Ileostomy function is ideal when the stool coming out is thick, generally the consistency of toothpaste or mashed potatoes. This can be accomplished in many ways. Dr. McConnell thinks the ideal way is a combination of foods, thickening agents and medications, Imodium.

Begin with the Imodium, use ½ to 1 pill to maximum of 2 pills one half hour prior to meals and at bedtime. This alone should slow the bowel and thicken the stool.

The most important thing not to do is drink a lot of liquids unless there are thickening agents like psyllium in the liquid. Liquids tend to go right through to the ostomy and cause the ostomy to work faster. This tends to cause dehydration and it is not easy to keep the bag on with all the liquid coming out.

The other agents which are important are fiber, pectin containing foods and thickening agents.

Fiber: My favorite is oatmeal and prunes.

Pectin containing foods: Apple sauce and bananas, Kaopectate also has thickening properties as it is a natural occurring pectin.

Thickening agents: Crackers and Peanut Butter.

Avoid: Corn and lettuce