Thursday, September 23, 2021

About ostomies and how to live with one

An ostomy refers to an opening on a person’s body created through surgery to let urine or stool out when they cannot do it naturally. The cause for the dysfunction may either be an illness or a medical procedure that interfered with the gut system. The waste goes through a pipe and is collected in a pouch for disposal, a bag specially designed for that purpose. 

There are different types of ostomy, with the most prevalent one being colostomy. With this type of ostomy, a section of the colon or rectum is taken out, and a hole is made on the abdomen walls. For the stool, the opening is connected to the remaining part of the bowel. Depending on the location of the colostomy, there are different types, including ascending, loop, transverse or sigmoid.

Another type is an ileostomy, which is done on the ileum, part of the small intestines. Like in colostomy, a section of the ileum is removed, and an opening is made, connected to the part of the bowel that remains for the waste to come out. In all ostomy procedures, the patient is fitted with a wafer and a pouch to prevent their skin from getting irritated or even infected.

The downside of getting an ostomy

Even though an ostomy is supposed to be as close to the normal bowel system as possible – both in terms of function and comfort, it comes with its fair share of challenges, more so when trying to learn how to use it and adapting to having it. For starters, the first thing you have to learn is the hygiene needed to handle it. 

To keep the ostomy free of infections, you have to learn how to remove and clean the pouch thoroughly, as well as the ostomy. The nurse has the mandate to teach you how to take proper care of it, and it’s upon you to master the steps as soon as you can. It requires regular removal of waste, followed by proper cleaning to ensure your health is not compromised and prevent you from embarrassing yourself.

The mental challenges associated with ostomies

The physical challenges of having an ostomy might be easy to learn and get over, but it also comes with mental burdens. Change is not easy, at least for most people, and a change in the body's functioning is even harder to tackle. Different people handle the situation differently.

Some people get into a feat of denial and refuse to accept that it’s happening. It is quite difficult to get a hold that you cannot go to the toilet like a normal person but have pipes running through your body. You always have to remember to carry your pouch around and have the resources to keep it clean after using it. 

Some people get into depression and keep beating themselves up and thinking that they are unworthy, while others get the hang of it easily. The medics prepare you for what’s ahead and how to deal with it, and having a nice support system would go a long way in helping you through the entire journey.

Sunday, June 30, 2019

How to select ostomy accessories: A complete guide

It feels really good to know that there are several Ostomy care products available for you in the market. Ostomy pouches and skin barriers are the most necessary care appliances for Ostomy. Additional supplies other than Ostomy appliances are called accessories.

We have selected the most used and most common Ostomy accessories for you to review

This product guide will let you know about the basics of Ostomy supplies and accessories. The products that are covered under this guide are:

  • Pouch Support Items

  • Barrier Seals and Rings

  • Skincare Items

  • Odor Resistant products

Why do you need Ostomy Accessories?

Most of the Ostomy supplies and accessories are not crucial; they can just aid you in Ostomy care.

Ostomy supplies assure secure sealing. In many cases, patients don’t require any Ostomy supply since they have a very excellent seal in between their barrier and skin. But in other cases such as patients with more sweating or oily skin need them. The main purposes of the Ostomy accessories are:

  • ensure a proper seal, 

  • preventing stoma from body waste and

  • Ensure more protection for the stoma.

 In the situation when a patient demands something securing and reliable, Ostomy accessories are the best option. 

If you notice that the skin around your stoma is irritating and red or in case if you feel any leakage you can access an Ostomy supply according to your condition. Other factors that lead to the usage of ostomy accessories are:

  • Retracted stoma

  • Open areas at peristomal skin 

  • Failure of barrier to adhere properly with the skin

Every person has a different kind of issues so the advantages of Ostomy supplies can be optimized differently for each person.

Types of products:

To take care of your Ostomy in a proper way you must know different ostomy supplies so you can choose the best one according to your need and condition. The most common brands for Ostomy supplies are: Holister, Coloplast, and ConvaTec

The type of Ostomy supply is determined by different factors such as the type of Ostomy performed, and also on your preference.

