Hydration Information For Ostomates

FOR YOU

General Hydration

Knowing Your Body

Tips For Hydrations

What

What is a Stealth Belt?

Stealth Belt is a stylish ostomy support belt designed especially for ostomy and urostomy appliance wearers. Stealth Belts are designed to fit snugly against the body in order to provide maximum support, comfort, and protection. The stretchy, zippered pouch compartment allows the ostomy appliance to fill evenly while the belt supports the weight of the bag until it is time to empty.  No more painful or irritating tugging of adhesive on the skin around the stoma area! 

Watch some of the videos on our channel

What happens when the ostomy bag fills?

Stealth Belts' stretchy material and the design of the pouch allows the ostomy or urostomy bag to fill naturally, inside the compartment. The zippered pouch compartment stretches when the ostomy or urostomy bag expands; then the pouch shrinks back to its normal size when emptied, for a sleek, stealthy look. Simply open the zipper on the belt to empty your bag without having to remove the belt!

Can I leave my Stealth Belt on to empty my ostomy bag?

Yes. Whether you have a one-piece or a two-piece system, the Stealth Belt will stay securely in place against your body while you empty your ostomy appliance. The zippered pouch allows for convenient access to your appliance without the need to remove or adjust the Stealth Belt. 

Why is water important?

  • Water makes up over 60% of our body weight and is involved in every biochemical reaction in our bodies, making it essential for human life.

  • Water is critical for digestion and absorption of food and minerals. The intestinal juices that break down your food and allow your body to absorb the nutrients into the bloodstream is primarily composed of the water we drink.

  • Our blood is mostly water, and allows us to move oxygen and glucose to our muscles.

  • Water also helps us regulate our body temperature through sweat, eliminate toxins from our body through urination, lubricate the joints between our bones as the main component of synovial fluid, and help prevent blockages from happening with an ostomy.   

(EFSA 2010; IOM 2004 )

Signs of Dehydration

  • Headache / dizziness

  • Tiredness/weakness

  • thirst / dry mouth

  • crankiness

  • Nausea or abdominal cramping

  • Dark colored urine

  • dry and/or flushed skin

  • constipation and/or blockages

  • muscle cramps

  • increased heart rate

(EFSA 2010; IOM 2004)

Causes of Dehydration

  • Vomiting / Diarrhea / High Output

  • Inadequate fluid and electrolyte intake

  • sweating without fluid replacement

  • Diuretic drugs or food

  • gastrointestinal fluid losses

(EFSA 2010; IOM 2004)

Can

Can I sleep in my Stealth Belt?

Yes, you can sleep in your Stealth Belt. You can comfortably wear it twenty-four hours a day. The Stealth Belt helps prevent movement and shifting around of the ostomy bag which can wake you up when you roll over, or cause skin irritation around your stoma area. Stealth Belt keeps the ostomy bag as flat as possible so you can be more comfortable while you sleep.

We also design custom nighttime band belts which offer a more relaxed fit specifically for sleeping. Please see our online catalog for photos and descriptions of our band and comfort style belts. 

Can I swim with the Stealth Belt ostomy support belt?

Yes. Stealth Belts are ideal for all water activities. The Stealth Belt will securely hold the ostomy bag in place so you can enjoy the water. The lightweight material rapidly dries when you are out of the water.

For water sports, such as wakeboarding, surfing, skiing, competitive swimming, etc., we recommend the Neoprene Belt that is custom-designed to be tough and strong enough to handle extreme situations in water.

 

Can Stealth Belt ostomy support belt be used during intimacy?

Yes. Stealth Belts will completely conceal your ostomy bag, so it is not visible to others. Your Stealth Belt will also hold your bag as close to your body as possible to prevent the bag from shifting around. Stealth Belts provide a discreet, aesthetic solution to managing your ostomy or urostomy bag during intimacy.

Can I use a Stealth Belt if I wear a one-piece, non-drainable bag?

Yes. If your ostomy bag does not have a drain opening in the bottom of the bag, you may need to pull the full ostomy bag through the hole in the pouch for emptying. Please mention you use a one-piece non-drainable appliance when ordering to ensure the stoma hole opening on your Stealth Belt accommodates the opening size you need.

