Immediately following ileostomy surgery patients are likely to be put on a low-fiber diet in order to allow the intestine time to heal, according to Mayo Clinic. High amounts of fiber or roughage found in whole-grains, fresh fruits and raw vegetables can increase the blockage caused by swelling. Patients typically resume a regular diet within about a month;, however they may react differently to certain foods and will need to monitor which ones are problematic.
Gastrointestinal reactions to certain foods are common after ileostomy surgery, and dietary changes may be necessary, states Mayo Clinic. Gas, constipation and a change in stool color, odor or thickness are common problems, depending on the amount of small intestine remaining. Eating slowly and at regular intervals or meal times throughout the day improves digestion and the body's ability to absorb food, reduce gas and control bowel movements. Patients should avoid overeating or skipping meals.
Patients may follow a bland diet as they begin to reintroduce regular foods back into their eating plan, states Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. This is only temporary if the patient experiences problems with multiple bowel movements during the day. A bland diet includes avoiding dairy products, fried or spicy foods, fruit juices, and heavy gravies or cream sauces, as well as meats that are high in fat such as deli meats, bacon and sausage.