Pouching system:

Patients of colostomy, ileostomy, and urostomy can use an Ostomy pouching system. Its purpose is to hold the Ostomy bag or pouch in place and it protects the peristomal skin (skin around the stoma). Typically there are two types of pouching system

  • One-piece pouching system

  •  Two-piece pouching system

One piece-pouching system:

The wafer or skin barrier is attached permanently to the pouch. People with bad eyesight, arthritis, dexterity prefer this kind of pouch system.

In two pieces- pouching system the pouch and the wafer are two separate parts. A two-piece pouching system enables a patient to remove the pouch without changing the wafer, and helps to lessen the skin irritation. Two-piece pouching systems are a bit more visible through the clothing in comparison with the one-piece pouching system.

Pouch Support:

The adhering and sticking of the pouching system depend on various factors like stoma orientation and peristomal skin. Pouch support is also termed support belts. This attaches to the skin barrier and helps the bag to stay in its place. Even though there are not vital, but they can provide a sense of security and extra abdominal support.

In case when you feel a continuous leakage and the flange is unable to be sealed properly an Ostomy belt can the best solution. It will easily fix your pouching system with the stomach, avoiding the water edges from lifting.

People who are active sportsmen or have hernias can use this belt for their better care.

The most common brands are Holister, ConvaTec, and Coloplast. They offer a variety of different sizes such as small, medium, and large. You must choose a perfect size because if you wear a very tight belt this will cause skin discomforts and ulcers.

Stoma Paste:

A stoma paste is used to provide an excellent seal between the skin barrier and stoma. This paste is used to refill the scars or wounds near the stoma, providing more even skin to the pouching system.

Stoma pastes can come in two ways i.e. squeezable tubes and strips. You can apply the paste directly to the skin barrier or peristomal skin. You must use wipes or warm water with a cloth to remove the stoma paste.

Barrier Rings and seals:

Barrier rings and seals help to fill the gaps between the skin barrier and stoma and avoid Ostomy leakage. A barrier ring is placed around the stoma just before wearing the skin barrier. Also, you can directly attach the ring with a barrier. Your skin should be completely dried and clean before you apply these rings.

You can easily find different sizes and brands of these rings and seals and select them according to your choice.

Skin Prep:

Some most important and most protective products are

  • Skin barrier film

  • Adhesive wipes

  • Skin prep sprays

Skin barrier wipes are used between the skin and the adhesive portion of the pouching system and it offers protection to the skin. These are a very good option for people who have very sensitive and fragile skin. Another type of skin protector is adhesive wipes. Even if they are not needed they help to remove the stickiness or adhesive that has accumulated on the edges of the skin barrier.

Skin prep is used to provide better adhesion and protection to the Ostomy skin.

Skin prep can help you with the issues such as irritation, redness, or itching. A person must apply skin prep spray on well cleaned and dried skin. Always use oil-free products to clean the peristomal area to enhance the adhesion.

Odor resistant:

Some Ostomy deodorizing products are used to reduce or remove odor. Most of them come in bottles, but they are also present in tablet form such as Parthenon’s chewable tablets. Order must only spread out of the Ostomy pouch while you are changing or draining the bag. If there is any odor in any other situation then this is a sign of leakage or any mishap with your ostomy bag.

Ostomy bag deodorants are used to eliminate the odor within the Ostomy bag. You can get a scented deodorant, but you also have a choice of odorless products that are used to target odor-producing bacteria.

Lubricating deodorants are also available that avoid the feces to pile up at the top portion of the Ostomy bag. The drainage can become easier by using lubricating deodorants

You just need to add some drops of the deodorant to your Ostomy bag while changing or draining it. Every brand instructs its products and their usage.

Selection of ostomy supplies:

Sometimes it becomes hard to live with an Ostomy. But proper care and guidance can help you to manage your Ostomy in a better way. 

