Colostomy of 4 Months and Trying to Get Steady Output

Sep 22, 2023 3:05 pm

Hi all, I am trying to achieve a more steady output. Right now, I seem to have my output all at once, usually in the evening and lasting an hour or two. Staying close to the toilet during those times. I have had times when the output was more steady throughout the day, visiting the toilet every couple of hours and not all at once emptying. Any suggestions on how to tune this in would be greatly appreciated. I do keep a food log but nothing jumps out. Thanks!

Sep 22, 2023 3:20 pm


I've had a permanent colostomy for 9 months. My output is like yours. Sometimes I empty the bag 3 times in a day. Sometimes 2 times in an hour. Other times..... No output at all for 1 to 2 days. Does not seem to matter when I eat, or what I eat. I noticed if I drink apple or grape juice, output is more liquid.

I use a 2-piece system made by Hollister. So far, never had a leak or bag blowout. Also use a thin Hollister belt that clips onto the bag flange. Provides extra protection against bag popping off. I wear it all day, very comfortable.

I change bags as required. Usually when they get soiled and I'm too lazy to empty it. I can pop off a used bag and put on a new one in a minute. I change the wafer (part that sticks to my stoma area) once a week. I use adhesive remover spray and wipes to gently remove old wafer. Always be gentle taking off used wafer. My peristomal skin looks really good.



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Sep 22, 2023 3:35 pm

If your colostomy is new, it will take a couple of months to become regular. My colostomy output is based on the food I eat usually. If my goal is to have very little output, I eat very little 12 hours before. If it is Friday night, I will have a hot mocha, and my bag fills up pretty quickly. The more I eat, the more output.

Sep 23, 2023 12:36 am

Hello, one


I'm, what, 19 months in with a permanent colostomy. Rectal cancer, Barbie but, all that good shit. I've found that one can get into a fairly steady routine re: output timing, but it cannot be counted on. It's not just a food thing with me; disrupted sleep patterns, medication changes, emotional state... hell even the changing of the seasons can make things go bonkers.

Since I realized that this is how it will be the careful, fearful eating habits have taken a back seat and I'll indulge in my favorite foods, within reason. Happier me, and Jim Bob doesn't seem to mind a bit. Moral of the story, predictable is nice but be ready at all times. The stress level drops a ton when you know you can handle things.

And you can. We can help, call anytime.


Sep 23, 2023 7:42 am

Hello olderone.
Thanks for sharing your (very familiar) story. 
As you mention you have a colostomy, I would urge you to look into the possibility of irrigation as a technique to control your output. 

Irrigation is not for everyone, but those who are successful with it usually testify that all the output is expelled at once and then there is none (or a minimal amount) for some time. 
I irrigate in the early evening and, for years, I had no output at all during the daytime. Some people have reported that they can go for 2-3 days after irrigation without output, but when I experimented with leaving it, I found that I could only achieve a day and half, which was of no use to me, so I reverted to irrigating every evening. 
There are a few videos on YouTube graphically explaining the procedure if you are interested. Also, you would need to discuss it with a stoma nurse or your medic, as there are some people who are not suitable for one reason or another.
I wish you well in your efforts to get this under control.

Best wishes


PS:  I just noticed I had an alert from a post last year on irrigation and my response to that seemed a bit more comprehensive, so I'll cut and paste it here for you.

Hello Patrick.

I cannot understand why a doctor in the NHS would be concerned about the expense involved with irrigation. It perhaps indicates a degree of ignorance rather than knowledge.

The basic equipment should not be 'expensive', but if you need a pump of some sort rather than gravity feed for the water, then it can cost a bit. However, I just use a garden spray pump which is quite cheap and has worked for me for years. 

All equipment should be available on prescription via the NHS. 

The principle is that we simply put water into the stoma to flush out any waste. The output is usually finished within an hour and then we have no output for times ranging from a day to 2-3 days. The procedure is a simple one and well worth trying. 

I am sure there will be many people on here (including me) who will be willing to assist in any way we can. but your first port of call might be to read the past posts on the subject which are in the 'collections' section.

Best wishes


"Not everyone is suitable for irrigation, which is why  a discussion with stoma nurses or doctors is often a requirement prior to trying it. However, if you are suitable there are many benefits and if anyone sounds discouraging, then I would be sceptical about their knowledge on the subject. Quite often a stoma nurse will give instructions and practical support in trying it for the first time but there are several you tube videos that show quite clearly what is involved. 

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Sep 23, 2023 3:28 pm

Older one, enjoy having it all at once, mine is pretty much like that also and a little more like Beachboy's. If you're having it more steady that'll mean more monitoring and having to be somewhere near a place to empty. Right now, you (we) have way more freedom and do not need to find/worry about carrying supplies or where to empty. I don't even think about mine probably 95% of the time. Enjoy what you got, life isn't always greener on the other side.

Sep 24, 2023 6:21 am

Your just at the beginning at 4 months. Don't rush. It took over 9 years before I got a wafer to stay on. I didn't have a flat belly so the hollisters didn't stick very well, but that's all I had at the time. Now Coloplast came out with one that works for my round gut. I have only 9 inches of my large left so my output is more on the ileostomy side. It is something that takes time. Try eating food one at a time to see which one will stay longer and get you a thicker output. I know for me if it's cheap meat or too much preservatives it goes through me fast, same as most veggies. A lot I can't eat because of the fiber. I get bloated and gassy. I know if I want to really slow down my output. All the other stuff they told me to eat to thicken didn't work for me. Corn chips work for me. Not only does it thicken me up but also gas output is high. Plus if you drink booze, lots of smell and output.