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Can You Drink Alcohol with a Colostomy Bag

Christmas is around the corner. It’s the time of year when there will be lots of get-togethers with delicious foods and different types of alcoholic beverages. Every person enjoys this event so why can’t an ostomate by having few drinks with their beloved persons.

A lot of people restrict themselves from enjoying alcohol after colostomy surgery as they believe that alcohol would be dangerous for them. Consuming alcohol in moderate amounts doesn’t produce any harmful adverse effects. Be extra careful with how much you drink. Before enjoying a drink, it’s best to check with your healthcare professional or stoma nurse and make sure it’s okay for you.

In this article, we will share some pro tips to consume alcohol with colostomy that will help you enjoy the season of festivals with full fun. Here you go!

EFFECT OF ALCOHOL:

Alcohol can have various effects on the digestive system.

Alcohol irritates the lining of the stomach, which can lead to inflammation and an increased production of stomach acids. This may cause feelings of nausea or discomfort. Also, Alcohol can affect the muscles in the gastrointestinal tract, potentially causing spasms or irregular contractions. This may lead to diarrhea or, in some cases, contribute to conditions like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

Since alcohol is a diuretic which means it will increase the production of urine by excreting all the water from the body, leading to dehydration. It’s the natural phenomenon that if the body has undergone dehydration, it will cause hard stool or constipation.

It’s important to note that individual responses to alcohol can vary. Some people may be more sensitive to its effects, while others may tolerate it better. As far as ostomates are concerned, dehydration and constipation can lead to certain complications.

Don’t worry, our pro tips will surely help you to enjoy every bit of your drink without any fear of adverse effects. We recommend you consult your stoma nurse before consuming alcohol, they will give you personalized advice considering your stoma health.

Read More: What to do when ostomy bag keeps leaking

TIPS TO ENJOY EVERY SIP OF YOUR ALCOHOLIC DRINK:

Keep Yourself Hydrated:

Staying hydrated is vital for everyone but it is especially important for individuals with colostomy. As mentioned before, alcohol has a dehydrating effect and dehydration causes constipation which might create issues with the seal of the pouch. To combat this issue, it’s mandatory to drink plenty of water alongside any alcoholic beverages. The rule of thumb is to consume a glass of water with every glass of alcohol. You can also consume ORS water or electrolyte water to avoid dehydration. Remember, you are the incharge of your body, you better know how to deal with your body.

Indications that you are dehydrated:

  • Dry mouth
  • Lethargic
  • dark concentrated urine
  • urinating less than normal
  • headache

Read More: Do paraplegics use colostomy bags?

CHOOSE THE RIGHT TYPE OF ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES:

Some alcoholic drinks such as Prosecco, beer, and fizzy ones may cause bloating which produces more gas into the stoma pouch – ballooning, in simple words.

Ballooning can be very embarrassing and it sometimes creates awkward smells. To get rid of it, you will have to rush to the washroom in between your parts to release some air from the ostomy pouch. Well, nobody wants to miss a single second of Christmas parties.

Therefore, we suggest you choose your drink wisely. Clear spirits like Vodka or gin are usually gentle on your stomach. Avoid lager, beer, and prosecco. If you really want to enjoy a fizzy alcoholic beverage, you can stir a fork in the drink rapidly; this will reduce the fizz of the drink. It’s all about making smart choices for your body

MODERATION IS THE KEY TO ENJOYMENT:

It is said that eating in moderation is the key to a healthy life. The same goes with alcohol, drinking in moderation is good for the health of your gut and also for your stoma pouch. Remember, drinking alcohol after colostomy surgery is quite different from the pre-colostomy surgery. It might be possible that you can’t even tolerate one glass of alcohol now. So whatever you drink, drink in moderation to avoid any harmful consequences.

Related: Travelling with a colostomy bag

USE MORE STARCHY FOODS WITH ALCOHOL:

Starchy foods are effective in absorbing alcohol in your digestive system. foods such as Whole wheat bread, pretzels, and pasta controls the absorption rate of alcohol in your body which means fewer chances of alcohol-related adverse effect.

Whole wheat bread:

The complex carbohydrates in whole wheat bread take longer to break down in the digestive system. This, in turn, slows down the absorption of alcohol, providing a more controlled release into your bloodstream.

Related: Can You Swim With A Colostomy Bag

Pretzels:

Similar to whole wheat bread, pretzels are a starchy snack that can help absorb and regulate the flow of alcohol. The salt content in pretzels might also encourage you to drink more water, promoting hydration.

Read More: Can you still poop with a colostomy bag

Pasta:

Pasta, being another starchy food, contributes to the gradual absorption of alcohol. Its complex structure takes time to be broken down, influencing the pace at which alcohol enters your system.

It is said that adjusting your diet with more starchy foods while consuming alcohol can create a buffer inside your stomach that will help control the flow of alcohol. This controlled absorption can prevent sudden spikes in alcohol levels in your bloodstream, which might otherwise pose a risk to your stoma bag.

Conclusion:

Enjoying a fizzy alcoholic beverage with colostomy is possible but you have to be very mindful of what you are drinking and in what amount you are consuming. You are the incharge of your body and you know your body very well. Stay hydrated, consume ORS water, and drink in moderation. Moreover, keep your ostomy supplies prepared with you before you head on to any party where alcohol is in play. These tips would be very useful for you to enjoy a stress-free Christmas party. Now you can confidently raise your beer glass and enjoy colostomy.

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