Ostomy accessories are available for your support and making things easy for you. You have to use them daily, that is why it is recommended to  consult with your nurse or doctor while choosing them.

Saturday, June 30, 2018


Patients who have undergone ostomies become very vulnerable and over-sensitive. They do a lot of negative thinking. They are frustrated about everything. They always remain sad thinking about the sudden change in their life and body. They consider themselves unlucky because their fate and body have been changed dramatically. They want everything the same as it was in the past. They become very insecure about their body and fear going to public places.

It is very important to support Ostomy patients in this hard time. You can help them to cope with their fears and anxieties. You can contact an Ostomy nurse or COCN, They will help you to manage your problems. But your cooperation is needed.

For instance, a patient is told many times that the odor can be reduced, but if the staff enters the room and they spray deodorant in the room that means that there is a leakage. If the filter is also active there should be no odor. In this case, the patient is taught about the factors that can cause odor and the patient is explained how to control the odor and avoid any kind of leakage. In case when a pouch is being drained or there is a leakage there are chances of the odor, but if the pouch is secured in its place then there should be no possible odor. Your good humor can work with some patients but in some cases, you need to be serious.

In this world nobody is perfect. So there is a possibility that you may not get any pre-operative Ostomy nurse or you don’t have any pre-surgical sitting with your doctor. This might be possible due lack of awareness or when your surgery is performed in an emergency. As we know that technology has advanced very much in the field of medicine a patient is allowed to leave the hospital after 2 to 3 days following the surgery.

Because your time with a patient is limited, it'll be critical to make every minute worth it. Match your instruction to a student's preferred learning style wherever possible. You can inquire about a patient's preferred method of learning, although most patients will be unaware. As well as being a competent detective, rely on models based on age-appropriate learning. There are some hints. Have you paid attention to your patient's reading? If this is the case, printed materials should be used. Is their phone usually close at hand on the nightstand? If that's the case, they could prefer videos. Make the most of your time with patients and teach them at every opportunity.

Teaching should be more fundamental. You can start with the basic information. Always try to keep it easy and simple:

  • An Ostomy is a hole that a surgeon creates in the abdominal wall for the removal of feces or urine.
  •  A a portion of the small or large intestine that can be seen on the abdomen is called stoma
  •  Stomas are examples of mucosal muscles. Similarly, mucosal muscles are present throughout the GI tract and anus.
  •   Patients should be encouraged to touch and look their stoma
  •  There are a number of reasons that can lead to the Ostomy such as cancer, abdominal injury, genetic issue
  • An Ostomy is termed as the name of its location. For example, colostomy involves the colon, ileostomy involves the ileum and urostomy involves the urinary system.
  •  People who have undergone Ostomy are absolutely normal. They can lead a proper and prosperous life. Ostomy can’t stop them


How to change a pouch

Besides basic pouching systems, there are many other varieties and sizes of pouching systems

Ostomy changes life dramatically, but don’t stop here. Life is all about moving on.

If you are an Ostomy management and care trainer then you will be teaching your patient about how to drain their bag and how to change your bag successfully. This is a hard step for the patient. They may have anxiety about this and fail many times but with every passing day, they will become experts. Encourage the patient with every little step forward

How to start:

Before you start, ask your, patients, to collect all the necessary supplies near them. The things those are vital for the cleaning purpose such as wipes, moist clothes, towels, measuring card. Scissors are also needed in case of any type of cutting. On your discharge from the hospital, you may get many samples of Ostomy products. All of them are used for a specific purpose. But it is recommended to use as much fewer products as you can. Help out your patients to make things and their Ostomy easy for them

Removing the pouch:

When all the supplies have been gathered, remove the current pouch gently. Some patients remove their pouch while showering but some prefer to remove it in the washroom with the help of all the supplies. Start with gently pushing down your skin, using a warm and hydrated towel, and lift the upper end of the pouch. Start from the top and move downward in order to avoid any feces or urine in the old pouching system. Once the pouching system gets detach from the skin place it in a discarded bag or in the dust bin. Don’t close the mouth of the bag because you may need to discard anything else later. When the abdomen is all clear encourage the patient to have a look at their stoma.

