Dehydration is a condition that occurs when the loss of body fluids, mostly water, exceeds the amount that is taken in. When we lose too much water, our bodies may become out of balance or dehydrate. Severe dehydration can be life threatening. If your output loosens and you find you are emptying your stoma bag more frequently, you may be at risk of dehydration.
How to combat dehydration?
- Eat salty foods such as; salted crisps, or try Bovril or Marmite, either spread on toast or as a drink
- Improve your fluid intake. Aim to drink 8 glasses/mugs of fluid a day (preferably water). Other helpful ways to stay hydrated include: isotonic or full sugar fizzy drinks (allowed to go flat), sucking on ice chips and eating lollies made from juices.
NOTE: For those with an ileostomy or urostomy, fluid intake is even more important.
Severe dehydration can be life threatening. If your output loosens and you find you are emptying your stoma bag more frequently, you may be at risk of dehydration.
Please contact your GP, stoma care nurse or call NHS 111 for advice if you are at all concerned.
Signs and symptoms of dehydration:
- Increased thirst
- Dry mouth
- Confusion, sluggishness, or fainting
- Decreased urine output
Salt helps your body to absorb fluid and keep hydrated, so it is advisable that you include an extra teaspoon of salt in your diet every day to help prevent dehydration; unless you have been advised to avoid salt or limit your intake because of another underlying medical condition. If this is the case please discuss with your stoma care nurse and/or GP.