Do you feel the heat yet? We are in the dog days of summer and hydration is key- especially for IBD and ostomy gals!

Since the colon absorbs most of the water we retrain, it can be a struggle to stay hydrated. If you’re an ostomate missing some intestine, it’s even harder.

Girls with Guts held a Facebook Live Q & A last week with our friends at Patient Coach to discuss hydration and some juicy secrets to prevent dehydration.

If you missed it, don’t worry! Here’s a recap.

GWG President Alicia Aiello, GWG Director of Development Kristen Weiss Sanders, Patient Coach Kristen Furey, and Patient Coach Rena Münster all have ostomies since they each had to have their large intestine removed. After years of being proud ostomates, they know to keep up hydration and when to be worried about dehydration. Some signs of dehydration they brought up are:

  • headache
  • brain fog/dizziness
  • fatigue
  • increased heart rate
  • dark urine
  • peeing less frequently

While dehydration may tempt you knock back a 16oz of water- not so fast! That could lead to an upset stomach and a waste of time, especially if you’ve had surgery to remove some or all of your large intestine.

First, you need to take water in slow, preferably after some food to slow things down (like crackers or another low-fiber starch), otherwise it will go right through an ostomate. Adding electrolytes will also ensure you are absorbing that H-two-O more efficiently. Electrolytes are ions like sodium, potassium, magnesium, and calcium that your body needs for the brain, nerves, and muscles to work properly. Electrolytes replenish your ion deficiencies while you rehydrate. Including some glucose in your drinks allows your body to absorb more sodium, as well.


So what are some good ways to stay hydrated? Each GWG prefers different things, but here are a few products and/or recipes you can use on a muggy day like today.

Rena and Alicia use products like unflavored generic pedialyte (then add a flavor you like!), coconut water, or DripDrop (a powder that turns water into a super hydration tool!)

Patient Coach Kristen focuses on water throughout the day, but also avoids anything that can dehydrate like coffee, tea, and alcohol. If she has wine, she will pair it with an extra glass of water.

GWG Kristen has a port to take IV fluids, but she also has a recipe for oral rehydration solution that she learned at the Cleveland Clinic. Oral rehydration solutions (ORS) are drinks with balanced amounts of salt and sugar designed to maximize water absorption through the function of the sodium-glucose cotransport channel in the wall of your intestines. The best way to consume ORS is by sipping it between meals.

We loved some of the other recipes gals sent in during our live chat:

Are you new to the IBD world? Beginners can start by mixing water and a sports drink like Gatorade (one part each). You can also ask your GI to connect you with a dietician that can create a daily hydration goal for you.

Lots of us GWGs also swear by DripDrop! Mix a packet with 16oz of water and you have and oral rehydration solution that’s been shown to be as effective an IV in rehydrating. DripDrop is also giving GWG a discount through their website. Check out with RELIEF15 to get 15% off your order!

11 Health, the company behind Patient Coaches, also offers a smart phone app that not only allows you to track your hydration but you can even check to see if you’re dehydrated!

Download the Alfred smart care app for Android here.

Download the Alfred smart care app for iOs here.

Do you have any tips on checking your hydration?


• About The Author
Manda can attribute two things to her parents: IBD and dedication to hard work. Raised in a farm town in Illinois, Manda learned to do all the good you can in all the ways you can for all the people you can. She graduated from Bradley University in electronic media and her career led her through studio production, journalism, writing, and digital & social media. Manda took her love of adventure to Kentucky where she became an award-winning journalist, working mother, and yes- an IBD warrior. While diagnosed with ulcerative colitis in 2013, she was later diagnosed with Crohn’s disease in 2018. That hasn’t stopped her from enjoying life with her husband, two children, and their pets. When she first heard of GWG, Manda entered a guest blog about her family tree and IBD. She was soon smitten with the GWG Facebook group where she found support, advice, and friendship. As a communication specialist with a love for developing relationships, Manda is elated to be the group’s Director of Development!
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