If you have a large amount of hair around the stoma, you can shave or clip those hairs. It will make stomal cleansing easier and you can have a better look at the stoma. Teach your patients about the stoma size. In beginning, the stoma is swollen but with every coming day edema is gone and the stoma will regain its normal size. So it’s necessary to keep a record of stomal size.

It is very necessary to clean your stoma properly. Any kind of filth can cause infection. Some people prefer to do the cleaning in the shower when they have not been wearing a pouching system. Use plain tap water for cleaning. Avoid using soaps, baby wipes, or any other oily products it will affect the adherence of the pouching system. You can use a fan or a hairdryer to dry the soma in no time.

How to apply a pouching system:

After measuring the stoma, you need to cut a hole that is according to the size of the wafer. If you are using a one-piece pouch then prevent the plastic from being cut along with the barrier. You can use a stoma paste for better results. Always keep in mind that stoma paste is only a caulk, not an adhesive. You can teach your patients that they need to gently put pressure on the stoma and the pouching system this will allow a better sealing.

Changing the pouch

The changes are updated every 7 to 8 days and depend on the d=following factors:

        Patient’s preference

        Type of stoma

        Nature of the effluent

        Type of the pouch

The patients with colostomy and well-formed feces use a closed-end pouch that they can change with every bowel movement. Usually, they need to change one or two times a day. If a patient feels itching, irritation, odor, or any leakage he should the pouch immediately rather than waiting for the next bowel movement.

Teach your patients step by step. Encourage them with every successful step.

Teaching is not all about teaching how to change or manage a pouch. As an Ostomy nurse, you can help your patients to choose the Ostomy accessories and supplies that are best for them. They can find the Ostomy supplies easily at any special pharmacy, online brands, etc.

Lifestyle Discussion

In addition to the basic information you also have a responsibility to teach the patients how to live their life without any worries. This involves draining a bag when it almost 1/3rd filled. Always keep an extra pouching system, in case of traveling. Patients should remember about the surgery and not lift weight more than 10 pounds, as it may develop a hernia.

Nutrition also plays a very crucial role in the healing process and time. It is recommended to take 30cc/kg/day each day.

There are some foods that can cause gas such as broccoli, cabbage, capsicum, corn. It's good if the food is taken in small quantities throughout the day. Try to drink plenty of fluids.

Sexuality is a very crucial and demanding part of human life. While discussing Ostomy, be open talking about sexuality. Patients may feel comfortable talking about this, but you should start this topic to make them comfortable. Discuss the concerns they might have. This topic needs discussion despite gender, age, and marital status.

Eventually, the patient will learn how to manage the Ostomy and how to make their life productive despite the Ostomy.


For the patients who have undergone ileostomy (stoma created through ileum) or a colostomy (stoma created through colon), a well-balanced and well-maintained diet is very necessary. Diet can affect the healing process. If a patient takes a good diet he or she can recover sooner. A better diet can help you to reduce the other complications that might occur after surgery.

In both cases, there is excess loss of fluids in the body. This is because of the Ostomy. Since water is reabsorbed by the colon, after the surgery it is very difficult to maintain the percentage of water.

Usually, it is advised to a colostomy and ileostomy patient to take two liters or 8 cups of fluids throughout the day. Water is the best choice and patients should avoid drinks with a higher ratio of caffeine i.e. Colas, strong tea, or coffee.

Patients of both groups should not shorten the amount of salts in their diet. Salts that are reabsorbed in the colon also can’t be reabsorbed after an ostomy. Especially the patients with an ileostomy should take extra salt to prevent dehydration. And persons with colostomy do not need to take a large amount but a moderate amount is necessary for the compensation.

