Love my tankini and yes I
wear full sized pants with a blouson top and not one of the other class
participants appears to have ever noticed that I have a bag - if they have they
have just been too polite to say so.
I may be teaching my granny to suck
eggs here - (Scottish saying when you think the information you are about to
offer is already well known to the recipient)but some time ago I posted the
following information on this site under the name of Vicki. with your holiday
coming up and knowing how scary that can feel I thought I would re-send it in
the hope that some of it might be of use to you.
Have a good life
here is the information re stoma tips as promised - hope it
helps - keep in touch especially if you feel the world is against you as it does
at times. Sometimes a blether is the right antidote
Best of luck
Tips For People With Ostomy
Collection of practical ideas and suggestions for people with
The following information should not be construed as
specific instructions for individual ostomates or random readers. None of the
information, opinions, suggestions or advice, presented here, substitute for
professional medical care or personal attention by a qualified practitioner and
under no circumstances may it be relied upon as such. Always check with your
doctor or your Stoma Nurse if you have any questions or concerns about your
condition, if you are about to start a new program of treatment or try a new
product or a drug. Consult your GP regarding applicability of any information
found in this article in regards to your symptoms or medical condition.
The creators, publishers and editors of this article are not responsible or
liable, directly or indirectly, for any form of damage whatsoever resulting from
the use (or misuse) of information, opinions, suggestions and advice contained
in or implied by this document.
Swimming and showering: Some
Try to avoid eating anything a few hours before you expect
to swim. This will minimize your stoma output. Empty your pouch before
Do not put a new appliance on (flange if you use a two-piece
system) before swimming, since it may be faulty. It is better to stay with the
one you have on and you know it works well. For additional security (not
necessary) you may put waterproof tape along all 4 sides of your flange.
Dry your appliance with a towel after the swim/shower.
If you irrigate or
if you know that you will have very little output you can use a mini-pouch or
stoma cap. It is better to use a two-piece system since you can leave the
flange on and simply change the pouch to a mini.
When showering, you can
fold the pouch up and put GLAD's Press 'n Seal (cling film) over and around it.
It will help to keep the water out.
Anti-odour: Some practical ideas
for keeping the odour out:
Add one teaspoon of baking soda in the pouch
each time you change or empty. Some people claim that this removes 90% of the
odour. It is easy & affordable.
Add a few drops of peppermint oil to
pouch each time you change or empty.
Add a few drops of eucalyptus oil to
pouch each time you change or empty.
Add a few drops of 3% hydrogen
peroxide solution to pouch each time you change or empty.
One or two
Chlorophyll tablets or Chlorophyll liquid taken with each meal may help, as
Chlorophyll is a great deodorizer. They may be found at any health food store
and on the Internet and are usually inexpensive.
Add 2/3 Tic Tacs to pouch
each time you change or empty. This can reduce odour significantly. Try
different types of Tic Tacs to find best results.
You can also try adding
a teaspoon of mouthwash to your pouch.
Travelling: Practical tips for
Take two sets of flanges and pouches as changes in food and
activity levels, as well as disruptions in your routine, can throw your ostomy
Wear clothing that does not press on your stoma.
Carry plenty of
ostomy supplies in your carry-on bag, as lost/delayed luggage can cause serious
problems. If possible, have all your supplies with you on the plane.
using cut-to-fit flanges, make sure you cut them before you get on the
Do not eat anything a few hours before flight in order to minimize
If you have to go through security screens, make sure to
advise the security personal of your ostomy. Although most of them should be
properly trained, letting them know beforehand may avoid some uncomfortable
situations. For extra security, consider obtaining a note from your doctor.
For longer flights (or bus or train rides) you may want to consider a high
output bag as this will save some trips to the wash-room and will also last
longer in case of no wash-room availability for prolonged periods of time.
Itchy skin: To ease / eradicate itching under & around wafer try the
Apply a small amount of Calamine lotion to the area where the
wafer sticks to the skin as Calamine contains an anti-itching agent. You can
use a hair dryer set on low for a few seconds to make sure your skin is dry
before putting on the wafer.
Ask nurse or doctor about Cavilon Durable
Barrier Cream cream. It is supposed to relieve moderate itching caused by
certain skin conditions. This is a prescription medication.
nurse or doctor about Cortizone-10®. It is an anti-itch product that you can
apply to your skin.
