Ilesotomy Survival Guide | Diseases and Conditions
Wednesday July 3rd 2019

Ilesotomy Survival Guide

Two and a half years ago I had a proctocollectomy (removal of my large intestine) due to Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis. I had been hemorrhaging in my large intestine for three years and nothing the doctors were doing was helping. Post surgery, there was a lot of helpful information on caring for my ostomy, but there was none on caring for my body after the organ had been removed. Through years of steady research I have compiled some mandatory information for anyone who’s thinking about going with, or who already has, an ostomy.

Pre-surgery I asked a lot of questions about how my body would react to not having a colon. My surgeon and Gastroenterologist assured me that there would be no after effects and that we did not need our large intestine. Unfortunately, I believed them. I was extremely ill, exhausted, mentally and physically. I was dealing with everything, from hemorrhaging and intestinal blockages to joint pain, eczema and acne. My mind was in a thick fog and I was missing out on life with my husband and kids. So, I went ahead with the surgery.

Immediately after the surgery I was feeling much better. I rested for my six weeks of recovery and on the seventh week with my doctors approval, I started exercising and went back to work. I worked my way up to running 4 miles a day, doing circuit workouts every other day, and back to waiting tables forty hours per week. I played with my kids, took them to the beach and started becoming involved in their school. Overall I felt healthier then I had in over ten years.

All of a sudden, the fourth month after my surgery, I blew up like a balloon gaining 20 pounds in one month. Completely puzzled, I worked even harder, but the weight was not coming off. At the same time my eczema grew painfully worse and I became allergic to my ostomy bags. I was breaking out in hives and rashes everywhere, I had horrible acne, my joint pain was excruciating and I had acquired a Urinary tract infection that would not go away. All of my pre-surgery symptoms, with the exception of hemorrhaging, had come back with a vengeance.

My doctor switched my medication three times with no success. A few months later, I was chatting with a regular customer that I waited on at work. She casually mentioned to me that she can’t eat tomatoes because they inflame her arthritis. This statement fascinated me. I had no idea that the foods we eat could affect us like that. I went straight home and started to research the topic.

Come to find out there are lots of foods that cause inflammation. These foods include eggs, dairy, citrus fruits, nightshade plants (tomatoes, eggplant, squash, potatoes, bell peppers and cucumbers), sugar, caffeine, gluten and yeast. We can also have allergies to these foods and not even know it. These allergies show up on your body in forms like joint pain, acne, eczema, fatigue, rashes and hives. They can even result in anxiety, depression, ADHD and other psychological disorders.

I also learned that the large intestine is one of the key factors in our bodies natural detoxification process (you’d think a doctor would know this). There are five hundred species of good bacteria called gut flora that live in the colon and this bacteria assists the liver in filtering toxins out of the body. In today’s world we are literally living in a sea of toxins. Pesticides, herbicides, plastic containers, sugar, high fructose corn syrup, artificial sweeteners, preservatives, electro magnetic radiation and the list goes on. Our bodies are designed to self cleanse, but it can only handle so much before the balance of gut flora is damaged and the immune system starts to be compromised. Sixty percent of the immune system is in the lining of the large intestine.

Once the imbalance of gut flora occurs the intestinal lining becomes damaged and the immune system is weakened. People then become susceptible to inflammation and allergies. Studies have actually shown that these two biological responses are the core of all physical and mental diseases.

I immediately eliminated all of the above foods from my diet and after two weeks I lost about 15 of that 20 pounds I had gained. My skin cleared up and I felt full of energy. I gradually added some of the foods back into my diet and found that dairy, caffeine, citrus and nightshade plants were the culprits. I had been suffering with the above symptoms beginning at the age of eight and they just worsened over the years. In fact, I suspect these allergies were the foundational cause of my Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis.

So, I wish I would have found the information before they removed an entire organ from my body, but either way I am glad I have found it. It is pretty simple, just feed the body the nutrients it needs and it will cleanse and heal all on its own. Also, be aware of possible food allergies before they progress into anything more serious. This is true for anyone, but must be a strict way of life for any person with a digestive disease and or an ostomy.

Here is my survival guide to maintaining excellent health with an ostomy.

  • Avoid the above foods I mentioned and eat mainly fresh, whole foods. Nothing processed.
  • Make sure its organic to avoid any needless toxicity.
  • Take a potent probiotic to replace the gut flora that is no longer there due to the large intestine being removed.
  • A liquid B-complex is also a necessity because people with ostomies acquire B-vitamin deficiencies. This is because B-vitamins are absorbed in the ileus, which is no good to us with ostomies.
  • Make sure to take an easily absorbed multivitamin and extra calcium and magnesium. Magnesium is also very important because it is the most abundant nutrient in the body however, most people are deficient in this as well.

I would also recommend taking some sort of liver detox supplement, because the liver could definitely use the help now that its partner (the colon) is gone.

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