Tips & Tricks

Over the course of 20+ years of a Familial Polyposis diagnosis, I've lived with an ileostomy for 6 years before having my straight pull thru completed. I've encountered countless hospital admissions, medical tests and procedures, 7 surgeries, and ongoing battle with electrolytes. I've learned a few things along the way that have always stuck with me. These are all things that my doctor has okayed for me but you should always consult your doctor first before following someone else's tips

Do you have some tips you'd like to share? Email them to me!

  • Have your doctor monitor your magnesium, sodium, potassium, hemoglobin, albumin, B12 levels. These are all necessary for electrolyte balance and health.
  • It's common to have anemia and B12 deficiency without a colon.
  • V8 is a better option than Gatorade. V8 has more electrolytes and less sugar than Gatorade. Gatorade 2 series does have quite a bit less sugar than Gatorade original, but the amount of electrolytes in V8 far out number any of the Gatorades. And V8 acts as a stool thickner, this can be helpful with excessive diarrhea.
  • Be mindful of foods containing magnesium, sugar, or artificial sweeteners if you have issues with diarrhea. Magnesium, sugar, and artificial sweeteners increase diarrhea and artificial sweetener actually increases diarrhea more than sugar does.
  • If you struggle with sodium, consider mixing 1/2 tsp of salt in an ounce of V8 and drink the mixture.
  • Some believe pickle juice has various health benefits including helping relieve muscle cramps. But be careful, with a short bowel it also can increase diarrhea and the sodium can raise your blood pressure
  • If you struggle with potassium, consider using Nu-Salt - a salt substitute that is low in sodium, high in potassium.
  • Zinc helps promote healing and immunity.
  • Apply pressure with your hand or wave a blow dryer over your applied ostomy appliance for a few minutes to help seal the further adhere to your skin.
  • Eakin Seals are a wonderful alternative to ostomy appliance glue - plus there's no sting!
  • To protect your teeth when you vomit, don't brush your teeth right after. Instead rinse your mouth and spit several times and later on then brush your teeth. Also try rinsing with a fluoride mouthwash to help neutralize the acid from the vomit and remineralize your teeth to protect against cavities.
  • At risk of jpouch or IRA leakage? Try a liner or even Thinx underwear. 
  • If you lack the energy for cooking, try using a crockpot with frozen or canned vegetables to make your meal preparation easier.

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