Can a Stealth Belt help prevent my bag from coming off or getting snagged?

Yes. Stealth Belt’s patented design will keep your ostomy bag securely positioned against your body. That means you will have no more worrying about your ostomy bag being jostled, getting snagged or being accidentally knocked off. 

Can people still tell I wear an ostomy bag when I'm wearing a Stealth Belt?

Stealth Belts have a sleek, modern design that can be worn in public, even with a bathing suit. Its design is similar to a waist-pack. You won't have to explain your ostomy bag, urostomy bag, or surgery to anyone unless you want to. Stealth Belts can be confidently worn in public while maintaining your privacy.

Can a Stealth Belt help with guarding? I worry about getting hit accidentally.

You no longer have to guard your side when you’re wearing a Stealth Belt. You’ll have extra layers of protection and a strong waist belt closure system to keep your ostomy bag safely and securely attached to your body. Check out our protective mufflers for added protection and discretion. 

Can I really do all activities with a Stealth Belt? I have an active lifestyle.

Yes. Stealth Belts allow full mobility, security and flexibility of movement for an active lifestyle. Stealth Belt can be worn for all your daily activities as well as for moderate activities such as running, dancing, aerobics, cycling, and swimming. 

We also offer Hybrid and Extreme Neoprene custom ostomy support belts for extreme sports enthusiasts and professional athletes. Extreme sports Stealth Belts are designed to be durable, heavy-duty, and breathable. They are made to be worn for extreme sports and intense action and exertion. They are not a replacement for the Stealth Belt Pro. 

Can my insurance provider reimburse me for my Stealth Belt?

Yes! We have had great success with insurance companies providing a partial or full reimbursement for your Stealth Belt. Below are the Insurance Billing Codes and other information you may need to submit to your insurance provider for billing.

Assigned HCPCS Codes for DME Billing

HCPCS Code: A4396 OSTOMY BELT WITH PERISTOMAL HERNIA SUPPORT BELT

*NOTE: Custom Belts may need a letter of medical necessity. Have your Doctor or prescribing medical professional use statements such as: “Custom or wider belt is required for large hernia to provide support or comfort”, “Custom belt allows the wearer the ability to function and perform activities of daily living”, “The support belt decreases the frequency of appliance changes”, or “Wearer is not a candidate for hernia repair”.

Where Water Absorption Happens: Your Intestinal Tract

  • Water absorption happens primarily in the small intestine, which is made up of 3 parts: Duodenum, Jejunum, and Ileum.

  • It is estimated that 80% of the fluids we ingest is absorbed in the proximal small intestine, or the Duodenum, which is the first part of your small intestine.

  • The remaining 20% of water absorption comes from the food we eat, which happens primarily in the large intestine.

(Shaffer and Thomson 1994)

How Water Absorption Happens: Electrolytes

  • In order for you to absorb water from your intestines into the rest of your body, it is important to maintain a good balance of electrolytes and minerals.

  • Electrolytes are tiny particles that carry electrical charges necessary for pulling water from the gut into the bloodstream and the rest of the body.

  • There are 8 primary electrolytes your body needs to absorb water properly:

    • The positively charged electrolytes are: sodium, potassium, magnesium, and calcium.

    • The negative electrolytes are: chloride, bicarbonate, phosphate, and sulfate.

    (Pivarnik JM and Palmer RA. 1994,Tanner GA. 2009)

  • Sites of Water and Mineral Absorption

How

How does a Stealth Belt work?

Stealth Belt is designed with a pouch compartment that holds the ostomy bag inside, concealing it from view. Our ostomy support belts help prevent the ostomy bag from shifting around, disconnecting from the flange, or falling off accidentally. The Stealth Belt waistband and double closure system hold the ostomy bag snugly and securely to the body making possible a greater level of self-confidence when returning to daily activities after surgery.

How should I clean, empty, or change the ostomy bag while wearing a Stealth Belt?

Stealth Belts allow you to access your ostomy bag without removing the belt from your body. The zippered pouch on your Stealth Belt provides easy access for cleaning, changing, or emptying your ostomy bag. Simply unzip the bottom of the pouch, allow your ostomy bag to slide down, and proceed to empty your bag normally. 

