Marshmallow options for vegans?

Apr 12, 2022 8:16 am

This I feel is an embarrassingly stupid question, but when folks recommend marshmallow for slowing down the gut, do we mean the gelatin-based confectionery product which is all that is commonly seen in the UK, or the plant marsh-mallow Althaea officinalis, which has been used as a herbal remedy in the past, interestingly for the relief of irritation of the mucous membrane.

I suspect it is the former gelatin-based sweet, which is not great if you are an aspiring vegan. Intriguing to know why gelatin has this effect though.

Meadow Snow
Apr 12, 2022 8:26 am

You're right, it is indeed the packeted confectionery sweet we're talking about. Sorry. There are plenty of other foods that can thicken output though. There's a PDF document on the Coloplast website that I've downloaded onto my phone and my iPad, and I refer to it a lot. It's just a one-page document giving dietary advice. For example, bananas can also thicken output. This PDF is called "Dietary Advice for Ostomates".

(Edited to fix a grammar mistake)

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Apr 12, 2022 12:55 pm

I've never tried the marshmallow tactic.  But I've always believed that ingestion of food commences the process of peristalsis (muscle contractions in the digestive tract), and so I think that the best method for "slowing down the gut" is not eating.  For that reason, the day before I change my appliance, I avoid foods that make my system run (e.g. ice cream), and I don't eat anything after 6 PM.  When I change the following morning, 90% of the time I have no discharge during the procedure.  Everyone arrives at their own method; that's mine, for what it's worth.

Past Member
Apr 12, 2022 3:17 pm

No, not a stupid question, far from it... There are different stories about the effect marshmallows have. I've even seen nurses laughing about it, saying you would need to eat a truckload as the amount of gelatin in them is so minimal for them to have any effect. Others swear they work.

I think eating them is more like having a comfort blanket myself. You can have loose output one minute, then it slows down or stops just by itself.

Personally, when my output is loose, I prefer eating a banana/apple.

One question no one can ever give a real answer to is if I've just eaten a meal and want to change my bag and stoma is in full flow, so then eat marshmallows (as many claim they do), how do they bypass all the food I've eaten to stop my stoma from being active, and how long does it take them to work? 5 minutes? 5 hours? Or did my output just firm up by itself?

forever mountains
Apr 12, 2022 10:11 pm

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Past Member
Apr 12, 2022 11:22 pm

Marshmallows are full of sugar (there is about one teaspoon of sugar in each marshmallow) and as food high in sugar can cause watery output, I don't eat them, particularly before change day.

There are many other foods that can thicken or slow output (for me it's any kind of potato). I also change first thing in the morning so there is little or no output (I have an ileo).