Why are there so many ostomates in the UK?

Jul 28, 2021 3:53 pm

Hi guys,

I always thought it odd that so many ostomates are from the UK. Just from a percentage of the population sort of thing. I noticed it on here first, when I look at the ladies' pics....but I also noticed it recently on the "other" ostomy dating site. I was looking at the "new members" pics and the majority of the gals are from the UK. What am I missing about ostomies and Great Britain? What are you guys doing over there to get all those ostomies??? Has anybody else noticed it.......or is my perception just messed up?



Past Member
Jul 28, 2021 4:25 pm

Hi Bob,

I have wondered about that too. Seems like many folks are in Great Britain. Hmm

Gray Logo for MeetAnOstoMate

Why Join MeetAnOstoMate?

First off, this is a pretty cool site with 35,000 members who truly understand you.

It's not all about ostomy. We talk about everything.

Many come here for advice or to give advice, others have found good friends, and some have even found love. Most importantly, people here are honest and genuinely care.

🛑 Privacy is very important - we have many features that are only visible to members, ensuring a safe and secure environment for you to share and connect.

Create an account and you will be amazed by the warmth of this community.

Jul 28, 2021 6:23 pm

Probably our crap diets lol xx

Jul 28, 2021 6:42 pm

Could it be that with our national health service... bowel cancer is diagnosed at an earlier treatable stage and Americans are diagnosed too late and the patient dies... so fewer ostomates?

I am sure USA medical facilities are far superior to the UK, but can everyone in the USA afford and have access to them?

Past Member
Jul 28, 2021 7:07 pm

We're just lucky in the UK, I guess. LOL. And don't forget Prof Bryan Brooke, also known as the father of the stoma and the savior, who made all our lives better. He did the first Brooke stoma in the world back in the mid-1950s at a hospital not far from me. Now it's a children's hospital but was formerly called The General Hospital... Prof was an Edinburgh man but came to share his magic in my neck of the woods, then the rest of the world. I'm full of useless information, LOL.

Just like the rest of the world, doctors only do ostomies here to improve the quality of our lives or to save them. Mine is for a hereditary condition.

How to Manage Ostomy Leaks with LeeAnne Hayden | Hollister
Past Member
Jul 28, 2021 7:10 pm

Spot on, you hit the nail on the head. We're so lucky to have our NHS. They saved my life.  

Jul 28, 2021 9:41 pm

Hi Patrick,

That would be a plausible explanation... except for the fact that the World Cancer Research Fund says the UK ranks 24th in the top 25 countries with the highest incidences of colorectal cancer (age standardized per 100,000)... and the US didn't even make the list.   So that would point more towards the Fish & Chips... right??

Man, now I'm hungry for some Arthur Treacher's!   Damn, I hate when you guys do that to me!!




Earth Angel
Jul 28, 2021 9:50 pm

I had asked my surgeon back when I was diagnosed with rectal cancer back in 2017, and he told me it was the processed foods we ate back in the 70's and 80's that cause polyps that turn to cancer. There is scientific proof for this theory.
Best to avoid bologna, bacon, and other processed foods that are highly carcinogenic.
Not sure how healthy diets are in the UK, but here in the US, many people still eat poorly.

Jul 28, 2021 10:02 pm

From what I have been told, they have better healthcare than the U.S. I don't know about their food, as far as blandness, taste, low fat, high fat, etc.

Past Member
Jul 28, 2021 10:19 pm

I think it's a combo of health care access and diet. Diseases like Crohn's and Ulcerative Colitis, for example, are much less common in some areas of the globe compared to "western" countries, and those patterns are thought (not proven) to be driven at least in part by diet. Add in for-profit health care in the US, and people who need or could benefit from ostomies are potentially less likely to get them, especially if they are financially unable to attain them.

Jul 29, 2021 1:24 am

I noticed this a long time ago. I couldn't figure it out either. I'd be interested in a female and 9 times out of 10 they were from the UK. I might have to move there after I retire, lol.

