Let’s Talk about Hydration

Let's talk about hydration

Hydration is something we all need to think about regardless of our health, because if we didn’t it can cause more harm than good. 

I am definitely one to hold their hand up and say I don’t think about it enough then wonder why my fatigue is worse that day! I think back to biology and was told that if you don’t drink enough you can become tired, dizzy, get muscle cramps and much more. None of them are fun and can easily be avoided by reaching for a drink, a good mix of fluid types is always best although if you drink alcohol you need more non alcoholic drinks to compensate for that!

Staying properly hydrated can sometimes be the difference between reaching for the biscuit tin (yep caught red handed) due to boredom instead of actual hunger. Which I think we have all fallen victim to that horrible trap! We as ostomates have to drink a bit more fluid as we lose more as we don’t have as much bowel, ileostomates for certain! Rachel from Rocking2Stomas talks about urostomies – fluid and diet which is pretty interesting stuff especially for those without a urostomy as we see how the ostomy that doesn’t revolve around your bowel works, so please keep an eye out for her Understanding Urostomies series if you are interested. When you have a colostomy the majority of the large bowel is often in tact which means you have a better (not always perfect) chance of absorbing the fluid in your output, but this function is completely taken away when you have an ileostomy.

In “The IBD and Ostomy Support Blogs” group on Facebook I threw out a quick poll on hydration :-

“Do you worry about your hydration?”

  • Yes – with an ileostomy – 21
  • No – 5
  • Yes IBD – 4
  • Yes Colostomy – 2
  • Yes Urostomy – 1

If you are a urostomate please join in the group as I really want your voices heard! But as I expected it was those with ileostomies worrying about their fluid intake more than everyone else. I have compiled some tips to help you try and hit your target fluid intake: –

  • always have a bottle of juice/water handy
  • try to limit plain water but increase other fluids
  • have a mix and match of fluids ie juice, coffee/tea
  • use isotonic drinks if you feel really bad only as a pick me up then swap back to normal fluids
  • use dioralyte or St Marks Solution (my dietitian told me at least 500ml of my fluid intake had to be this)
  • when your are hungry try having a drink first as it could be thirst masquerading as hunger, the sneaky sausage!

Do you have any tips on keeping hydrated?