Hydration is a crucial part of life and is just if not even more important as an ostomate, especially as certain drinks like water can make us more dehydrated.
I have fallen into the trap of dehydration a few times since having my ileostomy, the first time I was hospitalised because of it which was pretty scary at the time as I was terrified of drinking. Before my surgery I would drink loads of water because it would help me feel less hungry or basically I was thirsty instead of hungry (if you are bored and “hungry” it’s often actually thirst) But afterwards I noticed my output went to pure water and I became dehydrated really quickly.
Now the second time I had been in due to my first leak and I was sent to Ambulatory Care for fluids because dehydrated enough to be feeling doolally! As I began to feel accustomed to life as an ostomate I learnt a few things on the way.
- Plain water is a no no in large amounts or if it’s warm out/you have done exercise as it flushes out electrolytes.
- You can drink something like Lucozade sport or an isotonic drink which will replenish the lost electrolytes.
- Or like me squash I drink a lot of squash as it takes that bit longer than water to go through my system that I can get the full or close to full benefit.
- Sipping your drink rather than chugging it down is also a better way to stay hydrated as it gives your body time to absorb the fluid rather than it just going straight through.
- Mixing up your drinks also helps again more than likely down to the time it takes to go through your system but you obviously get other benefits like – not getting bored of your drink, milk/sugar or the equivalent for your diet.
- St Marks Solution which I have written about in this post about thickening your output.
But I seem to have found my happy balance now which is all anyone can really expect of you; but you want to aim for about 2-3L over the course of the day not in one go! Please for the love of all that is good in the world not in one go! So about 8 glasses a day people!
My lovely fellow ostomate Eric from VeganOstomy has written a post filled with tips on keeping hydrated with an ostomy so if you would like to read that please click on the link!