Jul 29, 2021 2:30 am

Hi Uro,

I've been there... it's nice.   The people (women AND men) are very nice... just good folks.   And they speak American!! Go figure!! Might not be such a bad idea moving there.   Then I can come visit you and you can fix me up with your girlfriend's friends!   Awesome... sounds like a plan!   I also work with Cosworth in Northampton, so maybe I can get some work done while I'm there and call it a 'business' trip too!    


Jul 29, 2021 2:42 am

Hi WIGirl,

Ya know........what you said may make sense, but in reverse.   Since an ostomy is the end result of things that didn't work.........I'm wondering if the actual treatment plans for our British friends is the same as it is here.   Meaning that maybe more Americans are having success with the expensive meds they're on, so as to not need an ostomy.........which would imply our friends across the pond don't have access to the same treatment plans, or drugs, as freely as we do.......and thus end up with Mr. Shitbag.   It's not that people in the US are unlikely to get an ostomy..........I doubt there are hundreds of folks out there ready and waiting to get a shitbag if only their insurance would pay for it.........but maybe here in the US we have MORE access to the expensive meds that keep folks from needing an ostomy.   Typically for Crohn's and CD the routine is steroids, then immunosuppressants......and then biologics......and I don't know of any insurance here that won't keep to that.   But do our friends over yonder have the same access to the expensive stuff that we do?   I don't know.......just a thought.   This IS an interesting question, if I do say so myself.   You never really see comparisons of how people are treated for the same disease in different countries............at least I never have. But it would be good to know.........and also the outcomes from the different treatment plans.....to determine where best to get help for something you have.   And who to tell your doctor to start listening to!    



Jul 29, 2021 2:50 am

I was in London in October 2018. I loved it. The history and castles were amazing. I couldn't get enough of Westminster Abbey, the architecture and attention to detail is mind-blowing. I'll be your retired wingman any day when there.

Jul 29, 2021 7:15 am

I am not so sure about not getting expensive drugs on the NHS (National Health Service), though I reckon there is a rationing element involved (value for outcome) but could be.

Diet, whether in the USA or UK, is probably a factor, but what and how you eat quite likely depends on your personal economic circumstances. I did think there were a lot more American ladies on this website, but perhaps I have been looking at the wrong age group. I will have to look at the young chicks in their sixties. Have a nice day. It's raining here.

Jul 29, 2021 7:22 am

Hello Bob. 

Thanks for this interesting observation. I am not sure whether it is true that there are more ostomies in the UK, or whether there are more UK residents per capita willing to be active on these sites.

I tried to find some statistics on this issue but they seem to be in short supply. However, my investigations did enlighten me about a couple of things regarding the numbers of physicians and what they are engaged in. (see:  https://www.healthsystemtracker.org/chart-collection/u-s-health-care-resources-compare-countries/#item-practicing-physicians-density-per-1000-population-2018 ).

It appears that the USA have fewer physicians per capita - but there are many more 'specialists' (earning as much money as they can!). 

Taking just these two items of information and overlaying it with social dynamics, and the natural tendency of these professionals wanting to gain social recognition and prestige. Then we might presume that not many of these 'specialists' would percieve stomas as a prestigeous area to work in.

One might 'guess' that with a National Health Service, based on the more altruistic principles of treating everyone and anyone who has a problem, whether they can afford the treatment or not, there may be a concommitant social recognition and appropriate prestige accorded to those physicians who choose to enter aspects of the profession that might be deemed as less  'desirable'  (especially as a conversational gambit around the dinner table with guests they might want to impress).

Of course! it might be down to something as simple as 'what is in the water', but it's good to speculate on differing perspectives on these issues.

Best wishes


Past Member
Jul 29, 2021 8:56 am

Thanks Bob for a thought-provoking post and thanks Bill for the health stats, found it really interesting. Not happy to see Australia is 11 on the colorectal cancer stats Bob mentions* but less than Japan at 8 (is that why they have ostomy facilities in some of their public toilets?!). Oh well, still not as bad as Hungary in the number 1 position (big drinkers and too much spicy sausage perhaps?), who knows.

