How to Overcome Constant Feelings of Smelling Bad?

Aug 30, 2023 8:04 pm

How do you get over feeling like you smell like poop all the time??? I just can't get the stench out of my nose/self… I feel like I always smell…. It disgusts me

Mysterious Mose
Aug 30, 2023 8:36 pm

I usually turn to my wife for assurance that it is nothing anyone else can detect. One of those times I appreciate her brutal honesty. 😄

I also give my toilet a healthy spray of a bleach cleaner after every empty. I started doing that because of the lingering smell that happens not often how many times you clean your bathroom. One side effect seems to be less odor away from the loo. Or maybe I am becoming more used to how I smell myself.


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.

Mysterious Mose
Aug 30, 2023 9:18 pm

By the way, I assume you have an ileostomy?

Aug 30, 2023 9:34 pm
Reply to Mysterious Mose

No. Colostomy. Had a bowel blockage. Reversal hopefully in 5-6 months.

Mysterious Mose
Aug 30, 2023 9:51 pm

Ileostomy here, which means different odors and more frequent bag excursions. :-)

Living with Your Ostomy | Hollister
Aug 31, 2023 2:29 am

Hang on walker, 'It disgusts me' is a bit strong for some ostomates who don't get the option of a reversal and may leave them/us to think, that's what non-stoma folk may think of them. I might add that I am a proud ostomate who like most 'osto' sufferers has lived through cancer to get one, and the smell of shit unfortunately goes with the territory, as I have found out from the good people on this site. You need to lift yourself out of the 'I smell of shit' syndrome because I presume you just don't,.. but your shite absolutely will do and if you are that concerned, you obviously care about your own personal hygiene also leaving no doubt that you won't smell.. So there we have it, really speaking you're like the rest of us, the early stages of adjusting to the situation are the hardest and we all differ as to what bothers the hell out each of us, but the smell is out there with all of us. Just know, that what you think is from you, is normally only active when bag changing is being performed and I can promise you that with a bit of practice you can usually streamline this process so that the time the smell is active, is considerably reduced.

M. Mose has it right, most of us, like Mose, have a family member or friend who will be brutally honest if a mishap has occurred or we didn't close the bathroom door when changing but that's just a fact of osto life and not a personal condition to worry about. Exercise your right to smell of your favourite perfume on a regular basis and know that you need to grow past what worries you 'cos you don't need it.

Best wishes W,


Aug 31, 2023 2:42 am

Hello Walkermimi,

I have a colostomy like you. There are deodorizer drops and deodorizer bag lubricant you can use to reduce odor. I use these products and they do work. You can order them from your ostomy medical supplier. I use Adapt 79500 ostomy pouch lubricating deodorant. And Hollister 7715 m9 odor eliminator drops. Drops are handy away from home. It's a small bottle. The lubricating bottle is large.

Also handy and a real time saver: Adapt 7737 Medical adhesive remover spray. Luv it. Spray it on... wafer comes off in a jiffy. I leave my bag on to protect my stoma from the spray. I take it all off in one piece (I use a 2 piece system). Use adhesive remover wipes to loosen stuck hairs and stuck area right next to the stoma.

Bathroom. I turn on fan. Lift up complete toilet lid, place 3, 2 foot long tissue paper strips in the toilet. One at the front middle with about 8 inches hanging outside the toilet, the remaining length sitting on water. I place the other 2 strips on either side of the middle one the same way, slightly overlapping the middle one. Put down seat. Sit and drain bag. Output will fall on tissue paper. When done cleaning bag seals and sealing bag, stand up, lift toilet lid, flip the part of the 3 tissues sticking out, flush. All output and tissues will drain out, with nothing sticking to toilet bowl.

Hope this helps

Aug 31, 2023 2:44 am

I also use a pouch with built-in odor filter and air valve.

Aug 31, 2023 11:49 am

I wonder if any air vents like charcoal filters, etc., are the reason some feel there is a smell - also, could Velcro closures let offensive odors escape? My point being, if you put poo (such as dog poop) into an airtight zip lock bag, would you be able to detect a smell?