Anti-fungal powders relieve itch caused by fungal
Some oral allergy medications may also help with itch. Check
with nurse/ doctor.
Apply a spare wafer on opposite side of stoma to see if
skin there will also start to itch - If it does you may have an allergic
reaction to the adhesive.
Try rinsing skin around stoma using cool water
with about 1 teaspoon. of baking soda added to it as this may help relieve
Use skin barrier prior to putting on the new flange as this will
help protect skin.
Never scratch the skin under the barrier as it may cause
infections and sores.
Red and sore skin
manufacturers offer powders, creams, wipes etc. that can be used to treat
irritated skin before applying the wafer. Check with your nurse or doctor.
If psoriasis is thought to be cause of itch, ask nurse/doctor for Clobe spray
t works by reducing skin inflammation (e.g. redness, swelling, itching or
Aloe Vera plant to treat affected skin (not the juice or
lotion bought in the store, but the plant itself) can be very successful in
easing irritation. Just snip off about two inches of the plant and then slice
it down the middle with a razor blade or a paring knife. The inside of the
plant is watery and a bit gooey.
Make sure skin around stoma is
clean, dry & completely free of any soap residue. Gently rub opened
plant over skin to allow juice from plant to coat affected area. Allow juice to
dry completely - don't wash it off skin, just re-apply your wafer. Use daily
or as often as needed. Talk to your nurse or doctor before doing so.
may also try wiping the affected area with baby wipes containing Aloe.
Blow outs: tips to prevent or minimize the risk of blow outs.
refer to situations when stool or gas accumulation causes the pouch to either
break or separate from the flange, causing a leak. This can happen to anyone
and at any time - overnight, when you go out, in the car etc. The following are
Eat little/nothing for 4 - 5 hrs. before bed time. Empty bag
before going to bed.
Avoid gas-producing foods before bed time or before
going out. Most foods that contain carbohydrates, lactose, starches and fibre
can cause gas.
Change & or empty appliances regularly. Train yourself
to waken up during night or set alarm clock just to make sure that everything is
Use a towel, sheet protector or mattress cover under you to
protect bed & sheets in case of an accident.
Some find that eating a
few marshmallows before going to bed or going out helps with minimizing and
solidifying the output.
If going out, make sure your pants or belt are not
too tight on the bag. For 'Special Do's'' eat low fibre food for few days
Adding extra protection with secuplast seals is
Remedies to get old and new stool stains out
crystals (in crystal or liquid form) to your laundry. This is a cheap way to
handle stains. You can purchase soda crystals in household stores.
rubbing in AVON bubble bath liquid onto stains & wash with cold water.
Spray or rub in OxiClean onto the stained area and then wash with cold
Try using Greased Lightning - buy it on Internet. Some say it works
Another product to try is LA's Totally Awesome all purpose
concentrated cleaner. Buy from Amazon. Spray it onto affected area & wash
with cold water.
Drink some "Ballerina
tea" to aid your bowel movement. A good and cheap place to find it is at
an Asian market. or it can be bought from Amazon
containing codeine may cause your stool to become harder (constipated). If you
experience problems, check with your nurse or doctor.
shorter the bowels - higher the chance for blockage, e.g., there's a greater
chance of obstructing if you have an ileostomy compared to colostomy.
Always chew your food properly swallowing. Drink plenty of liquids.
careful when eating oranges (or any other citrus fruit), since the membranes can
cause severe blockage. Instead, try canned fruit where the membranes are much
softer. Avoid fresh raw pineapple as it may cause severe blockage.
About oranges: you can try slicing the orange into thin slices (leave the peel
on) - then cut the slice into half-moons to eat. This breaks up the membranes
very well. This works for any citrus fruit.
Fresh veggies (onions,
lettuce, celery, carrots, tomato etc.) nuts, mushrooms and other hard-to-digest
foods ma cause blockage as well.
Most blockages are caused by food that
was not processed properly by your digestive system. Make sure to chew the
food well or to cook it till soft.