If the ileum has been removed more than 100 cm during the ileostomy then you should take supplements like B2 vitamin, A, D, E and K. Consult your doctor, before adding them to your diet.

Ostomy can cause issues like diarrhea, odor, gas, constipation, or bowel obstructions. Many people can enjoy a normal diet, but in case of any other complications, adjustments are needed.


After ileostomy the feces formation is very loose, feces are in liquid texture. That’s why in this condition if there are more than 1000 ml of loose feces output then it is considered diarrhea. In the case of colostomy, diarrhea is explained as frequent and thinned feces. Following tips can help you to control diarrhea:

        You should increase your liquid intake up to 2 and half liters throughout the day

        You should take food that thickens the feces such as applesauce, bananas, yogurt, rice, and oatmeal

        Avoid food items that trigger diarrhea such as prune juices, alcohol, cauliflower, Brussel sprouts, and capsicum.

        You should intake extra salt and eat more salty foods.

        You should eat foods that have a higher ratio of potassium such as bananas, tomatoes, potatoes, meats, and dried fruits.


Constipation is a condition that is seen only in colostomy patients. It does not occur in ileostomies. The following tips can help you to avoid constipation:

        you should drink 2 and a half-liter or 10 cups of water throughout the day.

        you should eat foods that are rich in fiber such as bran, fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Prune and prune juices can also prevent constipation.


Odor is a common problem following surgery. It is very awkward and embarrassing if there is an odor due to your ostomy, especially when you are in public places. There are some foods that can trigger the odor. In order to avoid odor you may need to:

      Avoid the food items that increase odor such as broccoli, cauliflower, turnip, Brussel sprouts, legumes, garlic, onion, etc.

      Increase the intake of foods that reduce odor such as parsley, yogurt, buttermilk, cranberry milk, etc.


Gas can be caused easily following a surgery. There are some foods that can cause a lot of gas in your ostomy. Gas can be caused due to:

        Swallowing air

        Eating chewing gums

        Using carbonated drinks and beverages

The foods that you should avoid are:



        Higher fats containing foods

        Food with higher proteins

        Foods with a high level of caffeine

Blockage or Bowel obstruction

Ileostomies can be a reason for bowel obstruction or blockage in many people. If you have no bowel movement or output for the last 12 hours then it indicates that a blockage is already there. In order to avoid blockage please follow these instruction given below:

You should drink 2 and a half liters or more water throughout the day.

You should take only small quantities of high fiber foods following surgery. Avoid or use the foods with precautions that have seeds and peels.


People who have undergone ostomies can take a normal diet but it should contain an adequate quantity of liquids and salts. Trying a new food especially the one which can cause diarrhea, odor, and blockage, or constipation, only one item should be tried at once. You should have awareness of the problem and its treatment. This would help you to live with an ostomy.

Thursday, February 8, 2018

How to Easily get Ostomy Supplies

Are you still dealing with recovery from an ostomy? Do you need products to satisfy your needs? The last thing you’ll want to do is spend all of your time trying to find this, and here, we’ll discuss how to easily get ostomy supplies, since you probably won’t be able to get them quite readily otherwise. 

First, figure out Where to Buy Them 

First you should know whether or not you can buy the supplies that you need for this. You can work with the doctor to get the right order possible. You can also talk and find the ostomy supplies that are best for the body, stoma, and the preferences and needs which are there. 

Then, size the Stoma 

You should measure the stoma beforehand to make sure that you get the right products without many problems. There is no specific one-option for this, but instead, you may need to measure it frequently. Whether you’re recovering from the surgery or have noticed changes, you may need to order different supplies. This is very normal, and you should be mindful of the changes too/. To measure this, look at the diameter, and find out how big it is. Some are as small as a dime, while others may be as big as a half dollar. To prevent leaks and irritation, you need the proper stoma size for this. 

