begin with as your gut might be sensitive and need time to recover. Once your bowels have started to function normally, you are then safe to slowly re-introduce fibre back into your diet over the next few weeks. If you find your bowels are taking time to settle, you may find it helpful to keep a record of the foods you re-introduce, to monitor if any particular foods cause any issues.
Fluids are an important factor as you may experience urinary tract infections (UTI’s) even though you have a stoma. This is simply because part of the urinary tract is still in place, so bacteria can continue find its way into the body and develop. If you have a urostomy, it is also possible for some bacteria can get inside the urostomy itself. Some UTI’s can lead to kidney infections, which can make you feel quite unwell. By drinking plenty of fluids it helps flush your urinary tract through and prevent the build-up of bacteria which can lead to infections. Increasing your fluids also helps reduce excessive mucus from your urostomy.
It’s hard to know how much to drink with a urostomy, so here is some guidance:
What can I drink and how much is safe?
Drinking more water is key! Try to drink 6-8 glasses of water each day (1500-2000mls). Water helps your kidneys do their job of flushing out body waste. It can reduce the bacterial concentration in your urine, which may lower your chances of developing a UTI. If you notice your urine looks a darker yellow or orange colour then you are likely to be dehydrated, so try to make a conscious effort to drink more water.
- Avoid drinking caffeinated drinks as they can dehydrate you, switch to decaffeinated where possible.
- Limit your alcohol consumption too as again, this can be dehydrating.
- Try to drink plenty of water, squashes, fruit teas, decaffeinated teas, and coffees
- Eating foods which are high in vitamin C can make your urine more acidic
Foods which can affect the smell or colour of your urine:
Although you do not have to avoid certain foods it is good to be aware that certain foods can affect the smell of your urine. Such as fish, onions, garlic and even asparagus.
You may also find that beetroot can often colour your urine a pinkish shade and can also affect your stools as well.