Wellness during and after treatment


Eating Healthily on Chemo when you have an ileostomy

Hi. Looking for some advice on what I can cook for my hubby. He has an ileostomy following colorectal cancer and has just started chemo today. His oncologist recommended that he should avoid fruit and veg whilst having chemo as his stoma was quite high output following surgery. Chemo nurse also advised that he shouldnt take vitamin/mineral supplements whilst on chemo, so I'm really concerned about how I maintain his nutrients. Thanks in advance


I don't have a stoma but I have been struggling with the diet adjustment following my surgery 3 months ago. My usual high fibre, fruit and veg diet cannot currently be tolerated, especially now my chemos started.

I found the document below useful for some ideas outside of the usual rice krispies, white bread etc options suggested by the oncology dept. Hope it helps xx


Good luck


Hi @FussyWife I think that the document @Cakeyj has kindly shared is one of the best I’ve seen. I am vegetarian and ended up eating way too much junk food post surgery (as knew it would cause minimum problems) but now I am starting to introduce a few bits from the right hand side list. However am avoiding the items that are most likely to cause a blockage ie dried fruit, nuts and Chinese takeaway! I am about to have my fourth chemo session following surgery and a stoma. A recommendation would be to get plenty of loperamide tablets prescribed as I had plenty of runny output from FOLFOX. I have been prescribed up to 16 on the really bad days! Would also invest in diarolyte to assist with rehydration. I keep a diary and can usually then predict what my stoma output will be like. Best of luck!


Hi, @FussyWife I was told by my stoma nurse to drink cup a soups when my output is high as they replace lost salts. Loperamide is also your best friend. Hugs :x::x:


I have an ileostomy and am on Filofax chemo.
Like @Jomo9 and @kitti I would agree to get plenty of loperamide in. I too take up to 16 tablets a day.
I also drink lots of Lucozade Sport (I can't stand Dioralyte) and eat salty products as recommended by my oncologist ,as, with an ileostomy, it is salt that goes straight out of the stoma and doesn't get absorbed into the body.


Just sending sympathy to you both @FussyWife! I soon got frustrated by conflicting advice about diets. To be fair, we are all different of course, so it is a tricky situation.
But my oncologist referred me back to my colorectal specialist when I was having chemo/ileostomy issues, so maybe you could ask to talk things over with your colorectal specialist.

An added complication is that some of the anti sickness drugs cause diarrhoea and others cause constipation (or the stoma equivalent)

Have you tried experimenting with small amounts of vegetables? And don't forget that foods like eggs and fish are very nutritious.

Good luck (and well done for your support ) :x:


Thank you everyone for your help and support, it's very much appreciated. We are going to experiment with some veg and see how he gets on. Do any of you take supplements at all?


Hi @FussyWife
Can I suggest if output from stoma is high, HIGH 5 zero tabs. Sports people use these after extreme exercise to keep the electrolytes etc balanced. I take one tab mixed with lime juice in a pint glass daily to keep “topped up” even when I’m not onChemo.
Also with regards to extra supplements, I take a sublingual B complex and us with ileostomys loose some B vitamins and I also took whilst on chemo extra magnesium with calcium as I had to stay of HRT whilst on chemo.
I just took the boxes to my oncologist and she told me if they could be taken or not.