Affordable Thickening Agents for Illeostomy Bags?


I want to help my partner sleep through the night, and the gel sachets and thickening agents in the bag are so expensive. I looked at ParSORB and cannot find an ingredient list online. I am wondering if anyone knows of a non-toxic ingredient my partner can put in his bag that will thicken and stop leaks. Thank you all for posting, no one should struggle with this alone.


You don't say whether you're dealing with an ileostomy or a colostomy, but with that aside... I've had an ileostomy for decades.  I've never used whatever gel sachets/thickening agents are.  My discharge is wholly a matter of what I eat.  Some things will thicken it up; some things will make it more watery.  Either way, I think the potential for leakage is more related to how well fit the appliance is.  In other words, the thickness or thinness of the discharge ought not matter when it comes to leaks.  I support myself with a number of pillows in bed so that I sleep on a slight angle, on my back, to permit the nightly discharge to take advantage of gravity.  I don't have leaks irrespective of the quality of the discharge.  As for sleep time, I've never slept through the night.  It's just part of having the incontinence of the ostomy.  You get used to it and I can return to sleep after emptying during the night without a problem (unless the old cat starts squealing).  I hope that I haven't totally missed the point of your issue.  

Gray Logo for MeetAnOstoMate

Why Join MeetAnOstoMate?

First off, this is a pretty cool site with 33,450 members. Get inside and you will see.

It's not all about ostomy. Everything is being discussed.

Many come here for advice or to give advice 🗣, others have found good friends 🤗, and there are also those who have found love 💓. Most of all, people are honest and truly care.

Privacy is very important - the website has many features that are only visible to members.

Create an account and you will be amazed.


If you have leaks, try wearing a belt to cinch up your bag a little bit to help stop leaks.


I am guessing there should be no leaks so a change in products might help. I am a belly and side sleeper and usually sleep through the night (8 hours). Yes, results are a very large appendage in the morning but, in 2-1/2 years, I had 1 leaky night. JB


Eric talks about this... Maybe there is useful info in here for you. Good luck!

Getting Support in the Ostomy Community with LeeAnne Hayden | Hollister

Leaks have many causes. Watery output makes them more likely. But poor bag fit or the anatomy around the bag may require modification in the barrier.

True, thicker stool is less likely to leak. There are not things that work well placed in the bag but pasta, pancakes, and sometimes Metamucil carefully can help thicken the output. Lots of caffeinated drinks and alcohol might make things more watery.

I would first worry that there is a problem with the bag fitting. I agree with wearing a belt. An enterostomal nurse might be helpful watching the barrier change technique and usage of flat vs. a convex bag or use of a wafer under the barrier.