Diet after total colectomy

Posted by lynda48 @lynda48, Dec 30, 2020

My husband had almost his entire colon (5' of it) removed 8 months ago after diagnosis of Stage 3 colon cancer. There has been a problem with diarrhea ever since: 5 – 8 loose stools each day and the occasional accident when he does not make it to the "reading room" in time. Any suggestions for diet to (1) keep hydrated enough when there is no large bowel to absorb water (important since he also has only one kidney and diagnosis of moderate kidney disease) and (2) have firmer stools rather than chronic diarrhea. Dietitian has recommended that he drink lots of water for hydration and physician said he can take 8 tabs of Immodium daily plus Metamucil and eat lots of water-absorbing fibre (like bran buds instead of bran flakes) to reduce diarrhea. Increasing Immodium and Metamucil has helped a bit but still suffers from diarrhea on a daily basis. Any ideas??? Suggestions about foods he should avoid or foods he should eat?

Hi @lynda48 and welcome to the Colorectal Cancer group here on Mayo Clinic Connect. I'd like to bring in fellow members @jmccabe51 @virgo1952 @monicaeve @kathyoung @hopeful33250 @mouse1 @sundance6 @1943 and others into this conversation about diet to help with diarrhea after colectomy.

While we wait for others to chime in with their experiences and suggestions, you might appreciate reading this discussion:
– Sigmoid colon resection: What to expect for recovery? https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/sigmoid-colon-resection-10282019/

I found this information on this website: https://www.utmedicalcenter.org/medical-care/medical-services/procedures-treatments/colectomy/
The following foods are easy to digest and may decrease the amount and frequency of diarrhea:
applesauce
peanut butter
bananas
potatoes
boiled white rice
pretzels
bread or toast
sugar-free cereals (Cheerios, Total, Corn Flakes)
cheese
cream of rice
tapioca
cream of wheat
weak teas
fiber supplements (fiber wafer is best to bulk stools)
yogurt
marshmallows
pasta

Have you tried any of these foods?

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@colleenyoung

Hi @lynda48 and welcome to the Colorectal Cancer group here on Mayo Clinic Connect. I'd like to bring in fellow members @jmccabe51 @virgo1952 @monicaeve @kathyoung @hopeful33250 @mouse1 @sundance6 @1943 and others into this conversation about diet to help with diarrhea after colectomy.

While we wait for others to chime in with their experiences and suggestions, you might appreciate reading this discussion:
– Sigmoid colon resection: What to expect for recovery? https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/sigmoid-colon-resection-10282019/

I found this information on this website: https://www.utmedicalcenter.org/medical-care/medical-services/procedures-treatments/colectomy/
The following foods are easy to digest and may decrease the amount and frequency of diarrhea:
applesauce
peanut butter
bananas
potatoes
boiled white rice
pretzels
bread or toast
sugar-free cereals (Cheerios, Total, Corn Flakes)
cheese
cream of rice
tapioca
cream of wheat
weak teas
fiber supplements (fiber wafer is best to bulk stools)
yogurt
marshmallows
pasta

Have you tried any of these foods?

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The BRATY diet (Bananas, Rice, Applesauce, Toast – w/o butter, Yogurt), long recommended for children if they have diarrhea,has been kept in mind; thus, breakfast is usually a half banana sliced on top of high fibre cereal. Interesting that you have cheese and pasta on the list because he does enjoy pasta with alfredo sauce and, come to think of it, that has been well tolerated (better than pasta and tomato sauce with meat). And he started craving peanut butter recently – had not made a peanut butter sandwich since our kids were in school but have started again for my 80-year-old spouse! Thanks, Colleen, so much. I will now check the website you recommended/

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