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Has anyone tried Stoma irrigation with saline solution?

Posted by Lmnman, on Wed Sep 11, 2019 1:14 am

Hello all.

I have been irrigating my colostomy for about a year and a half. I was wondering if anyone has experience with using saline solution or anything else for that matter. I feel like sometimes my irrigation effects my electrolyte balance. With the irrigation every other day and living in a humid climate (sweating) I feel that my electrolytes get out of whack. I live in the Philippines where Stoma irrigation is not really heard of. I am self taught on the practice, I just don't really have anyone to ask about it. 

Thanks, Clint 

Reply by Bill, on Wed Sep 11, 2019 3:20 am

Hello Clint.  Thanks for this interesting post, which gives me an opportunity of responding about something that has also bothered me on occasions. (ie. electrolyte imbalance)

I irrigate daily but not with anything other than water and sometimes I get very tired like I used to (many years ago) when long distance running. I thought that the tiredness might be to do with electrolyte imbalance so I tried the high5 electrolyte and magnesium drink and it did seem to help a bit. However, I also have very low blood pressure, which creates similar symptoms, so I don't really know what is the main cause of my problem. 

I am also not sure how flushing with a saline solution or anything other addition to the water would help that much, as the liquid is in and out in such a short period of time that it would not seem to have much chance for absorbing through the colon wall.

However, I am always open to new ideas and approaches, so I hope you get some replies from people who have tried this stuff and can comment in a more practically experienced way.

Best wishes

Bill

 

Reply by Lmnman, on Wed Sep 11, 2019 3:52 am
Bill wrote:

Hello Clint.  Thanks for this interesting post, which gives me an opportunity of responding about something that has also bothered me on occasions. (ie. electrolyte imbalance)

I irrigate daily but not with anything other than water and sometimes I get very tired like I used to (many years ago) when long distance running. I thought that the tiredness might be to do with electrolyte imbalance so I tried the high5 electrolyte and magnesium drink and it did seem to help a bit. However, I also have very low blood pressure, which creates similar symptoms, so I don't really know what is the main cause of my problem. 

I am also not sure how flushing with a saline solution or anything other addition to the water would help that much, as the liquid is in and out in such a short period of time that it would not seem to have much chance for absorbing through the colon wall.

However, I am always open to new ideas and approaches, so I hope you get some replies from people who have tried this stuff and can comment in a more practically experienced way.

Best wishes

Bill

 

Hi Bill,  thanks for the reply. 

I read somewhere that the salt may inhibit the absorption of so much water. I was thinking that if I used some saline I could cut down on the amount of water I inject. I am currently using almost 2 quarts of water. I get a bit tired after as well but I had an episode the other day that my bp and heart rate went kind of wild.  Normally I am around 115/75, bp shot up to 190/110 with 100 heart rate. 

I did try a half dose of polyethylene glycol in the water and I was completely done in 15-20 minutes! Just not sure about the long term effects. 

Researching water enemas, (in those unfortunate people who don't have a stoma) it says that continued water enemas can create electrolyte imbalance, I just don't see why we would be any different. 

One of my biggest problems here is nobody seems to know anything about the whole irrigation process. I am instructing my Drs. on the procedure! 

Thanks so much for the reply, this is my first time chatting like this. 

Take care! 

Clint 

Reply by Bill, on Wed Sep 11, 2019 11:12 am

Hello Clint. 

I have absolutely no expectations that doctors will know anything at all about the management of stomas . Some of the surgeons know how to perform the surgical procedure. but very few of them are even interested as to what happens to their patients afterwards. I found the stoma nurses are much more knowlegeable and willing to listen to what I have to say on the various stoma-related topics. As for irrigation, I insisted that I would ONLY HAVE THE OPERATION IF I COULD IRRIGATE. This was because I had already been anally irrigating and found it so much easier to manage the whole sorry state of affairs. The medics had no problems with this, so I started irrigation at the eariest opportunity. As for the amount of water I use, This has depended upon how much is displaced in the process of irrigation and so does not enter th colon in the first place.  I have found I need 3 litres. of which, I guess about half finds it's way into the stoma to do the job. I also need to pump it in under pressure, otherwise it doesn't get passed my peristomal hernia. Output is predicatable in that most of it come out within 2 hours but recently there has been a lot more residual output overnight. This doesn't bother me as I leave the sleeve on and there is plenty of space for any overnight output.

I hope this helps

Best wishes

Bill 

Reply by Lmnman, on Wed Sep 11, 2019 6:52 pm

Hi Bill. 

Here in the Philippines, I have yet to find a nurse that really knows much about the stoma. Thus far in my experience the Surgeon is the most educated about the Stoma. I have yet to find a nurse that really has any higher knowledge about stoma care. I think the vast majority of the nurses are working overseas. I would say the median age for nurses here is 25! I am impressed with my Drs though, very caring and thoughtful. Easily accessible and knowledgeable. I have at least 2 of my Drs cell phone numbers and can contact at any time. 

As for my situation. I had rectal cancer, did the chemo, radiation etc..  here in the Philippines. To make a long story short I had complications, I had the temporary bag removed from the right side and started trying to retrain bowel. I developed an abscess that kept getting infected. The surgeon wanted to put the bag back on for 6 months and then start over. I explained to him about the stoma irrigation and that if he would put the stoma on my left side that I would just stay that way. The abscess and infection was by far the worst part of the whole thing. I wasn't sure I could do that again. I lost about 5 kilos during the chemo and radiation. I I lost 20 with the infection. 

As far as the irrigation goes, I am one of the lucky ones. I started a couple of months after my last surgery and it just kinda worked. I am able to do it every other day,  with almost no accidents. I just wear a large Stoma bandage. Plus a Stoma belt to prevent possible hernia, that's my biggest fear at this time.

The first couple of times was a bit scary believe me! I live 5 hours from the nearest decent hospital. 

Sorry for the long story. 

BTW. I read where you had a heart attack. I hope you are fully recovered and doing well. 

Clint 

Reply by Puppyluv56, on Wed Sep 11, 2019 11:06 pm

Hi Clint, 

i have no inormation on Saline but with the world woe shortage last year, not sure it plus be economic, shortages mean increase in cost! Who would have thought. As I was getting chemo, they had to be sure to put back a bag of me. Sometimes, they did not have any. I do irritate and find it so easy and much better than not. I have no issue but so have some output in byeeen the every other day schedule. I tried everyday and his being a bigger burden, I still had output then too! So , I take the lesser of the evils. Some people in the US have support through their Ostomy Care Department  at the hospital. I did not find them to be so helpful, and like you taught myself. With the advise of the experience mas on here

Reply by Puppyluv56, on Wed Sep 11, 2019 11:08 pm

Sorry, my notes always mess up after so many lines and won’t Let me go back. But the experience of the mass on this site has been lifesaving! Hope you will continue to ask questions. 

Puppyluv

Reply by Lmnman, on Wed Sep 11, 2019 11:39 pm

Hi Puppyluv.

Thanks for the reply. This site has been a huge help to me. Of course there's always a lot of time to research when you are recovering. I believe it was researching on this site that helped direct me in my choices for recovery. 

Thank you for your reply and hoping for your continued success! 

Clint 

Reply by Puppyluv56, on Thu Sep 12, 2019 3:31 am

Clint, 

You are welcome. Those first few months were tough times,  weren’t they? I still learn new things every dayy. I am very lucky that I have very few issues that so many have. I don’t have leaks or rashes. I have found the supplies that woks well for me. I think that is the worst of it in the beginning. The hospital teaches you how to put on a pouch but it is done when you are having zero output. They use pouches that are given to them by the Supply Reps and are generally the cheapest thing made. What they don’t tell you is how to handle the leaks that will come because the cheap pouch does not stick. I think there should be more support for newbies in that regard. It is such an important time and can make or break how we adjust to being an Ostomate. This site certainly filled in the gaps for me and I have made many lasting friends as well!

Puppyluv 

Reply by w30bob, on Fri Sep 13, 2019 9:21 am

Hey Lumenman,

  The link below will tell you all you want to know about saline vs water in regards to the colon.  Might be a tough read, but it's all there.  I'd say "enjoy", but not really much to enjoy about reading this stuff.  Maybe "tolerate" is a better valediction or complimentary close.

 

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC322357/

 

regards,

bob

Reply by Bill, on Fri Sep 13, 2019 10:21 am

Hello Bob. