Nutritional Guidelines

Dietary Considerations to Patients of Specific Ostomy:

There are usually no changes in your diet after urostomy surgery (urinary diversion, ileal conduit), except in the first few weeks after your operation while the intestines are healing. It is important, however, for you to drink at least 8 – 12 glasses of water a day unless you are restricted from this because of some other medical condition. Adequate fluid intake is essential to keep the urinary tract flushed to prevent urinary tract infection and stone formation.

The person with a urostomy is usually instructed to keep the pH of the urine acidic. Acid urine inhibits bacterial growth, has less odor and is less damaging to the skin. To help acidify the urine some medical researchers suggest drinking cranberry juice and/ or take vitamin C supplements. Check with your physician about taking vitamin C to keep your urine acid. (Keeping the urine more acid is better done with supplements because fruits and fruit juices with Vitamin C have the opposite effect)

Foods and Medications That Affect Urine:

  • Foods such as asparagus, fish, onions, garlic and spices may cause odor in the urine.
  • Beets and certain medications may change the color of the urine.
  • Drinking large amounts of orange juice or grapefruit juice may decrease urine acidity.
  • If urine is alkaline, it may cause a white, wart-like lesions (pseudoverrucous lesions) on the skin around the stoma.
  • If you are at risk for calcium stone formation, be careful about taking medications with a calcium carbonate base.
  • Sodium bicarbonate base antacids can alkalinize urine (for example baking soda, Alka Seltzer)
  • Drinking adequate fluids will combat urinary odor.
  • One cause of odor may be infection. If the odor persists, you should consult your physician.
  • Some urostomates, whose ileal conduits involve a large part of the ileum used to create the stoma, may need to take vitamin B12 supplements. Check with your physician about this.