Hopefully we are getting to that time of year again where the weather shows some promise of getting warmer and with that promise I wanted to talk again about hydration and just how important it is for all ostomates. For years we get told to drink more water or to ensure we are drinking enough fluids and whilst that is true as ostomates we have to be very careful about what we are drinking.
I believe that it is something we should be aware of all year round to be honest because in winter we have the heating on and that can also affect our hydration, but we are generally speaking less active and notice it less. Then in the warmer weather we want to be active and out and about. We all know that warm weather / being active = sweating which means we lose precious electrolytes which then causes us to become dehydrated if they aren’t replenished.
But as an ostomate especially one with an ileostomy you lose electrolytes quicker than someone with their large bowel (large intestine / colon) as your body has lost the ability to essentially wring the water out of your poop and reabsorb it. So it is pretty important to keep chugging throughout the day. However it is just as important to mix up what you drink to get the maximum benefit.
So for instance don’t drink too much plain water as this flushes through your system quicker as there isn’t anything for your body to hold on to, you can simply add juice to it if you prefer to drink water based drinks. You can drink sports drinks to replenish the electrolytes pretty quickly (I like to take these on walks) but simply having a cup of tea or coffee etc in between the soft drinks is also a really good idea.
Just one reminder that might sound like a bit of a drag or a nag but when you drink alcohol it will dehydrate you quicker. Something I was advised when I first had my stoma was to drink some water with dioralyte in before bed and again in the morning and this should hopefully help with any hangover too!