I sport and support an ileostomy and use a one-piece bag - sealed airtight with all the bells and whistles - stoma powder, barrier ring, barrier wipe, sealed with the circular tape on the apparatus and a clip to seal the deal - all warmed by placing a hand over the belly for two minutes, as suggested by the great folks on this website. This procedure has resulted in no leaks or smell until emptied. After a flush or two of the toilet, I spray “Butt First Toilet Spritz” which helps - just like the old normal days of poo in the loo. JB


ron in mich
Aug 31, 2023 12:44 pm

Hi Walkermimi, if you eat greens, the chlorophyll in it reduces odor. Also, you can buy chlorophyll tablets at any health food store or pharmacy.

Mysterious Mose
Aug 31, 2023 4:10 pm

I would like to add just one more thing about odors. For most of my life, I have dealt with sinus issues and odors that seem to get trapped in my nose. Back in the days I lived in a Michigan basement, they got pretty bad. For the last 35 years, I have lived in the land of low humidity. But, the sinus issues persist year round. The odor issues were less frequent, until my little friend was added to my tummy. Like other ileostomates, I empty my bag 5-6 times a day, on average and I am prepared to accept I will need to empty my rectum at least that often once I am reversed. So, the odors persist. It's now part of my life. I don't like it, but there it is. It does really help that I can ask my wife over and over again if the smells I smell can be smelled by her. The answer is always "No" and usually prefaced by a patient sigh.

My point is, we all get paranoid about the smell. And the smell is usually real to us and not to anyone not physically connected to our olfactory senses. So, it's usually internal to your senses and not external to others' senses.

So, that's my two bits. At least on how things work for me. Could be that I am full of shit though. :-)


Aug 31, 2023 7:28 pm

I just got my colostomy a few months ago and I felt the same way until an ostomy nurse told me I could cover my filter with a sticker or tape. Guess it didn't dawn on me that some smell would escape through the filter, LOL. Now I just keep the filter covered and burp the bag as needed....not sure if this will help you, but it did help me. Otherwise don't worry, I'm sure it's not as bad as you think. You will get more comfortable with it as time goes by. I am hoping for a reversal in the future as well! Hang in there!

Sep 01, 2023 12:36 am

I've had a few bag burps that nearly put me in a coma. OMG...

My 2-piece Hollister does an excellent job of containing odor. My wife is sensitive to smells and rarely complains. Only abuse I've suffered is burps, when I thought she was upstairs. Then our marital bliss is sorely tested.

Mysterious Mose
Sep 01, 2023 1:35 am
Reply to Beachboy

I hear you on the burps. Toxic sometimes.

This would be a good time to issue a mea culpa. When I first started posting, I said I didn't get what all the fuss was about with odor from an ileostomy. I was not having any significant odor issues. Well, I was only 4 months from Stomaville and had not opened up my diet. I was yet to eat onions, for instance.

So, mea culpa. 😎

Sep 01, 2023 3:19 pm
Reply to Beachboy

Haha, I laughed out loud at this! I also use the 2-piece Hollister, and it has worked well for me. But yes, those burps can be something else. LOL! Thanks for making me laugh - happy Friday!

Sep 01, 2023 6:50 pm

Thanks DexieB and M Mose,

The realities of having an ostomy can get depressing sometimes. I try to look on the positive side of things. A little humor helps.

Wishing you both continued good health


Sep 01, 2023 6:56 pm

I'm just starting to eat different foods. Like onions, Caesar salads, peeled apples. I love nuts. The other day I went to watch a baseball game. Couldn't resist: Had a box of Cracker Jack's and ate yummy peanuts. Result... No output for 2 days! Then... the dam burst. Had to empty the old bag 3 times in an hour. But... hee heeeee, It was worth it.



Mysterious Mose
Sep 01, 2023 8:19 pm
Reply to Beachboy

I haven't had the guts to try salad yet. Pun intended. I have been thinking kinda hard about it, as this year has been a bumper crop in the garden. It's hard to ignore all those tomatoes or to wait for them to be cooked into something easier to eat. :-)


Login to see image

Sep 02, 2023 1:11 am

Nice picture of the veggies. I miss salads and raw vegetables. I've been removing tomatoes, lettuce, onion from burgers. Pickles from sandwiches. At a little over 8 months post op... I'm ready for veggie adventure. Had some pickles yesterday. So far just a little gas. But boy were they tasty. The Caesar salad I ate recently didn't cause any trouble. I also recently indulged in some refried beans in a burrito. Only ended up with a little more gas than usual. My stoma does gurgle and growl. That's OK, I know it's working. I have a colostomy with most of my colon. So output is pretty digested when it hits the bag. Also does not irritate my skin if it gets under my wafer.