How do I put my Stealth Belt on?

1. Loosely attach the Velcro ends of the Stealth Belt waistband together around your body.

   (if you have a Band Belt style, simply step into the belt and pull it up around your body.)

2. Open the zippered pouch compartment, and thread the ostomy bag through the flange hole.

3. Adjust the hole around your flange.

4. Place your ostomy bag comfortably into the pouch compartment.

5. Close the zipper. (zipper should be at the bottom)

6. Secure your belt to your body by re-adjusting the Velcro waistband closures. 

 

How do I drain my ostomy bag with a two piece system, wearing a Stealth Belt?

Stealth Belts have a zippered access opening so that the ostomy bag can be drained by opening the pouch access, while still wearing the belt. There is only a small difference in the distance it will take to drain the bag in a normal vertical position. The benefits far outweigh any difficulty you may have when draining for the first time.

How do I know if Stealth Belt is for me?

Our mission is to make Stealth Belts a great option for everyone who wears an ostomy appliance. Stealth Belts are designed for men, women, and children and come in all sizes and styles. Stealth Belts are great for active and leisure lifestyles and are designed to fit most ostomy appliance styles and brands. We have a wide variety of styles available to fill all your special needs. 

How can a Stealth Belt help with leakage?

Yes. Stealth Belts help keep the adhesive flange patch in place, so it won't come unstuck from the stoma area as easily. Stealth Belts act as an added layer of protection if you have a leaking bag. 

Wearing your Stealth Belt also gives you added layers of material, providing a few more minutes to get to the bathroom should you have a problem with a leaking bag.

How does the ostomy bag fit in the Stealth Belt? Vertically or horizontally?

Stealth Belts are designed to hold the ostomy bag in a horizontal position inside the pouch compartment. The Stealth Belt allows the ostomy bag to be secure above the waistline. Some great advantages of horizontal placement are that it prevents pressure or restriction from clothing waistbands or waist/seat belts. Horizontal placement is also more discreet, comfortable, aesthetic and more practical for intimacy. 

We also make Vertical Stealth Belts for those who prefer to wear their ostomy bag in a vertical position. 

How do I wash my Stealth Belt?

To machine wash, fasten all belt closures to prevent the Velcro from sticking to other laundry items. Machine wash your Stealth Belt on gentle cycle in warm water, using no bleach. For extra care, you may place Stealth Belt inside a pillow case to wash. Machine dry Stealth Belt on delicate cycle or drip dry flat. For longer durability, you may hand wash and drip dry your Stealth Belt.

Many Stealth Belt customers find it advantageous to purchase two belts, one to wash and one to wear, so that they are never without the comfort and confidence of their Stealth Belt. This also helps to promote longer wear and durability of each belt.

Hydration tips for different types of Ostomy

  • Depending on what type of ostomy you have, your bodies ability to absorb water and nutrients effectively may vary.

  • Consider how much of your large intestine is in tact still (colostomy), or if you have no colon (Ileostomy). Between 20-30% of your bodies absorption of water comes from the food you eat when it passes through the large intestine. With this in mind you can calculate how much additional water and electrolytes your body may need to become properly hydrated. It should also be noted that some of the absorption of sodium, potassium, and vitamin K is done in the large intestine, so it may be necessary to add those electrolyte supplements to your fluids to compensate for a missing colon.

Avoid high-output triggers

  • Certain foods and drinks can have a diarrhetic effect, and cause you to lose fluids before they are able to be absorbed. If you struggle with dehydration and often have high volumes of liquid output, consider eliminating some of these from your diet:
    • Sweets

    • artificial sweeteners

    • lactose rich foods and drink

    • alcohol

    • caffeine

    • carbonated drinks

    • legumes, beans, or lentils

    • high-fiber vegetables

    • nuts and seeds

    • Whole wheat or corn products such as bran or popcorn

  • Sip water frequently throughout the day. 2.2 liters for women and 3 liters for men, although these numbers may vary based on a number of factors including activity level, weight, temperature and humidity, and diet. (EFSA 2010)

 

