Having discussed diet advice for those with a colostomy and an ileostomy in previous Oakmed blogs, here are some diet and nutrition tips for those amongst us who have a urostomy.
What is a urostomy?
A urostomy is an opening in the abdominal wall that’s made during surgery. It re-directs urine away from a bladder that’s diseased, has been injured, or isn’t working as it should.
After the bladder has either been bypassed or removed completely, urine is drained from the body through the stoma into a urostomy bag.
Urostomy surgery is usually required when certain diseases and conditions cause serious bladder problems – for example, bladder cancer or birth defects.
What can I eat when I have a urostomy?
There is no diet or any food restrictions which you need to follow if you have a urostomy. When you’re fully recovered from your stoma surgery, you’re free to eat any foods you like. However, immediately after your stoma surgery, you will be advised to eat little and often rather than large meals to help your bowel slowly recover.
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.
Fluids are an important factor as you may experience urinary tract infections (UTIs) 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 pouch, it is also possible for some bacteria can get inside the urostomy itself. Some UTIs 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, but here is some guidance:
What should I drink when I have a urostomy?
Drinking more water is key. Always try to drink 6-8 glasses of water each day (1500-2000mls), as 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.
Here are some tips about drinking with a urostomy:
- Avoid drinking caffeinated drinks as they can dehydrate you, switch to decaffeinated where possible
- Limit your alcohol consumption too, as this can be dehydrating
- Try to drink plenty of water, squashes, fruit teas and decaffeinated teas and coffees
- Consuming foods and drinks 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 don’t have to avoid certain foods with a urostomy stoma bag, it is good to be aware that certain foods can affect the smell of your urine.
Foods such as fish, onions, garlic, baked beans, eggs and cruciferous vegetables such as cabbage, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts are prone to causing unwanted odour.
You may also find that beetroot can often colour your urine a pinkish shade and can also affect your stools as well.
Food which help fight urine odour include cranberry juice, buttermilk, parsley and yogurt.
To discover out more food and drink advice for ostomates, visit our ostomy diet and nutrition advice centre.