The festive period is a time when many of us indulge. But all that rich, heavy food can make it a difficult season to navigate for some ostomates. And we all know dining is a major part of the festivities. So, we’ve compiled a few suggestions which could help some ostomates indulge a little more than usual.
Preparing for the festive season with a stoma
A bit of forward planning is always a good idea, especially if you’re spending Christmas away from home. You don’t want to be caught unprepared, so make sure you have all the supplies you need in good time. It’s always better to have more than you’d usually need – just to be on the safe side.
In the event your output is more liquid than solid, a pack of our Trio Pearls® Gelling and Odour Control Sachets could be a good idea. The super-absorbent gelling crystals turn liquid output into a thicker gel-like substance. The organic compound in every sachet specifically targets odour, actively adsorbing odorous molecules and gases. So, you can enjoy the fun without worrying about leaks or unwanted odour.
If you’re heading to your friends’ or family home for Christmas, be sure to chat with them about any requirements/needs you have ahead of time. This will ensure you have plenty of options on the day, and will allow them to be more understanding of your needs.
Some people find it helpful to wear something comfortable and loose-fitting that won’t restrict the area around your stoma.
Some things you may find helpful
- The eating schedule during the festive season is often a bit of a free-for-all. For ostomates, it can be helpful to try to eat small portions at more regular intervals throughout the day. It might be a good idea to save the big Christmas dinner for the middle of the day.
- Remember to chew your food slowly and thoroughly. Take it slow and steady and practice some more mindful eating techniques. This will help fill you up without over-indulging, reducing the risk blockages.
- Make sure you’re drinking plenty of fluids. With so much going on, it can be difficult to keep track of what you are drinking, so having a refillable drinks bottle to hand can be a useful way of keeping an eye on your fluid intake.
- Taking a short walk after you’ve eaten is a great way to get some fresh air and support digestion.
- Give yourself a few off days from the indulgence. Plan some lighter menu options perhaps at breakfast or supper.
Festive foods that are suitable for ostomates
- Thin slices of moist turkey
- Gravy without mushrooms
- Sweet potatoes without the skin
- Skinless, seedless vegetables
- Well blended cranberry sauce
Of course, everyone is different, so there are other festive favourites you may be able to enjoy too. It’s just about what is right for you, and what you can enjoy in moderation.
Things to be aware of
- The good news for ostomates is that leaner meats such as moist turkey are easy to digest. But try to steer clear of tougher, more fibrous meats such as beef and ham.
- If you are partial to Brussel sprouts cauliflower, broccoli, and cabbage, try cooking them in water as opposed to steaming or microwaving them. This will soften them up more and wash away the chemicals that interfere with digestion.
- Peas, sweetcorn, celery, citrus fruit pith and skins, dried fruits, pineapple are full of fibre. Try to avoid eating these (or eat them in moderation), since fibre stimulates the gut and can produce gas and looser output. In the case of those with an ileostomy, fibrous foods can cause blockages.
If this happens, stop eating for 24 hours, drink plenty of water, gently massage the abdomen in a circular clockwise motion and soak in a warm bath. These steps may relieve the blockage.
Can I drink alcohol with a stoma?
The short answer is yes. If you fancy drinking alcohol, then make sure it’s in moderation. Too many beers or lagers can give you excessive wind and looser output. Take it steady and if you are drinking alcohol make sure you drink plenty to water between alcoholic beverages too. Alcohol can cause you to become dehydrated, which can be an issue particularly if you have an ileostomy.
At Trio, we’re dedicated to letting you live your life your way: comfortably, safely, and worry-free. To check out our essential range of skincare products head here, and for more stoma advice, news and guest posts, take a look at the Trio blog here.