Urostomy and Acidic Urine

People with a urostomy must aim for a rather acidic urine. Acidic urine is desired when having a urostomy because it keeps bacteria growth in check therefore diminishing the chances of urinary infections. Acidic levels also reduce salt crystal buildups around the stoma sparing the peristomal skin from rashes and irritations.

Our body naturally tends to make urine acidic. However, we can induce acidity (lower the PH) by drinking plenty of fluids. Particularly, ingesting cranberry juice and grape juice is thought to impair bacteria growth as the tannins from these fruits may help flush out bacteria before these can nest on the bladder and kidneys.  Vitamin C in dosages of 250 mg. four times daily is another alternative to lower one’s PH.

The foods that we eat alter the PH balance and can make urine alkaline or acidic. It is important to understand that acidity in general is not the healthy nutritional option. In fact, other than urostomy patients, people should strive for a more alkaline PH balance aiming at a 60/40 ratio in their diets (60% alkaline and 40% acidic). For reference, acid meals include animal proteins (fish, poultry, meat, dairy products, eggs), processed and sugary foods, yeast products, fermented products (e.g.: alcohol) , coffee, chocolate, black tea, and sodas. Alkaline foods comprise raw vegetables (e.g.: parsley, spinach, cucumber,broccoli, celery, garlic, beans (green, navy and lima), lettuce, carrots and barley grass (wheat, straw, kamut, shave, alfalfa, dog Grass), and sprouted seeds.

How to determine if your urine has the right acidity?

Acidity is measured in terms of one’s PH. You may purchase a PH kit at any drugstore. A PH of 5 or lower indicates acidity whereas a PH of 6 or higher denotes alkaline . Please ask your ostomy nurse to help you determine an adequate the PH balance for your specific case. To get a urine sample follow these simple steps:

  • Clean your stoma and peristomal skin
  • Place a new ostomy bag
  • Wait for the ostomy bag to accumulate the urine needed for a sample (about 4 spoonfuls).
  • Empty urine collected into a container.

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