Suggestions for drinks and electrolyte supplements

  • You should always consult your physician before starting a new electrolyte supplement routine. It may be worthwhile to have bloodwork done to identify which specific areas your hydration is lacking. Not everyone will need to supplement with extra electrolytes to achieve hydration. For those who do need supplementation, here are a list of some different options to consider:
    • Oral Rehydation Solutions: Ask your doctor if an Oral Rehydration Solutions (ORS) is right for you. Some ORS supplements include: H2ORS, SOS, DripDrop, Liquid I.V. (and more)

    • Low Calorie Electrolyte Replacement: Other possible electrolyte replacement options include: GU Energy Tabs, NUUN, pedialyte,

    • High Carbohydrate Electrolytes:Some electrolyte or sports drinks are high in sugar (carbohydrates). These drinks should be reserved for mid-exercise, as they are specifically formulated for endurance athletics. Drinking high sugar fluids outside of intense exercise can have a diarrhetic effect, causing dehydration to become more likely, as well as added weight gain from increased calorie consumption. Some examples of these sports drinks include: Gatorade, Powerade, Vitamin Water, etc.

    • Other Options: Not all of your fluids need to have added electrolytes in them. Often times, people simply don't drink enough plain water. Here are a few good options to go along with water that work well for rehydration: low sugar coconut water, watered down juice, tea, lactose-free milk, almond or oat milk.

ostomy-belt

What is a Stealth Belt?

For those individuals needing to wear ostomy belts or ostomy wraps, the Stealth Belt is a fashionable and sleek belt designed to provide a comfortable, supportive and protective fit. Tucked close to the body, Stealth ostomy belts are virtually unnoticeable.

What are Ostomy Belts?

For those individuals who have had a colostomy, urostomy, ileostomy or other similar procedures, ostomy belts provide support for the weight of medical appliances that are attached to the stoma. These ostomy wraps are carefully designed to wrap around the abdomen and securely attach to the ostomy bag.

Who Needs an Ostomy Belt?

Ostomy belts and ostomy wraps are considered “accessories” for ostomy appliances. Meaning they may or may not be a good option for your specific needs and are not necessarily a mandatory item to purchase. That said, ostomy belts and wraps may provide additional support, comfort and discretion that many individuals find beneficial.

Ostomy wraps and belts serve a number of purposes including:

  • Ensuring proper adhesion of your pouching system
  • Accentuating or enhancing a convex system
  • Providing a sense of security
  • Providing additional support
  • Improving comfort
  • Enhancing discretion

If you are concerned about any of the above factors or are experiencing any of the following you may want to consider researching ostomy belts and ostomy wraps further:

  • Consistent or regular leakage (especially at creases or edges)
  • Premature raising or lifting of the borders of your flange
  • Your system tends to shift or move excessively during daily activities

For many individuals, ostomy wraps and/or ostomy belts provide a sense of security and reduces the self-consciousness associated with their setup. In other cases, those that participate in sports or who enjoy swimming or baths may need the increased support these accessories can provide.

Additionally, these belts can be worn throughout the night for reduced risk of leakage when tossing and turning when sleeping.

Benefits of an Ostomy Belt

There are a number of benefits to consider when looking at ostomy belts and ostomy wraps.

Benefits may include:

  • Pouch support
  • Reduce the need for adhesives and associated skin irritation
  • Aid in improving the seal when utilizing a convex skin barrier
  • Improved stealth and reduced noticeability, helping improve self-confidence
  • Protection of the colostomy or urostomy bag from added stability and support
  • Prevention of detachment from the stoma
  • Reduction of leakage and spills caused from physical movement of the bag
  • Improved comfort
  • And more…

Why Choose an Ostomy Belt?

Ostomy kits are not the most pleasant medical devices to have to navigate life with. However, just because you have to wear an ostomy kit doesn’t mean you need to suffer needlessly.

Ostomy belts and ostomy wraps can help.

The Stealth Belt, for example, is made from highly breathable, flexible and supportive material that moves with you, contouring to the shape of your body as you move about.

Our Stealth Belt allows you to live an active life, complete with sports and recreational activities without the worry of your ostomy kit coming loose or leaking.

Our belts are discreet and form-fitting, making sure you can wear virtually any type of clothing or gear without feeling self-conscious about the appearance.

