Recap: Hydration Facebook Live Chat with Patient Coaches


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?


Manda Barger has been an IBD warrior since 2013. She was eventually diagnosed with Crohn's disease and put on a biologic treatment, but that hasn't stopped her from being a media mama! Manda is an award-winning journalist, artist, wife, and mother.

When she is not working or tied to an IV line, Manda loves reading, painting, singing, gardening, and taking adventures with her husband and son. She's also an avid animal lover and devoted to her cat and dog.

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