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January 22, 2017

Ostomy and Alcohol – What to Know Before You Go Bottoms Up

While some of you have pledged to cut back on the cocktails as a part of your new year resolutions, you are likely to join in on the libations from time to time. There’s nothing wrong with that, in responsible moderation (of course) and with clearance from your physician. That being said, anyone who was received a colostomy, ileostomy, or urostomy does need to be more mindful when it comes to Happy Hour. Let’s take a look at a few spirited tips to consider before you indulge in the next round of spirits.


5 Tips to Drinking Responsibly for Those Living with an Ostomy

Ostomy and Alcohol - What to Know Before You Go Bottoms Up

1. Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate

Alcohol is a diuretic. It has a direct effect of dehydrating anyone who consumes it. While it is a golden rule for anyone consuming a significant amount alcohol to keep a bottle of water close by, staving of dehydration is especially important to ostomates. Your rule of thumb is simple – drink a glass of water with every beer, cocktail, or glass of wine that you consume. To be especially mindful of dehydration, follow these ostomy-conscious tips to keeping hydrated.


2. Soak it Up with Smart Foods

You’re going to want to control the flow of alcohol to keep your stoma bag from bursting. Aside from drinking in moderation, this can be accomplished by consuming foods known to soak up alcohol. Starchy foods such as whole wheat bread, pretzels and even pasta help slow the absorption of alcohol.


3. Balance it Out with Ostomy-Conscious Nutrients

In addition to eating to soak up the alcohol, you also want to be very mindful of your vitamin (and other nutritional) concerns, which include the items addressed in this article on common deficiencies of those living with an ostomy. Alcohol can result in electrolyte disturbances that include low potassium, low magnesium, and low calcium. Consider these when choosing foods to consume before, during, and after drinking. Have a banana (potassium and magnesium) with your banana daiquiri and a handful of strawberries (calcium) with your strawberry margarita – you get the idea. If you’ve gone on a bit of a bender (after a vacation, work conference weekend, etc.) you may want to consider a detox supplement regime for ostomates.


4. Avoid Drinks that Bloat

Certain beverages will cause you to bloat, and have your ostomy pouch floating fast. This can have you running to the bathroom to change your bag frequently, which ruins the social drinking experience. It can also cause embarrassing odors. Avoid carbonated cocktails and stay away from yeasty beer altogether.


5. Prepare Supplies Accordingly

Ostomates are accustomed to running through a bit of a checklist before embarking on any event or excursion. A night out where alcohol is in-play is one of these events, so plan accordingly. Keep those aforementioned alcohol-driven odors at bay with ostomy pouch drops, sprays, and tablets. If using disposable pouches, keep extras with you. Anticipate any scenario where you need quick access to any of your day to day ostomy supplies.

Most importantly, Inner Good wants to remind you to drink responsibly and to get clearance from your doctor before consuming alcohol, especially if you have recently received a stoma.


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