In general a patient with a colostomy can eat most foods, provided this is done in moderation. Common problems can often be controlled by modification in the types and amounts of foods and fluids ingested.


Common problems:

(1) blockage of the stoma

(2) irritation

(3) diarrhea

(4) constipation

(5) gas

(6) odor



(1) Avoid nuts and fruits with seeds.

(2) Remove the skin from fruits and vegetables.

(3) Avoid corn and popcorn.

(4) Avoid crab, lobster and shrimp.



(1) Avoid spicey foods, especially those with hot peppers.

(2) Avoid fried foods.

(3) Avoid prunes and raisins.

(4) Avoid bran cereals and whole grain wheat.

(5) Avoid raw vegetables and fruits.



(1) Eat foods that increase stool bulk.

(2) Increase soluble fiber (rice, oatmeal, bananas, applesauce)

(3) If lactose intolerant, avoid milk products or add lactase supplement.

(4) Avoid eating foods associated with dumping (like White Castle hamburgers).



(1) Increase fluid intake and avoid dehydration.

(2) Increase in fresh and cooked fruits and vegetables.

(3) Balance the need for bulk from fiber and excessive gas production.



(1) Avoid gas producing foods (cabbage, beans, broccoli, onions, etc.).

(2) Avoid chewing gum.

(3) Chew slowly with the mouth closed to minimize the amount of air swallowed with food.

(4) Avoid drinking fluids with a straw.

(5) If lactose intolerant, avoid milk products or add lactase supplement.

(6) Eat small and frequent meals.

(7) Avoid carbonated drinks.



(1) Avoid odor producing foods (eggs, baked beans, strong cheese, garlic, fish, etc.).

(2) Increase intake in fluids that can help control odors (tomato juice, cranberry juice, orange juice, buttermilk)

(3) Increase in foods that can help control odors (parsley, spinach, yogurt)

(4) Consider use of a carbon filter or a deodorant.


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