Salt and water depletion has been noted in 10 patients with long-established ileostomies. Marked renal conservation of sodium and water was present in a number of apparently healthy ileostomy patients. The sodium and potassium concentrations of ileostomy material showed little variation when these patients were in good health but there was a decrease in the sodium concentration and an increase in the potassium concentration during episodes of salt depletion. Greater attention needs to be paid to the fluid and electrolyte requirements of ileostomy patients after they have left hospital.
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