Find what Works for you 

You may notice some ostomy supplies are great, whereas others are terrible.  It depends on your needs, so you should probably talk to specialists to give you some information on this. You also might want to make sure that you know the skin sensitivities, allergies, and the preferences that you have. This can help you figure out the correct ostomy products, and that can be a good thing. There are a lot of different products, and you may prefer a one-piece or a two-piece system. You also may need deodorant. Whatever works, get the right types of appliances for you. Some companies also offer ostomy samples for free to figure out what is working best for you. 

See if Insurance can handle it 

If you’re worried about whether or not insurance will pay for this, you can actually have the company you’re buying it from get the supplies that you can. Don’t really stress about this though, since the doctor’s office and others can talk and figure out the proper paperwork and the authorization to properly make sure that’ll work. You will get the total for the out-of-pocket numbers you’ll need to pay. If you’re fine wit it, then you can order! 

Order it and They’ll Take Care of It 

If you’re not sure whether or not you have to do anything, remember that if you order from a website, they take care of it. Most of them can ship directly to your home for no cost, or a nominal cost. Everything that you order will be in discreet packaging, so you don’t have to feel self-conscious about this. Online is sometimes the better option for many people, since it doesn’t mean that you have to get it, and usually, you don’t have to deal with the costs upfront. Ordering online is a good way to do this, but don’t be afraid to shop around, and get the products that you want to for your ostomy that you’ll be excited to use, and you’ll be able to get better options as well down the road. Remember, it’s simpler to buy this online since most of the time you don’t have to do the legwork. 

Friday, June 30, 2017

A complete guide for Colostomy and Ileostomy Care

This article is going to help you learn about ileostomy and colostomy care:

An opening that is created surgically that allows the feces to leave the body through the abdominal wall is called a stoma and this whole process is known as Ostomy. Usually, the stoma looks very red and moist just like your mouth. The stoma will get shrunken after 6 to 8 weeks but in the beginning, it looks swollen. There is no pain and pressure inside and around the stoma. There is no nerve ending present in stomas that is why you can’t have any sensation.

There are two types of ostomies. Some are temporary and some are permanent. It depends on your condition which one will be yours.

Your life changes suddenly and dramatically due to an Ostomy that is why we have written this article to help out people with ileostomy and colostomy in order to help them and make them more comfortable with their ostomies.

Main Types of Ostomies:

A surgeon may use a small intestine (ileum) or a colon (large intestine) to make an Ostomy. If a portion of the ileum is used it is called ileostomy and when the colon is used it is called a colostomy.

The consistency of the feces after an Ostomy depends on the fact that which part of the intestine was used to create an Ostomy. Feces can liquid, soft and hard, or solid.

The most occurring types of ostomies are:


  • The ileum is used for the creation of the Ostomy

  • The stool is loose, pasty, liquid.

  • A stoma is formed usually on the right side of the lower abdomen.

Ascending colostomy:

  • Made from ascending colon

  • The stool is watery, pasty, or loose

  • A stoma is on the right side of the lower abdomen.

Descending Ostomy:

  • Involves descending colon

  • The stool is mostly soft

  • A stoma is mostly on the left side of the lower abdomen

Sigmoid colostomy:

  • Evolves from the last portion of the colon

  • The stool can be soft and hard

  • A stoma is on the left side of the lower abdomen

Loop ostomy

  • Can be created from any part of the ileum or colon

  • It has two 2 openings in the stoma. But mostly only one opening is visible. This is a temporary ostomy.

Before leaving the hospital you will be referred to an Ostomy nurse or any certifies ostomy expert. They will teach you that how to take care of your stoma and many other recovery tips.

Pouching system:

You need to wear a pouching system on your stoma, following ostomy surgery. All the pouching systems are water and odor-proof. The pouching system consists of a skin barrier (wafer) and a storage pouch. They come in different sizes and varieties. Some are one-piece systems in which the barrier is attached permanently with the pouch and the other one is a two-piece pouching system with a separate skin barrier and pouch. In both systems, you need to attach the pouch to the abdomen with the help of a skin barrier and it allows the feces to leave the body through the stoma. A skin barrier is a good option for avoiding leakage.

