Staying hydrated

Caitlin M<sup>c</sup>Ginnis

Caitlin McGinnis

Dehydration is my worst enemy. It’s a daily battle for me. I was never a big liquid drinker before I became ill and I’m no better now.

If you have an ostomy or any type of IBD, you know what it feels like to be dehydrated. Unfortunately, having these diseases prevents our bodies from absorbing all the nutrients and electrolytes that we need. With an ostomy, it’s that much harder. Without your colon, your body doesn’t absorb as much anymore since that was the colon’s function.

Dehydration is my worst enemy. It’s a daily battle for me. I was never a big liquid drinker before I became ill and I’m no better now. When I first had my ostomy, the doctors told me to drink Gatorade. That was all great until I had a mouth full of cavities from all the sugar. My friend recommended Pedialyte. I prefer the apple flavor…add a little water and you have apple juice! I went to the drug store (I prefer CVS; Walgreens only has their brand and it’s gross) last night and picked up three bottles of Pedialyte (the cashier asked if I had a sick baby at home). Pedialyte recently came out with powder packets. I bought a box of strawberry lemonade. You just add it to water and there you go! I’ve had to incorporate drinking water/liquids into my daily routine. I carry a water bottle with me all day to remind me to keep drinking. I still don’t drink the recommended amount but I’m better than I was.

As far as alcohol goes, I tend to stay away from it (as I sip a glass of wine while I write this)…I will most likely regret it tonight while trying to sleep. I very rarely drink or have alcohol in my home. The only way alcohol remotely agrees with me is if I take double my dose of Imodium to slow it all down. It’s interesting to me because some of my fellow ostomates have no issues with drinking alcohol. Alcohol made me very sick when I had Ulcerative Colitis and is still an unpleasant occurrence. I don’t usually mind unless I’m out with friends or on a date and I want to have a drink…sometimes I end up in the bathroom the entire night so I usually avoid it altogether. I have had some people look at me funny when I don’t drink alcohol. You can guess what I want to say to them… I’ve noticed some types of alcohol bother me more than others. Vodka and any hard liquor like that make me sick. Rum mixed with something doesn’t bother me as much. Alcohol also dehydrates us so be careful!

Meet Caitlin

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