If you experience blockage you can drink
some mineral oil. It makes things slide out. You should also drink plenty of
In case of blockage you can also try massaging the abdomen and the
area around the stoma as this might increase the pressure behind the blockage
and help it to "pop out." Most food blockages occur just below the
If nothing works, call your GP. However, if unable to contact GP and
there is no output from the stoma for over a day, go to the emergency room
The reference of 'pancaking' is when
stool gathers in the upper part of the pouch and stays there as opposed to going
down to the bottom.
Make sure air is in the bag because if not enough air
present it acts like a vacuum so the stool will sit where it comes out &
will not drop down to bottom of bag.
You can also try adding a few drops
of baby oil (or cooking oil) to the inside of the pouch and rub it in the inside
walls to help the stool to slide down.
Improve wafer adhesion
Using antiperspirant just above the wafer may prevent sweat from interfering
with the wafer's adhesive.
When changing appliance, use a hair dryer set on
low and directed at skin around stoma to ensure area is absolutely dry before
Also you can try softening the waver when changing
appliance by using a hair dryer set on low and directed at the wafer to help the
Adapt rings, Eakin rings or strip paste - You have to stretch the
ring or the strip paste before application. If you use a hair dryer on low for
about thirty seconds to heat up the ring, it becomes much easier to mould around
Cavilon adhesive spray is excellent but remember to dry
skin with hair-dryer before applying spray
How to thicken stool
If you have an ileostomy & are concerned about leakage while
changing your appliances try eating some marshmallows about 15 mins before
changing. They tend to thicken output but Do not overdo them as they can cause
To "thicken- up" the output, one can also eat peanut
butter, crackers, bananas or even Jelly Babies (or any sweeties with
Cover your pouch in intimate moments
You can try
using Bella Bands to cover and keep your appliances in place. They were
designed for pregnant women, but can work great during sex, swimming or any
other activity. Use them under your clothes in place of an ostomy belt.
Ileostomy - Food & Drink Hints & Tips
Over time the
small intestine adapts & your stoma output should thicken (up to a
porridge-like consistency) & reduce to around 400-800ml (4-5 bag changes per
day) so that you are able to manage a perfectly normal diet & do not need to
eat any special foods with an ileostomy.
However, some things to
pay special attention to include:
Drink larger amounts of water and ensure
you have enough salt in your diet as you will lose more salt than other people.
Be aware that high-fibre foods can stimulate your gut and give you
diarrhoea or may cause a blockage.
These foods include: cabbage,
pineapple, bean sprouts, tomato skins, nuts, coconuts, bamboo shoots, orange
pith, lettuce, celery, popcorn, mushrooms & dried fruit.
high-fibre foods well to aid digestion and avoid colic. You are advised to
peel all fruit that you eat
Make sure you eat regularly as this helps
to regulate stoma function.
Occasionally, some people have continuing
problems with stool frequency or consistency in which case you may need to take
medication to control it.
Although a good fluid
intake is an important part of any healthy diet it is particularly important if
you have an ileostomy.
In order to prevent dehydration you should try to
drink 8-10 cups of fluid a day.
Avoid or restrict alcohol as this is
As salt losses are very high it is also important to take
If you take part in vigorous physical exercise such as
competitive sport or if the weather is very hot you will need to take extra care
to drink enough fluid and to further increase your salt intake. Isotonic
drinks such as Lucozade Sport can be useful for ileostomists if taken with salty
snacks such as crisps.
NB if your stoma output is high (more than
1litre), or you are sweating (through exercise or hot weather) then you may need
to take additional fluids that contain salt. Speak to your dietitian or doctor
for advice on what you should take.
undigested food residues can sometimes occur especially if stoma is tight. Food
blockage results in minimal watery or no output from the stoma. Though a
blockage is extremely painful In most cases it will resolve spontaneously but
if symptoms persist you should seek medical advice. For the first few weeks
following surgery, and later if you experience repeated obstructions, you may be
advised to modify your fibre/residue intake.
For most ileostomates
this is unnecessary & avoidance of a few foods most likely to cause blockage
is sufficient to prevent problems e.g. sweetcorn, fruit and vegetable skins and
pips, nuts, seeds, coconut, muesli, whole-grains, dried fruits, fibrous fruits
and vegetables such as celery, bamboo shoots, pineapple and mango.
is essential to chew all food thoroughly, especially meat & high fibre
foods. good idea to avoid raw celery