What’s on the menu?

Caitlin M<sup>c</sup>Ginnis

Caitlin McGinnis

Everyone is different even if we all have the same organ gone.  Experimenting with different foods will help you find what you like and what you can tolerate.

Having my ostomy for 7 years, I have had a lot of time to experiment with different ­­­foods. What I have noticed is that everyone is different and not all ostomates are alike.  I will never forget when I went to my first Ostomy Conference and everyone was drinking alcohol and they served salad as the first course. To me, this was VERY surprising because I cannot tolerate either of those anymore. My stomach gets very unhappy when I drink alcoholic beverages and when I eat salad. I’ll have some every once in awhile but I usually have really bad diarrhea (pure liquid output) for hours afterwards if I do. Some of my ostomy friends can handle all of that just fine.

I’ve met with dietitians that specialize in IBD and Ostomies to find a menu that works for me. To this day, I still experiment with different items. I can tolerate corn and popcorn in moderation but I can’t handle salad or any raw veggies. The only cooked veggies I can tolerate are green beans and carrots (and I make sure they are very soft!). I eat a lot of meat and carbs (usually pasta) because my body absorbs those better. Bananas are amazing and help with my potassium levels and make my output thick and less frequent. For dehydration, Pedialyte (powder packets) and Drip Drop are so helpful and can be added to a bottle of water-they make me feel a million times better.

Everyone is different even if we all have the same organ gone. Experimenting with different foods will help you find what you like and what you can tolerate. Smoothies are a great way to get veggies and protein in that your body can absorb better. Taking Imodium daily helps slow down my output during the day as well which is helpful for my busy lifestyle.

Meet Caitlin

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