No matter if you’re making moves on the dance floor, or hitting the track, with Stealth Belts you can rest easy knowing your appliance will be kept safely in place.

GENERAL HERNIA INFORMATION

What is a parastomal hernia?

A parastomal hernia occurs when the intestines press outward near a stoma, the hole created for a colostomy or ileostomy appliance. This causes a bulge under the skin. It can also cause pain and bothersome leakage. Parastomal hernias are the most common complication of ostomy surgery. Though rarely dangerous, severe symptoms may indicate the need for emergency treatment.

(Ref. Johns Hopkins)

Common causes and effects of parastomal hernias

  • Up to 78% of people who have an ostomy will develop a parastomal hernia after surgery. The majority of which will form in the first 2 years post-op.

  • Risk Factors Include: Older Age, Increased BMI, increased waist circumference, respiratory comorbidity (excessive coughing), heavy lifting, inappropriate movement patterns, and inactivity.

  • The development of a parastomal hernia can lead to pain and discomfort around the stoma, a physical bulging, difficulty reducing leaks due to appliance placement, skin irritation as a result of increased leakage, and generally a reduced overall quality of life.

(Ref: Parastomal Hernia, A Growing Problem with New Solutions)

Management of an existing Hernia

  • Surgery: It is estimated that 40-60% of Parastomal Hernias are not treatable through surgical repair. Those that are repaired by surgical implantation of supportive mesh have a relatively high recurrence rate. To improve the liklihood that surgery will succeed, it is recommended that repair is done as soon as possible after the hernia has formed, and the site of the stoma be re-located on the abdomen. (Ref: Parastomal Hernia, A Growing Problem with New Solutions)

  • Support Garments: Support garments are recommended for those who have existing hernias that cannot be repaired to help prevent the hernia from worsening. See next section for Stealth Belt's Hernia Support Options

Hernia Prevention and Core Strength

Preventing a parastomal hernia (overview)

Preventing a hernia from forming after surgery may be accomplished through a combination of strategies, including

  • 1. Safely Rebuilding Core Strength
  • 2. Wearing a support garment
  • 3. Improving diet / weight management
  • 4. Increasing activity level
  • 5. Fixing improper posture

Safely Rebuilding Core Strength With An Ostomy

10 Ostomy Core Exercises For Beginners

In order to prevent a hernia, it is important that you safely rebuild core strength after surgery. Stealth Belt Vice President Collin Jarvis had surgery in 2014, and shares the 10 exercises he started with to safely rebuild core strength during the first few months after surgery in order to return to physical activity.

  • If you're looking for a more in-depth article that discusses some safe strategies to talk to you doctor about, please reference this article written by Trish Massart, RHN, CPT on how to rebuild core strength: 

Stealth Belt's Hernia Support Products

Stealth Belt products provide some degree of hernia support and intra-abdominal pressure. The degree of support that you get from a Stealth Belt will be dependent on how tightly you chose to wear it. If you do not have a pre-existing hernia, please consider one of our standard belt options. For those who have a pre-existing hernia and require additional support, please contact us for a custom Stealth Belt with additional support.
 
Our Most Versatile Ostomy Belt
The Stealth Belt Pro is our most versatile belt. Designed for everyday wear, the Pro provides 24/7 support for every lifestyle. The Stealth Belt Pro, available in horizontal and vertical options, is custom designed to be sleek, stylish, and comfortable while supporting and concealing your ostomy appliance.
Features Include:
  • Easy-Access Zipper
  • Expandable Pouch Compartment
  • 4" Range of Adjustability
  • Double-Locking Closure system
  • Moisture-Wicking Fabric
The High Intensity Ostomy Support Belt
The Hybrid Stealth Belt is a favorite among athletes, construction workers, police officers, or anyone who is looking for maximal support and added protection from impact. The Hybrid has a neoprene strip across the front of the belt, which helps protect the stoma from utility belts or impact in sport. Hybrid Belts can have hernia support added and are custom made to order. Please allow 3-5 weeks for delivery.
Features Include:
  • Easy-Access Zipper
  • Expandable Pouch Compartment
  • Adjustable waistband
  • Double-Locking Closure System
Customized Hernia Support Solutions
Our Standard Hernia support option has 2” inches of addition support added around the flange hole of the Stealth Belt Pro or Vertical Stealth Belt. This support is designed to help address mild to moderate peristomal hernias. Please contact us directly to place an order.
If your Hernia is advanced and requires additional support, We can customize the shape and style of the belt and added support to suit your needs. Please contact us and use THIS WORKSHEET to determine the correct measurements for your belt. Pricing on hernia belts will vary depending on the complexity of the design.
 