I just checked on the "Interested in Relationship" numbers on here and in the 30 to 70 years age group (wide age range but just an example) and for a bloke looking for a sheila, there are 8 pages of lovely lasses in the UK and 11 pages of gorgeous gals in the USA so way more options on your side of the pond.

As for that "other" ostomy dating site, it is based in the UK so naturally enough there will be more UK people available on that one. Perhaps Bob just has a thing for the English roses?! Happy hunting mate!


Jul 29, 2021 10:25 am


Yes, I think you're proving my point here.....that there are WAY more folks from the UK with ostomies with your simple search. Let's assume the number of male and female ostomates is the same (maybe a silly assumption, but it keeps the math simple). So you found 11 pages of women from the US.....and you found 8 pages women from the UK. Let's calculate based on the women, and we can always double the numbers at the end if need be to include both men and women. Again, oversimplifying.....but I'm a simple guy.

The US has a population of 328 million people and the UK has a population of 66 million. So 8 pages of UK women in half the UK population of 33 million (66 million divided by 2) versus 11 pages of US women in half the US population of 164 million (328 million divided by 2). So using the UK gals as the benchmark........you found a rate of 1 page of UK female ostomates per 4.125 million UK women (33 million divided by 8 pages = 4.125 million per page). So if the number of ostomates in the US was the same as the number of ostomates in the UK, you should have found 40 pages (164 million divided by 4.125 million/page) of US women ostomates......but you only found 11 pages! So if the number of ostomates in the US is comparable to that of the UK.......you're missing 29 pages! Which says there are 4 times more female ostomates in the UK than the US per a given number of people.......or 400 more! 400!!!!! Like WOW!

Now I'm WAY oversimplifying here, so don't throw too many rocks folks.........I'm just making a point that there seems to be a HUGE delta between the number of female ostomates from the UK vs the US.....at least on here. And guys are probably the same. Now I'm probably WAY off base with the actual numbers......but even if I'm 200 WRONG........there's still something really really weird about the discrepancy between the number of ostomates per country. Which should make us all say WTF!

Let me know what you think!!!! Maybe I just need to get some sleep!



Past Member
Jul 29, 2021 12:49 pm

Well, that's me schooled Professor Eyebrow, LOL!

If that's keeping it simple, I'll be buggered! But I do see your point, particularly with the difference in population numbers.

Only about a handful of those on display who are "interested in a relationship" actually participate in anything on here, as far as I can tell. But then again, probably a lot of action going on behind the scenes that I will never have any knowledge of. And yet again, this has been discussed ad nauseam on here, so "here endeth the lesson"!

If ever you and Uro end up over in the Old Dart together, please keep us informed (pictorial and video evidence will be necessary, cheers thanks).

In the meantime, my only solution is widening the pool you're fishin' in and hook up with the "normals" (preferably those that live within a 10-mile radius).

P.S. Just make sure they "exist" before getting on the plane!

Earth Angel
Jul 29, 2021 12:52 pm

Have you boys ever thought about finding a woman with no ostomy? You seem like nice guys and are limiting yourselves to a particular person because of your medical issues. There are lots of caring women in the US who would overlook your situation just to be with a caring, genuine guy. It is intimidating to say the least, but just put yourselves out there and things may begin to happen for you.

Although, taking a trip to Europe is a good excuse for looking for someone with an ostomy! You can have a grand adventure!

Best of luck in your searches.

Jul 29, 2021 1:44 pm

Does anyone have a source of stats for the number of ostomates by country?

I have often wondered if my perception is true that there are more ostomates in the UK. I have also wondered how this would compare to non-English speaking countries, since most of us only use websites designed for the English language.

Either way, I think Bob's question would be difficult to answer with any level of confidence since it involves factors related to the causes of the various diseases that result in ostomies; which, for whatever reason(s), still is not fully understood by modern medicine. This fact still boggles my brain.

