TIPS FOR REDUCING gas / wind production

  • Eat your food slowly, chew with the mouth closed and avoid gulping your food
  • Eating too much food at one time adds to discomfort
  • Eat regular meals, as skipping meals is more likely to increase gas production

Foods that may CAUSE gas / wind

  • Cucumber
  • Peas
  • Beans
  • Orange juice
  • Onions
  • Eggs
  • Cabbage
  • Yeast
  • Mushrooms
  • Baked beans
  • Broccoli
  • Brussel spouts
  • Corn
  • Garlic
  • Cauliflower
  • Fizzy / carbonated beverages including beer
  • Low calorie sweets and lollies (with Sorbitol)

It may also be a result of swallowing air. Chewing gum, chewing with your mouth open, drinking with a straw, smoking and snoring can all increase the amount of air you swallow

Foods that may PRODUCE odour

  • Cheese
  • Beans
  • Onions
  • Cabbage
  • Fish
  • Asparagus
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Eggs
  • Lentils
  • Garlic
  • Some spices

Foods that may REDUCE odour

  • Yoghurt
  • Cranberry juice
  • Yakult
  • Buttermilk
  • Fresh parsley
  • Stewed or grated apple (no skin)

Constipation (hard stomal output)

Constipation can occur for a variety of reasons. It is recommended  that you try and identify the cause of the constipation – See “A guide to preventing constipation, or contact your Stomal Therapy Nurse.

If constipation should occur, try the following:

  • Eat prunes, fresh fruit
  • Aim to drink 2 litres (6 – 8 glasses) of fluid per day
  • Take a gentle stool softener or fibre supplement
  • If 2 – 3 days pass with no bowel action, check with your Stomal Therapy Nurse or doctor

Diarrhoea (runny or fluid stomal output)    

Diarrhoea can occur for a variety of reasons. It is recommended that you try and identify the cause of the diarrhoea.

  • If diarrhoea occurs, treat as you did before you had a colostomy
  • Consult your doctor if it persists for more than 2 – 3 days
  • If you usually use a closed pouch you may need to change to a drainable pouch to avoid frequent pouch changes that can affect your skin and the number of supplies available for later use.

Foods to help THICKEN your stomal output

  • Pasta
  • Pumpkin
  • Dumplings
  • Custard
  • Tapioca
  • Pancakes
  • Pretzels
  • Rice
  • Bananas
  • Toast
  • Mashed potato
  • Apple sauce
  • Arrowroot
  • Marshmallow
  • Uncooked corn flour
  • Cheese
  • Jelly babies / beans
  • Smooth peanut butter
  • White bread (not fresh)
  • Fresh grated apple (no skin


Some medications or nutritional supplements may alter the colour, odour or consistency of your stool. If you have any questions about the medications you are taking and the effect it may have on your colostomy (especially when commencing a new medication), ask your doctor, pharmacist or your Stomal Therapy Nurse.

(Source: Prepared by the Australian Association of Stomal Therapy Nurses Inc. Education and Professional Development Committee,