 
clear

Diet, weight management, and an active lifestyle

Living an active and healthy lifestyle is especially important for those of us with ostomies, since it can reduce the chances of a parastomal hernia from forming. Please take a look at these articles written by Trish Massart, RHN, CPT for some helpful information about how to approach a healthier diet:

Importance Of Maintaining Good Posture For Ostomates

Why is fixing poor posture so important for ostomates?

As an ostomate, there are a number of reasons why your posture may not be as good as it could be. Improving this area of your life has been shown to reduce the likelihood of developing a hernia, and has a range of other positive benefits for those of us with an ostomy. Check out these posture-specific resources to see how fixing your posture could improve your life!

Read this article by Collin Jarvis for a more in-depth analysis of the importance ofgood posture and functional movement

How Poor Posture Forms

Bad posture often develops as a result of inactivity and convenience. Desk jobs are the number one culprit, but for those of us with an ostomy there are some additional factors as well, such as:

  • Weak core due to illness
  • Surgery scarring
  • Lowered confidence / depression / mental health factors
  • Trying to 'hide' the ostomy by leaning forward

Benefits of Fixing Posture For Ostomates

By working on your posture, you can expect to see a surprising range of benefits. Here are some of the most relevant:

Exercises to improve posture and core strength

8 exercises you can try to help fix poor posture

Check out this video resource where Stealth Belt Vice President Collin Jarvis shares 8 exercises he uses to help fix bad posture.

Disclaimer: This video is for educational purposes only and in no way represents medical treatment or advice for your specific condition. Please consult your physician before starting any new workout routines.

 

General Hydration Information

Why is water important?

  • Water makes up over 60% of our body weight and is involved in every biochemical reaction in our bodies, making it essential for human life.

  • Water is critical for digestion and absorption of food and minerals. The intestinal juices that break down your food and allow your body to absorb the nutrients into the bloodstream is primarily composed of the water we drink.

  • Our blood is mostly water, and allows us to move oxygen and glucose to our muscles.

  • Water also helps us regulate our body temperature through sweat, eliminate toxins from our body through urination, lubricate the joints between our bones as the main component of synovial fluid, and help prevent blockages from happening with an ostomy.   

(EFSA 2010; IOM 2004 )

Signs of Dehydration

  • Headache / dizziness

  • Tiredness/weakness

  • thirst / dry mouth

  • crankiness

  • Nausea or abdominal cramping

  • Dark colored urine

  • dry and/or flushed skin

  • constipation and/or blockages

  • muscle cramps

  • increased heart rate

(EFSA 2010; IOM 2004)

Causes of Dehydration

  • Vomiting / Diarrhea / High Output

  • Inadequate fluid and electrolyte intake

  • sweating without fluid replacement

  • Diuretic drugs or food

  • gastrointestinal fluid losses

(EFSA 2010; IOM 2004)

Knowing Your Body: Where & How Hydration Occurs

Where Water Absorption Happens: Your Intestinal Tract

  • Water absorption happens primarily in the small intestine, which is made up of 3 parts: Duodenum, Jejunum, and Ileum.

  • It is estimated that 80% of the fluids we ingest is absorbed in the proximal small intestine, or the Duodenum, which is the first part of your small intestine.

  • The remaining 20% of water absorption comes from the food we eat, which happens primarily in the large intestine.

(Shaffer and Thomson 1994)

How Water Absorption Happens: Electrolytes

  • In order for you to absorb water from your intestines into the rest of your body, it is important to maintain a good balance of electrolytes and minerals.

  • Electrolytes are tiny particles that carry electrical charges necessary for pulling water from the gut into the bloodstream and the rest of the body.

  • There are 8 primary electrolytes your body needs to absorb water properly:

    • The positively charged electrolytes are: sodium, potassium, magnesium, and calcium.

