Will I ever be able to eat the foods I love again? Post-Colectomy problems

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Will I ever be able to eat the foods I love again? Post-Colectomy problems

Postby no_colon_powell » Sun Jan 07, 2018 8:05 pm


I had a total Colectomy with Ileorectal Anastomosis on 11/22/17, and then an emergency hernia repair on 12/11/17. I remained in the hospital until 12/28 because I went into septic shock after the second surgery and ended up in the ICU. I’m finally home and recovering. I’m severely underweight (5’7” and just over 100 lbs.) so I’m desperate to gain. Obviously it’s dangerous to be so thin, especially at my age (almost 40).

My colorectal surgeon said (at my follow up on 1/4/18) that I was looking great and that I could eat whatever I wanted now. I went home and had a huge bowl of Poke (Hawaiian traditional dish) with edamame beans. I spent the next two days in agony...I thought I had a blockage again. Thankfully it wasn’t a blockage.

My question is this: when will I be able to eat fruits? Veggies? Nuts? Seeds? I was vegan before the surgery, so my diet now is very challenging...lots of bread, cheese, soups, etc. and plenty of meat products. I’d die without them, but I’m eager to get back to my favorite kale salad with pine nuts and cranberries. Please help?

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Re: Will I ever be able to eat the foods I love again? Post-Colectomy problems

Postby peanut_8 » Mon Jan 08, 2018 10:12 am

Welcome to the Colon Club, no_colon-powell. Must say that I had a good chuckle about your name.

You've been through a lot (quite an understatement IMO). It's going to take some time before you're back to eating like you were before. I suspect your Dr. is right and you'll be able to eat your fav kale salad before long. However, while your healing you might want to try something like the low residue diet.

What Is a Low-Residue Diet? It limits high-fiber foods, like whole-grain breads and cereals, nuts, seeds, raw or dried fruits, and vegetables. "Residue" is undigested food, including fiber, that makes up stool. The goal of the diet is to have fewer, smaller bowel movements each day.Nov 30, 2017. https://www.webmd.com/ibd-crohns-diseas ... et-foods#1

Maybe a couple weeks or a month of low residue, and then gradually start introducing other foods, possibly one at a time to see how you tolerate them.

When I was undergoing chemo/rad I had a couple of temporary blockages. After the second one, I made the correlation to the green papaya salad that I had at my favorite Vietnamese restaurant. I love green papaya salad, and was really dismayed to think I would have to give it up forever. Now, I'm 4 years post treatment, and doing very well, eating pretty much whatever I want. I understand that you have a unique situation, butt think there is every reason to be hopeful about your future diet.

Best Wishes,
female, diagnosed Jan 14, RC stage 2a, age 56
April 14, 28 chemo/rad with Xeloda
June 14 adjuvant Xeloda 6 rounds
currently NED

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Re: Will I ever be able to eat the foods I love again? Post-Colectomy problems

Postby Utwo » Mon Jan 08, 2018 9:40 pm

Please Google Internet or search this forum for BRAT diet (bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast).

My definition of the BRAT diet:
- bananas, peeled and cored apples
- rice, buckwheat
- potatoes, yams
- white bread
- fish, chicken, turkey

It makes sense to start with BRAT diet and them gradually introduce other stuff one type of food at a time.

Even now, 1.5 years after my surgery, I better tolerate walnuts and pecan nuts than sunflower seeds.
I do not understand what's wrong with sunflower seeds.
I can eat a bit of beans and humus, that was unimaginable right after the surgery.
58 yo male at diagnosis: T1bN0M0, 0/15 nodes, low grade/moderately differentiated adenocarcinoma
03/2016 colonoscopy #1: 2 small polyps removed in left colon; CEA = 1.3
04/2016 colonoscopy #2: caecum sessile 3.5 cm polyp piecemeal removed with kind of clear margins
05/2016 "prophylactic" laparoscopic right hemicolectomy - bleeding, leak, infection
06/2017 CT scan, colonoscopy OK; CEA = 1.6
A lot of funny stuff discovered by CT scans in liver, kidney, lungs, arteries, gallbladder and a lymph node

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Location: New Brunswick, Canada

Re: Will I ever be able to eat the foods I love again? Post-Colectomy problems

Postby DarknessEmbraced » Wed Jan 10, 2018 12:30 pm

I'm sorry you've been having such a hard time! *hugs* I keep a food/symptom diary since my surgery in 2014. Since surgery I can no longer eat beans, snap peas(anything with a fibrous exterior), broccoli, cabbage, eggs, nuts(severe allergy so I can't eat them any way), ice cream, onions, peanuts, seeds, popcorn and many others. Only certain vegetables don't bother me and I can't eat any raw vegetables. Spicy and really oily foods cause me issues. It's different for everyone. I would start on a low fiber diet(low residue), keep the food/symptom diary, and slowly add in more foods.
Diagnosed 10/28/14, age 36
Colon Resection 11/20/14, LAR (no illeo)
Stage 2a colon cancer, T3NOMO
Lymph-vascular invasion undetermined
0/22 lymph nodes
No chemo, no radiation
Clear Colonoscopy 04/29/15
NED 10/20/15
Ischemic Colitis 01/21/16
NED 11/10/16
CT Scan moved up due to high CEA 08/21/17
NED 09/25/17
NED 12/21/18

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