Next up on the gastro adventure list: Popcorn at the movies. Just a little though.

Mysterious Mose
Sep 02, 2023 6:30 am
Reply to Beachboy

I've eaten burgers with onions, lettuce, tomatoes, and pickles. Also an Italian sandwich from a local chain with all the aforementioned plus giardiniera peppers. No issues with my ileostomy other than odor. Did some coconut shrimp today. Made for some interesting bits in my bag. :-)

I remember the first time I encountered red bits in my bag. Freaked me out until I remembered I had fish with tartar sauce and I was looking at bits of pimento...


Sep 02, 2023 3:15 pm

It is funny how some foods come out looking the same way they went in.

Get an ostomy... become a poop expert.

Sep 04, 2023 5:02 pm

My son got the car and complained about my burping the bag before he got in (I hadn't!!). I complained it was him - suggested he check his shoes.... and yep....he had trodden in dog-poo!!!

Sep 04, 2023 5:33 pm
Reply to Mysterious Mose

Just chew chew chew! I ate a lot of corn on the cob. I just chewed a bunch in my mouth till it was just the fiber then took it out of my mouth. Eating just the starch and flavor! I eat salads, mushrooms, anything. I just remember to chew more. Everyone is different though. Maybe my output slides more than others? Who knows?

Sep 04, 2023 5:43 pm

Good idea. Chew chew chew: "forbidden fruit" then spit out the fiber. Saves us the hassle of having it appear in the bag.

Sep 05, 2023 2:18 am

The M9 Odor Eliminator drops by Hollister are a godsend. I squirt some in each time I empty the bag, it really helps. Oh, and the 1oz bottle is great to keep in the bathroom and purse but save money by refilling them from the 8 oz bottle, the little bottles are ridiculously expensive as opposed to the big one!

Sep 05, 2023 10:51 am
Reply to Justbreathe

You may be right. I had a problem with odor and tried using bicarb, etc., but nothing really helped until I covered the filter with one of those stickers that come with my pouch supplies. My reasoning being that if it lets out gas, it must follow suit that odor escapes together with the gas. So far, so good. No more odor. Now, the only time I detect any is when there is a leak under the wafer, and that's after about 5 - 7 days of wearing the same pouch. Covering it also helps prevent pancaking. I have an ileostomy and use a one-piece drainable ostomy bag with belt tabs and a belt, stoma powder, a half barrier ring, curved tape, plus the added security of Nexcare Absolute Waterproof Tape.

Sep 05, 2023 2:15 pm
Reply to Beachboy

I also have a colostomy, am 3 months post-op and my surgeon said I can eat anything I want. I asked him, "So why then have I read so many stories about blockages and people can't eat certain foods?" He insists I can eat anything I ate before. I'm so confused. I've been trying little things here and there like nuts, for example, no issues yet but still too scared to eat popcorn, and it used to be my favorite. I also take the skin off fruits out of fear and haven't eaten salad or raw veggies. I don't want to get a blockage, but dang I miss some foods! Did your doctor tell you that you need to stay low fiber or on a special diet?

Sep 05, 2023 3:09 pm

Try M9

Sep 06, 2023 2:27 am

Hi DexieB,

I was told not to eat fruit with skin on. Also warned about nuts, popcorn, corn, raw vegetables, carbonated & alcoholic drinks. Spicy food & beans too.

At 8 months post op:

I have eaten mashed potatoes with pieces of potato skin mixed in with no problem. Also small boxes of Cracker Jack's, watermelon, refried beans, Caesar salad, small bottles of Perrier, burger with lettuce, tomato, onion. An occasional soda, pizza, chocolates, and peanuts/cashews. Had no problems. Did chew the nuts really well. I'm going to try strawberries next. I think with a colostomy, our food choices are more varied. I've also eaten a couple handfuls of popcorn at the movies. Sometimes we gotta take a walk on the wild side.

Sep 06, 2023 3:29 am

Brian! What an excellent post. Appreciate your candor.