Ileostomy Absorption Concerns


Ileostomy Absorption Concerns

UOAA Diet  and Nutrition Care Guide, Edited by Bobbie Brewer, UOAA UPDATE 11/12

Due to the absence of the colon and often altered transit time through the small intestine, the type of medication taken must be carefully considered when prescribing for the person with an ileostomy. Medications in the form of coated tablets or time-release capsules may not be absorbed and therefore, no benefit received. A large number of medications are prepared this way. Before the prescription is written, the patient with an ileostomy should inform the physician of his concern.

If the medication required is available only in a certain form, and the coating would not be destroyed by stomach juices, then the tablet may be crushed between two spoons and taken with water. (Note: check with your pharmacist to determine if the pill should be crushed).

The best type of medication for the person with an ileostomy is either in the form of uncoated tablets or in liquid form. Although these are not the most palatable treatments, these dosage forms ensure that the medication prescribed will be absorbed.

After ileostomy surgery, never take laxatives. For a person who has an ileostomy, taking laxatives can cause a severe fluid and electrolyte imbalance.

Transit time varies with individuals. If food passes through undigested, be aware that this may be a sign that the nutrients are not being absorbed properly. Prolonged incidences of decreased absorption may lead to various sub-clinical or clinical nutritional deficiencies.

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