Jul 29, 2021 3:32 pm

Hey JMC, is there some jiggery-pokery going on behind the scenes? Can we all see behind the scenes? Lol, sorry, couldn't resist. XX

Earth Angel
Jul 29, 2021 3:58 pm

That video is hilarious! Keep the faith, boys - I met a wonderful man on this site and recently flew out to visit him for five days. We had a blast and stay in touch now. I think some people are just so shy given their medical issues that they're too afraid to reach out. Be the first to initiate a conversation and maybe someone special will respond.
Best of luck in your search!

Earth Angel

Jul 29, 2021 9:54 pm

I see a lot of ostomates professionally and interact with ostomates both here in the US and UK on social media. It's all down to the sample group and the specific social platform you are looking at. Places like FB, Twitter, and IG have a balanced mix of ostomates from all over the world, but UK, Canada, and Australia are more common. However, I, in my, perhaps limited experience, know that US medicine performs a lot of temporary ostomies. These are ostomates who briefly check in, reverse the ostomy after 4-6 months, and go on with their lives. That may be why it's challenging to get a count of how many ostomates are in the US and why we see fewer here on MAO.

Jul 29, 2021 10:31 pm

Wow, I'm impressed, Bob! You clearly missed your calling as a bean counter!

Jul 29, 2021 10:37 pm

Well JMC, I've dated "normal" women and I just can't do it anymore. I just don't feel comfortable and feel insecure during intimacy. I had a very short relationship with someone with an ostomy and I loved how comfortable I felt. For me personally, it was night and day, so I prefer to meet a woman with an ostomy.

Jul 29, 2021 10:44 pm

Hey..........I'm that guy........flip phone and all.   And I was just talking to a gal on Zoosk who was bummed she couldn't find me on the web......except I do have a Facebook account for my high school friends.......but she doesn't have access to it.   The video is funny..........but the message it sends is a bit chilly if you get it.   Strange times we are a livin' in.    



Jul 29, 2021 10:55 pm

Hi Earth,

I don't prioritize a gal with an ostomy over one without... I'm just having fun with you guys.   But my partner in crime does have a point.   There is just a ton of stress and worry involved when you meet (and date) a non-ostomate.   There's just no comparison with your comfort level when you're with someone who you don't need to explain everything to.   Who you won't panic every time she puts her arm around your waist... until you tell her your secret.   It's hard enough finding a decent person to date if your ass is where it's supposed to be... but being 'different' just puts you on high alert until the time your 'difference' is fully accepted.   I could go on and on about the stuff you DON'T have to find excuses for, or have to explain... but you get the point.   It WOULD be nice to be with someone who's on the same page... but it's not a necessity.   I just consider it a 'nice to have' and leave it at that.   The bigger issue is would you compromise in what you are looking for to have an incredibly comfortable relationship from the get-go?   I'm not there yet.   And I'm helped by having very few ostomates nearby.  

Besides, the last time I was in the UK I managed to take a few rubies from the Crown Jewels collection... and I really need to put them back... the guilt is killin' me!  




Jul 30, 2021 1:02 pm

The way I see it, there are lots more folks from the US than the UK.

Jul 30, 2021 2:53 pm

Well.......put your glasses on, you old man.......what are you.....blind??

No, just funnin' with you.   I was going off the data discussed........there should be a lot more Americans than Brits if the number per 100,000 is even close between us.   It really would be interesting to see which countries have the highest numbers of ostomates per some given amount of folks.   We hear things anecdotally all the time, but we rarely ever check the numbers to be sure what we're hearing is true.   Seems that error in judgment is running rampant these days in just about all things.   I think if we ever tallied up all the incorrect "facts" we've been presented over the years the number would be mind-boggling, and would far, far outnumber the number of correct "facts".   The truth is, and has always been an elusive bugger!   But worth seeking out.    

So thanks for that insight Axl...........we're just glad you can still see!   Rock on, bro!!