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New year, new you? Resolution ideas for those with a stoma

Here we go again: one year over, and another one has just begun! If you feel like you have over-indulged slightly over the festive period, you’re not alone! As the new year begins there will be millions of people around the world taking on their very own resolutions to try and better themselves in some way or another.

Whether you have a stoma or not, we’ve picked out some resolutions that you can try for yourself without having to make any huge changes to your lifestyle.

Drink more water and stay well hydrated

Having a stoma can put you at a higher risk of dehydration than others. This can lead to a number of issues including headaches, tiredness and having difficulty concentrating. Most health authorities recommend that you try and drink around 2 litres of water every day to stay in top form.

If you have an ileostomy, this is doubly important. The large bowel absorbs water and salt – those with an ileostomy will know that this is obviously no longer in use.

It’s worth noting that drinks containing caffeine and alcohol can also dehydrate you. Because they are diuretics, you will need to drink more water in order to recharge.

Get your 5-a-day

It’s no surprise that eating your fruit and veg comes with a number of health benefits. They provide your body with key vitamins, as well as being rich in both soluble and insoluble fibre.

Soluble fibre can help to lower cholesterol and can help to make stool thicker, softer and therefore easier to pass – useful for those with stomas.

Insoluble fibre helps to move waste along your bowel, which will help to prevent constipation.

Discover more diet and nutrition advice for ostomates in our advice centre.

Try to exercise more

Everybody knows that exercise is one of the biggest keys to living a happier, healthier life. Exercising more often can help to reduce stress and strengthen your immune system. Don’t worry – you don’t have to be doing an intense workout every day to see the benefits.

Why not aim to try and complete a mile-long walk once every week? As your fitness improves, you could increase the length or frequency to as much as you like.

Cut down on alcohol

It’s no surprise that us Brits like a drink. According to a recent study, four out of five adults in England drink alcohol, with 31% of men and 16% of women exceeding the recommended intake every week. Whilst having a stoma does greatly affect the way that your body reacts to alcohol, many people with colostomies can still enjoy an alcoholic drink with the right preparation.  

Why not try and limit your alcohol intake this year? Cutting down on booze has some proven health benefits. You’ll start to get better sleep, feel more energised thanks to being more hydrated, and you’ll probably save money!

If you’re feeling extra brave, you could join the thousands of people taking part in ‘Dry January’. As the name suggests, all you have to is abstain from alcohol throughout the month.

Whatever your goal for this new year might be – making these small improvements will help you to kick off the new year in great fashion. It’s never too late to get started.

Best of luck!


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