Me And My Stoma

"It's My Bag"


How to avoid dehydration

There are several things that Ostomates have to be careful of - one of them being dehydration.  This is not a good thing to have ... cases for Ostomists if untreated could mean a stay in hospital to have fluids via an IV line. The worst cases if left untreated could result in brain damage or death.

What exactly is dehydration? - put simply dehydration occurs when the body loses more fluid that we can take in. It is usually caused by not drinking enough due to humidity, physical exercise or even diet. Vomiting and diarrhoea will also help to dehydrate you. In a non-Ostomate, food and drink which passes through the digestive system is normally reabsorbed back into the body by the Colon (Large Intestine) as salt and water. For an ostomist, the Colon is missing, and whilst the small intestine tries to take over, it is just not very good as absorbing the same levels. The result is dehydration.

What are the symptoms of dehydration? - having a dry mouth, headaches or dizziness are all symptoms. Passing small amounts of urine is also a good indicator. Palpitations of the heart can occur along with confusion, weakness or fainting.

How to avoid dehydration? - my Stoma nurse once indicated to me that drinking "non Fizzy cola" and eating a bag of salty crisps would help. I was also told to drink plenty of isotonic drinks. I have since found out that whilst this will help prevent dehydration, it will not prevent it.  There is a rehydration solution which you can make yourself ... it contains salt though! The sugars and the salt in the fluid are readily absorbed into your body and rapidly replace what was lost.

200ml squash concentrate
1 level 5ml spoon of salt
Mix with 1 litre of water


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