    • The negative electrolytes are: chloride, bicarbonate, phosphate, and sulfate.

    (Pivarnik JM and Palmer RA. 1994,Tanner GA. 2009)

  • Sites of Water and Mineral Absorption

Tips for staying Hydrated with an Ostomy

Hydration tips for different types of Ostomy

  • Depending on what type of ostomy you have, your bodies ability to absorb water and nutrients effectively may vary.

  • Consider how much of your large intestine is in tact still (colostomy), or if you have no colon (Ileostomy). Between 20-30% of your bodies absorption of water comes from the food you eat when it passes through the large intestine. With this in mind you can calculate how much additional water and electrolytes your body may need to become properly hydrated. It should also be noted that some of the absorption of sodium, potassium, and vitamin K is done in the large intestine, so it may be necessary to add those electrolyte supplements to your fluids to compensate for a missing colon.

Avoid high-output triggers

  • Certain foods and drinks can have a diarrhetic effect, and cause you to lose fluids before they are able to be absorbed. If you struggle with dehydration and often have high volumes of liquid output, consider eliminating some of these from your diet:
    • Sweets

    • artificial sweeteners

    • lactose rich foods and drink

    • alcohol

    • caffeine

    • carbonated drinks

    • legumes, beans, or lentils

    • high-fiber vegetables

    • nuts and seeds

    • Whole wheat or corn products such as bran or popcorn

  • Sip water frequently throughout the day. 2.2 liters for women and 3 liters for men, although these numbers may vary based on a number of factors including activity level, weight, temperature and humidity, and diet. (EFSA 2010)

 

Suggestions for drinks and electrolyte supplements

  • You should always consult your physician before starting a new electrolyte supplement routine. It may be worthwhile to have bloodwork done to identify which specific areas your hydration is lacking. Not everyone will need to supplement with extra electrolytes to achieve hydration. For those who do need supplementation, here are a list of some different options to consider:
    • Oral Rehydation Solutions: Ask your doctor if an Oral Rehydration Solutions (ORS) is right for you. Some ORS supplements include: H2ORS, SOS, DripDrop, Liquid I.V. (and more)

    • Low Calorie Electrolyte Replacement: Other possible electrolyte replacement options include: GU Energy Tabs, NUUN, pedialyte,

    • High Carbohydrate Electrolytes:Some electrolyte or sports drinks are high in sugar (carbohydrates). These drinks should be reserved for mid-exercise, as they are specifically formulated for endurance athletics. Drinking high sugar fluids outside of intense exercise can have a diarrhetic effect, causing dehydration to become more likely, as well as added weight gain from increased calorie consumption. Some examples of these sports drinks include: Gatorade, Powerade, Vitamin Water, etc.

    • Other Options: Not all of your fluids need to have added electrolytes in them. Often times, people simply don't drink enough plain water. Here are a few good options to go along with water that work well for rehydration: low sugar coconut water, watered down juice, tea, lactose-free milk, almond or oat milk.

References

  • IOM (Institute of Medicine of the National Academies) (2004) Dietary reference intakes for water, potassium, sodium, chloride, and sulfate. 4: 73-185. National Academies Press, Washington, DC.

  • EFSA Panel on Dietetic Products Nutrition and Allergies (NDA). (2010) Scientific Opinion on Dietary Reference Values for water. EFSA Journal. 8(3): 1459-1507.

  • Shaffer EA and Thomson ABR. (1994). First principles of gastroenterology: the basis of disease and an approach to management. Canadian Association of Gastroenterology; Astra Pharma Inc.

  • http://www.vivo.colostate.edu/hbooks/pathphys/digestion/smallgut/absorb_water.html

  • Pivarnik JM and Palmer RA. (1994) Water and electrolytes during exercise. In: Hickson, J. F and Wolinski, I., ed. Water and electrolyte balance during rest and exercise. Boca Raton; CRC Press, 245-262.

  • Tanner GA. (2009) The Regulation of Fluid and Electrolyte Balance. In: Rhoades, R. A. and Bell, D. R., ed. Medical Physiology Principles for Clinical Medicine. 3rd ed. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 419-441.