Preventing Colostomy Bag Explosions: Tips Needed

Jun 06, 2024 11:58 pm

Does anyone have any advice on how to prevent my colostomy bag from exploding on one side? I feel really limited on where I can go. I want to go back to work but I'm terrified of having an explosion. I've been drinking smoothies with flaxseed and chia seeds every day but it makes everything very watery. Any advice would be helpful.

Mysterious Mose
Jun 07, 2024 12:09 am

It would be helpful to know the product you are using. Also, how long it has been since your colostomy was formed. What you describe sounds like a faulty product, but more detail would be helpful. How many bowel movements do you have a day? How much do you eat? Are you using a drainable bag? Two-piece or one-piece? I will have to leave colostomy-specific stuff to others, as I have an ileostomy. But I would say what you are going through is not normal.

Anyway, the more information we have, the better someone can offer you pertinent advice.


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Jun 07, 2024 4:55 am

Empty more often. Rinse with warm water instead of pushing it out. Use lubricant. Put air in the bag. Increase fluid intake.

Jun 07, 2024 6:55 am

Hello setmefree.

Welcome and I love the name.
If you really want to be set free with a colostomy, then I would suggest you look into 'STOMA IRRIGATION'.
There are plenty of videos and information about it on the internet ( & on past posts on here).
If you can do it, all the problems you have at present will be resolved and you will be free from output during the day. (You might not even need a bag!)
From personal experience, I can confidently say that for those who can, irrigation is a game changer.

Best wishes



Jun 07, 2024 9:04 am


I've had a colostomy for 17 months. My output always ends up on the right side of my bag, due to my peristomal hernia pushing and aiming my stoma to the right. I use a Hollister 2-piece system. I've never suffered a bag blowout or leak. Hollister bags are pretty tough. I just push the output around and rearrange it when too much collects on the right side. I don't rinse the bag when I drain it... I'm too lazy. I change the wafer once a week and change bags 2 to 3 times a week. Sometimes less if I don't eat too much.

With a 2-piece system, it's easy to burp the bag when it's full of gas. With pancaking, I induce air into the bag to help push stuck output downward. I slightly unsnap the bag flange as if burping, but pull the plastic outward so air is drawn in, then reseal the bag flange. Roll the plastic with fingers to unstick output, push downward.

I also always wear a thin, elastic Hollister bag retention belt at all times. It clips onto the bag flange. My bag can get really heavy, but it is held firmly by the belt.

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Jun 08, 2024 5:05 pm

It is hard to understand your problem. The title is confusing, but you talk about watery output. Using a lubricant/deodorant will help your output slide down to the bottom of the bag — I use "Brava Lubricating Deodorant 8 oz. Bottle." As BB stated, you also need air in your bag to keep it from sticking. There are many other lubricants you can try, and most of them offer free samples for you to try. Is your bag filling up with stool or air? If air, you need to burp your bag more often and limit introducing gas-producing foods into your diet. If stool, you should empty your bag more often and/or eat smaller meals 5-6 times a day rather than fewer larger meals. Over time, with a colostomy, your output times become more predictable. If your colostomy is on your descending or sigmoid colon, you can consider irrigation as Bill suggested.

Jun 09, 2024 9:37 pm

Many people take flaxseed for a laxative. Chia could do the same. Milk products can also cause loose stools.