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Diet After Ileostomy Study: an observational study describing dietary intake and stoma-related symptoms in people with an ileostomy

J Hum Nutr Diet. 2023 Mar 17. doi: 10.1111/jhn.13168. Online ahead of print.


BACKGROUND: People with ileostomy are frequently advised to avoid specific foods and food groups, making it plausible that they are at risk of a range of nutrition-related adverse health consequences. Despite this there has been no recent study in the UK describing dietary intake, symptoms, and food avoidance in people with ileostomy or post-reversal.

METHODS: Cross-sectional study at different timepoints in people with ileostomy and reversal. Participants were recruited at 6-10weeks post-formation (n=17), and ≥12months with established ileostomy (n=16), and with reversal (n=20). In all participants, ileostomy/bowel-related symptoms in the previous week were assessed using a study specific questionnaire. Dietary intake was assessed using 3 on-line diet recalls or 3-day dietary records. Food avoidance and reasons for food avoidance were assessed. Data were summarized using descriptive statistics.

RESULTS: Participants reported few ileostomy/bowel-related symptoms in the previous week. However, over 85% of participants reported avoiding foods, particularly fruits and vegetables. At 6-10weeks the most common reason was being advised to do so (71%), although 53% avoided foods due to gas. At ≥12months the most common reasons were foods visible in the bag (60%) or advised to do so (60%). Reported intakes of most nutrients were comparable to population medians, apart from lower fibre in people with ileostomy. Intakes of free sugars and saturated fats were above recommendations in all groups, due to high consumption of cakes and biscuits and sugar-sweetened drinks.

CONCLUSION: After the initial healing period, foods should not be automatically excluded unless found to be problematic after reintroduction. There may be a need for healthy eating advice for people with established ileostomies and post-reversal, targeting discretionary high-fat, high-sugar foods. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

PMID:36932682 | DOI:10.1111/jhn.13168

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