Eating to Prevent Odour and Gas After Ostomy Surgery

You may be concerned about odour and gas after your stoma surgery. Fortunately, there are some simple things you can do to minimize both of these issues, including changing your diet.


Learn how to prevent odour and gas after stoma surgery.

Are you worried about odour or having gas after your stoma surgery? These concerns are totally natural. The good news is that there are some simple steps and precautions you can take to minimize these issues.

Hints and tips to avoid odour

If your stoma appliance is correctly applied, you should not experience any odour from your pouch. If you are concerned about odour, please consult with your stoma care nurse. In addition, here are some tips that may help you avoid odour issues:

  • If you’ve had colostomy or ileostomy surgery: Certain foods may increase the odour of your stoma output. To help minimize odours, try avoiding onions, garlic, fish, cauliflower, and cabbage.
  • If you’ve had a urostomy: Some foods may be more likely to cause your urine to have a strong odour. These foods include asparagus, fish, onions, garlic, and some spices, such as cumin and coriander.
  • Everyone is different: These foods may or may not affect you in these ways. Listen to your body. If you notice a food causes a strong odour, you may wish to limit or avoid it.

Facts about gas (if you have a colostomy or ileostomy)

Some people produce more intestinal gas, or “wind,” than others. If you experienced gas before your colostomy or ileostomy surgery, it may be no different after your procedure. Intestinal gas can result from swallowing air, drinking fizzy drinks, talking while eating, smoking, or chewing gum.

Some foods may also cause wind. These include:

  • Green beans and baked beans
  • Cauliflower; broccoli; and winter root crop vegetables, such as carrots and beets
  • Onions and garlic
  • Sweetcorn and peas
  • Apricots and bananas
  • Cabbage and spinach
  • Cucumbers
  • Eggs
  • Beer
  • Pretzels
  • Foods containing lactose or wheat (if you have an intolerance)

Add these foods to your diet gradually and see how your body reacts.

Hints and tips to avoid gas

Here are a few ways you can minimize gas:

  • Chew activated charcoal tablets
  • Drink hot water with peppermint oil, or peppermint tea
  • Eat or drink herbs, such as fennel, angelica, or sage
  • Eat yoghurt or a have a yoghurt drink