You can ask your ostomy nurse to help you find the best pouching system for you. With the changing size of your stoma, you need to change your pouching system.

Some people use waterproof mattress and bed pads in order to avoid any accidental leakage.

Emptying your pouch:

Your ostomy nurse will teach you how to drain your bag properly. It is recommended to empty the bag when it becomes 13 or ½ filled. Avoid overfilling the pouch.

You can easily empty out the liquid feces. Pasty and thick feces are difficult to drain out in the toilet. You can squeeze the pouch it will get thin and then you can empty it out. Don’t compress all of the air out. If you do so then the feces will stick at the side of the pouch. You can also apply lubricants in case of thickened stools.

Changing pouching system:

It is taught by an ostomy nurse that how to change the pouching system. It is advised to change the pouching system every three to five days. In case of leakage, you should change it immediately. This will avoid any kind of irritation and discomfort around your stomal skin. In case of prolonged leakage or irritation for more than a week you can talk to your doctor.

 Main Concerns:

Body flaws and depression

People start to see their bodies in a different way when they get to know about their cancer. They have the effect of chemotherapy and radiotherapy on their mind and emotions. In the case of ostomies, patients feel the same way. They get frustrated over the loss of their body part or they get upset by looking at the stoma. Ostomy brings many negative thoughts. With the passing days as you get used to your stoma, you will eventually start to feel better for your body. The mentioned tips may help you to face it in a better way:

  • Looking at your stoma many times a day so become comfortable with it

  • Remember that ostomy has saved your life.

  • Seek out other people with ostomies

  • You can get help from a therapist or a counselor


Your doctor will explain to you briefly about your diet, following the surgery. You can also seek help from a dietarian.

In the case of ileostomy you can follow the guidelines mentioned below:

Keep yourself hydrated

  • Drink 8 to 10 glasses of water or any liquid every day

  • Avoid alcohol and caffeine.

  • Avoid high fibers food

  • Avoid more sugary foods

If you notice any of the following symptoms you should consult your doctor

  • Dry mouth

  • Loss of hunger

  • Weakness

  • Decrease in urine output

  • Foul-smelling in urine

  • Dark color urine

  • Fainting

  • Cramps in legs or muscles

  • Changes in feces consistency

Some foods can cause gas in your stomach and it will cause discomfort. These food items are;

  • Cabbage and capsicum or broccoli

  • Carbonated drinks

  • Using a straw for drinking

  • Chewing gums

In case of an issue with a lot of gas assembling in the pouch, you can use pouches with a charcoal filter. They will keep your pouch. You should avoid the following things;

  • Don’t rub your pouch too hard it will destroy the odor the filter inside the pouch

  • Don’t scrub the pouch with water.

  • Cover your filter with any sticker or waterproof item


There are some medicines that can’t be digested by the body following an ileostomy. This happens because the bowel is altered and it takes some time for the medicines to absorb in the lower part of the intestines. It happens mostly when:

  • Enteric-coated pills

  • Sustained-release or extended-release medication

If you feel that it’s hard for your bowel to absorb any specific tablet or medicine contact your doctor.

It’s recommended not to crush the medicine until or unless your doctor allows you to do this.


Following the surgery, you can do a few exercises. Mostly walking and stretching (light) are recommending following a few weeks after the ostomy. You are allowed to lift a weight equal to a water kettle after some weeks of the ostomy.

Avoid pushups and sit up it may cause pressure on the stoma and develop the chances to have a hernia.

Moreover, you can consult your WOC nurse or doctor for more instructions.


Some Ostomy deodorizing products are used to reduce or remove odor. Most of them come in bottles, but they are also present in tablet form such as Parthenon’s chewable tablets. Order must only spread out of the Ostomy pouch while you are changing or draining the bag. If there is any odor in any other situation then this is a sign of leakage or any mishap with your ostomy bag.

