I have had an ostomy for right around two years now, due to hereditary colon cancer and radiation enteritis. I have issues absorbing nutrients and ‘going’ way to many times per day which leads to dehydration, malnutrition, fatigue, muscle spasms, and electrolyte deficiency. Juicing has really helped me and I hope that it can help you as well. Let me share some of my ‘tried and true’ advice with you.
Nutrient Absorption: If you’ve had much of your small intestine removed, you probably have issues absorbing certain nutrients. My problem areas are potassium, magnesium, calcium, B-12, and replacing the fluids I lose so quickly. I’ve tried Lomotil and it helped with going too much and I take prescription strength supplements, but I still didn’t feel great.
I started juicing and within a week, I felt more energetic. I’m not a scientist or a doctor, so I don’t know if this will work for everyone. I think the reason it helps me is because my body doesn’t break down healthy foods very easily. Veggies, whole grains, and fruits often don’t get broken down at all (if you’re an ostomate, you know what I mean). The juicer basically does that work for your body. It’s like being injected with nutrition. After a week of juicing, I felt much more energetic and I really think it’s because my body is able to absorb the nutrition I’m giving it more easily. CCS Med has a list of foods that often cause obstruction for ostomates. Juicing these veggies and fruits with skin allows me to eat them.
Dehydration Issues: In my opinion, this is one of the worst parts of dealing with an ostomy, the darn dehydration. It makes you feel like you can barely stand. You’re exhausted, crave liquids even though as soon as you get them they go right through you, and your electrolytes are constantly low which can actually kill you if it’s severe.
How does juicing help that? Well, for me it helped because it thickened things up. When I combine juicing with Lomotil, it’s like some sort of miracle combo drug/natural solution. It isn’t perfect, don’t get me wrong here. It just really helps. Health Central can help you identify the signs of dehydration. As an ostomate, you are probably aware that simply drinking liquid may not rehydrate you. That’s why it’s important to slow down your bathroom trips.
Natural juice looks and tastes nothing like juice from concentrate. It’s much thicker and naturally sweet. I recommend trying organic home juiced carrot juice. If you hate the taste of vegetables, use watermelon or strawberry and kiwi as your fruit base. You can throw in wheatgrass, kale, any veggie you want and the taste is covered up by the fruit.
Try it for one week and if it doesn’t help, then you’ve lost nothing. You’ve eaten healthier and learned something else not to try, but I really do think it may help you. My ostomy issues were so severe that I’ve had to have IV nutrition, feeding tubes, and so forth. If it helps me, it could very easily benefit you.
A Great Juice for Ostomates: A great juice for ostomates is one that provides tons of nutrients in one fell swoop. I recommend all organic fruits and vegetables. Do a carrot juice base or a fruit base first. Then add in kale or spinach, wheatgrass, ginger, celery, apple, and a citrus like orange or lemon. Make it to taste and play around with different combos. I can’t drink the straight green drinks because they make me throw up, but you may be able to.
Happy Juicing! For more ostomy tips and articles, visit Carrie Williams homepage