Need Help with Frequent Nighttime Bag Emptying?

May 25, 2011 11:01 am

Hey, you guys! I have had the right-hand side of ileostomy for 8 weeks. Things seem to be going alright, but I am waking up 4 times a night to empty the bag. Does anyone have this trouble?

May 25, 2011 5:48 pm

Air Force,

It may not be that uncommon. Again, it depends on diet, how much you eat and drink, the types of food you eat and drink, and how late you eat and drink. It may also be due to an acclimatization of your gut to your new conditions. It takes time to "normalize."


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May 25, 2011 6:49 pm

Empty bag now 2x nite - used to be quite a few times. Had ileostomy last year. I am on disability income now. Could not imagine working because of many trips to washroom during the day. Had infection badly. I no longer have stomach muscles and wear a large hernia belt on top of things - which contributes to less physical activities. Doing fine, the odd mishap - still enjoy my cooler drinks. LOL

May 25, 2011 7:12 pm
May 26, 2011 12:31 am

I have an ileostomy and sent in the very same question. Make sure you wear the largest size bag to bed and try not to eat too late before going to bed. I wake up only one time now and it is such a relief.

Getting Support in the Ostomy Community with LeeAnne Hayden | Hollister
May 26, 2011 2:49 am

I have the same issue. I'm up at least 4 times a night. I've had my ileostomy for over 5 years. I've heard of the high output bags but the company I get my supplies from says that I am already using the largest bag available. I don't eat past 6 at night. So I guess I'm just stuck with never sleeping through the night again. Which I have to say - sometimes makes me really grouchy! And since this is my biggest complaint, I count myself lucky!!

May 26, 2011 4:16 pm

I too have an ileo. Maybe you could try to get a urostomy bag that would fit your barrier and then hook it to a urine bedside drainage bag at night (they hold about 3000cc's)? I don't know how much it would cost, but you may be able to get some samples until your body decides to slow down. This would only work with very liquid stool. It's a thought.


May 26, 2011 10:32 pm

I have had my ileo for about 8 years. My doctor told me that my small intestine would slowly start to take over for the colon and start absorbing more liquid, which it did after a few months. So hopefully, this will be the case for you. You might want to ask your physician about this. Good luck!!!!!

May 29, 2011 5:56 pm

I've had my ileo for about 18 months now, although I am on my second stoma. I found that after both stoma operations, I was getting up a lot in the night, although I think a lot of it was psychological as I was terrified that the bag would leak in the night. Now I don't get up at all in the night, although I do only sleep for about 6 hours.
My one piece of advice would be to not have any fizzy drinks after about 6pm, as the gas in the bag can often make you feel like the bag is fuller than it is.

May 31, 2011 3:20 pm

Yes, Kiwi. I do have to get up at night, and it makes me really tired. But try some ileo gel. It might help make the watery stuff more of a gel. But my mind thinks "GET UP." Got the raccoon eyes, darl. xxmooza Melbourne, Aust.