Ostomy bag deodorants are used to eliminate the odor within the Ostomy bag. You can get a scented deodorant, but you also have a choice of odorless products that are used to target odor-producing bacteria.

Lubricating deodorants are also available that avoid the feces to pile up at the top portion of the Ostomy bag. The drainage can become easier by using lubricating deodorants

You just need to add some drops of the deodorant to your Ostomy bag while changing or draining it. Every brand instructs its products and their usage.

Sexual Activities:

You can engage in sexual activity following surgery. It may take some time to continue it due to the ostomy. Discuss the things with your partner. Clean your pouch. Seal the pouch properly. You can use ostomy belts or cummerbunds in order to hold your pouch in place.

The most worrying part for people is to share their ostomy with the person whom they are dating. Some people immediately tell everything to their mates. Do what you feel is right for your relationship.

Showering or bathing:

It's your choice to wear the pouching system while showering or not. In the case of ileostomy, most people prefer to keep on their pouch because it enables bowel drainage during the shower. It is recommended to use waterproof stickers or tap at the edges to avoid any water from entering into the pouching system.


It would take some time in healing and recovering from your ostomy, but you would be able to join your work eventually. You can ask your boss for some time relaxation.

In case if you are a laborer, and have to do a lot of lifting, the doctor will give you many advices for the protection of the stoma.

Don’t panic or don’t get nervous. If you will continue your job it will divert your mind and will help you to restart a normal life ignoring the bad experiences in your life.


You should keep extra ostomy supplies with you while traveling. If you feel any anxiety you can think about any other thing. This is not the first time you are traveling, you can avoid the anxiety easily.

  • Double-check the following things in your handbag or pouch

  • Pouches

  • Wafers

  • Clamps

  • Tissue or paper towels

Look for your doctor if you have the following signs

  • Vomiting

  • No feces output for 3 days following a colostomy

  • No bowel movement for 3 to 6 hours  following an ileostomy

  • Abdominal pain

  • Dry mouth

  • Loss of appetite

  • Weakness

  • Urge to change ostomy bag frequently


What is irrigation?

This is a method that is similar to enema and it helps you to predict your bowel movement. The people who use this method only wear a stoma cap rather than wear completing the pouching system. It can be done daily or every second day. It is strictly mentioned that people with ileostomy can’t use this method because it can be a reason for dehydration.

Irrigation can’t be performed when:

  • In case of any bulge or hernia around the stoma

  • During chemotherapy

  • During radiation therapy

What is the color of the stoma?

Mostly the stoma is dark pink and red color throughout the time. But during bowel movements, it can change in its color for a few seconds. In case if you notice its color turning to dark red, black, brown, or grey you should see your doctor immediately.

Is bleeding normal while touching or changing the pouch?

Peristomal skin has many blood vessels around it. So it is very common if the blood comes out during irrigation or changing of the pouching system. This bleeding should stop in few minutes. If your blood is thin you can take an aspirin. But in case of prolonged bleeding apply pressure on the stoma and call your doctor immediately.

Is the bulge around the stoma normal?

If you have a hernia or notice any curve around the stoma this means that the abdominal wall has very weak muscles.

Surgery for a hernia is not crucial until or unless it got complicated or it cause intestinal obstructions.

If you have a hernia you can get a belt for it. This belt prevent it from growing more in size

How to wear a belt over a stoma?

You should wear the belt above or below the stoma. If it is placed directly on the stoma then it can be the reason of:

  • Irritation

  • Bleeding

  • Tissue overgrowth

Is there any need to wear gloves while changing the pouching system?

This is your choice. There is no seen risk of the infection. But most people wear to avoid the touching of feces.

Is it normal to pass mucus or stool from the rectum after ileostomy?

It depends on your surgery.  But you should apply zinc ointment and wear a  pad in order to avoid irritation around the anus

What is needed to be done if I get admitted to the hospital?

You should bring extra appliances with you. Because there are chances that you don’t like the pouching systems provided over there or you may run short of them.