Colectomy nutritional advice


Removal of any part of the colon results in considerable loss of absorptive capacity in respect of fluids and electrolytes especially sodium (salt). For the first six to eight weeks considerable loss of electrolytes and fluids occurs. After this time the ileum appears to adapt.

Unless any damage was done to the small intestine the digestive and absorptive capacity of the small intestine remain. Nutritional deficiency in B12 and bile salts can still occur however. More recently concerns have been raised that patients with an ileostomy are chronically dehydrated and have depleted calcium and magnesium stores putting them at risk of renal impairment and bone demineralization.

In addition patients may often be malnourished before the surgery due to poor nutrient absorption and inflammation. As the stool frequency and consistency improve following surgery it will still be important to ensure proper hydration.


Some simply changes to diet can help a patient through these difficult first months. I list them here for ease of following.


Drinking coconut water throughout the day can help with dehydration.

Avoid highly fibrous and sulphurous foods like fibrous fruits, beans, pulses, grains and sulphurous vegetables, fizzy drinks, alcohol, excess fruit juice and spicy foods.

Focus on nutrient dense, easy to digest foods – avocado, coconut especially coconut butter, nut butters, coconut cream and milk, coconut water, tomato juice and green smoothies. I like the Indigo Herbs Organic Wheatgrass Powder (Indigo Herbs are represented on this website's homepage - click through to Indigo Herbs) which is not only packed full of B vitamins, but can help with ph balance and immunity.


Eat frequent small meals through the day.


Eat slowly and chew well.


Taking apple cider vinegar or lemon juice in water before each meal can help as well.


If weight loss and fatigue become a problem, consider protein powders and don’t stick to just one but rotate them as each will have unique properties, in much the same way that a diet should be varied. I like one in partuclar called UltraMeal from Nutri Ltd that you can buy with a 10% discount if you are registered with me from . Also see Biopure Protein - scroll down.


UltraMealcomes in several flavours. For more advice and a consultation please contact Cynthia Sillars on 07599520406. Please leave a message I’ll get back to you as soon as I can. Low GI Metabolic Food (Soy) UltraMeal is a delicious, natural, powdered mix designed as nutritional support for individuals who want to improve body composition. While low in calories, UltraMeal is high in protein, vitamins and minerals, which are often deficient in many weight-loss diets or those with calorie deficient diets. It can help body composition or weight management only as part of a lifestyle management programme.


BioPure Protein™

Biopure protein is a pure whey protein powder for immune support.  Naturally occurring immunoglobulins in Biopure Protein promote healthy immune system function. This too can be bought from under Nutri. It’s manufactured by Metagenics and is considered to be one of the best protein powders available. It has not been flavoured and adding a scoop to UltraMeal may be a palatable way to take this.