A questionnaire was sent to 5,100 members of the Ileostomy Association of Great Britain and Ireland inviting the members to record their experiences in relation to the function of the ileostomy following on the ingestion of 29 named articles of diet. Nine hundred and fifty-two people, 623 females (65·4%) and 329 males (34·6%), completed the questionnaire satisfactorily. The group showed a close similarity to the total distribution found by the Association with regard to age, sex, and duration of ileostomy.
Analysis of the data showed that the great majority of patients with an ileostomy have no difficulty in choosing a diet. The effects of various items of diet on functions of the ileostomy are analysed with special reference to the production of watery flow, upset of timing of filling of the bag, flatulence, pain, and odour.
It is concluded that an individual patient with an ileostomy should not omit any article from his diet unless he has found that it repeatedly causes dyspepsia.
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