Ileostomy Nutrition Supplements You Need to Know About
Before we can address a few key nutritional needs for those living with an ileostomy, we need to clear up the difference between an ostomy, colostmy, and ileostomy.
By definition, an ostomy is an artificial opening on the abdominal wall through which waste passes out of the body from the bowel or urinary tract. A colostomy is a procedure where which the opening is from the colon. An ileostomy, on the other hand, is a procedure where the entire colon, rectum, and anus are removed or by-passed. The surgery brings the ileum (the third and final portion of the small intestine) to the abdominal surface. When waste materials reach the ileum it is in liquid form, and thus an appliance is needed to collect it.
All three are often looped into the same conversation when it comes to nutritional deficiencies. And there are indeed many consistencies. However, an ileostomy deserves it’s own dedicated focus on the matter. Only then can you (someone living with an ileostomy) identify which health supplements you should be considering, with approval from your physician of course.
4 Nutritional Supplements Ileostomates Need to Consider Adding to Their Dietary Regime
1) Metagenics PhytoMulti
Vitamins A,D, E and K are all fat-soluble vitamins that are absorbed in the ileum. Any impact on the normal functioning of the ileum can impact the body’s ability to absorb these fat soluble vitamins. Thus, a multivitamin that accounts for these deficiencies may be needed. Metagenics PhytoMulti is such a vitamin. With a balanced combination of Vitamin A (10,000 IU), D (1,000 IU), E (100 IU), and K (120 mcg). Consult with your doctor before consuming. View more on Metagenics PhytoMulti here and PhytoMulti w/Iron here.
2) Webber Naturals Vitamin B-12 Extra Strength
It is not uncommon for ileostomates to experience a gradual decrease in their Vitamin B-12 levels. A portion of the removed intestine is responsible for absorbing vitamin B-12 from consumed food. In some circumstances, a fall in vitamin B-12 levels can be significant enough to result in a condition known as megaloblastic anemia. This form of anemia makes sufferers experience extreme fatigue. B-12 is an important nutrient that helps combat this, and is essential to the body’s nerve and blood cell development and assists in making DNA. Simply put, you need it. If the food you consume doesn’t provide enough due to your limited ability to absorb it, then supplementation may be required. Enter Webber Naturals Vitamin B-12 Extra Strength. Each sublingual (applied under the tongue for better dissolution and absorption) tablet provides 5000 mpg of Vitamin B-12 Methylcobalamin, a superior and biologically active form of vitamin B-12. Consult with your doctor before consuming. View more on Webber Naturals Vitamin B-12 Extra Strength here.
3) Vega All-in-One Nutritional Shake
Due to the absence of the colon and change in processing through the small intestine, the delivery of vitamins (and other supplements) often needs to be reconsidered. For some ileostomates, coated or time-released tablets and capsules may not be absorbed. Your doctor (or nutritionist) will be able to identify this if after supplementing your multivitamin intake you exhibit some of the same deficiencies. In this case, you will need to deliver these multivitamins in a manner more conducive to absorption. By finding a meal replacement powder with a significant percentage of your daily required intake, you give your body a good shot at getting the nutrition it needs. Take Vega’s All-in-One Nutritional Shake for example. This supplement covers the spectrum of necessary vitamins addressed above, including Vitamin A (90%), D (50%), E (50%), and K (60%). It also includes Vitamin B-12 (15%). Consult with your doctor before consuming. View more on Vega’s All-in-One Nutritional Shake here.
4) NutraSea Omega 3
Ileostomates need essential fatty acids (EFA) to help maintain their health. One of the most superior EFA’s is Omega-3 with EPA and DHA. This form of Omega-3 has numerous health benefits, and studies show that it can assist in wound healing while serving as an inhibitor to inflammatory responses. This is especially relevant to someone recovering from an ileostomy. However, since the absorption of capsules may be an issue for an ileostomate, a liquid form is advised. Another issue to contend with, is smell. Some (ileostomate consumers of an Omega-3) have reported a fishy smell coming from the wound area. Thankfully, NutraSea Omega-3 has an answer to both conundrums. This product comes in liquid form and a variety of flavors, including lemon, chocolate, grapefruit tangerine, mango, and crisp apple, all of which taste great and abate the fishy smell. Consult with your doctor before consuming.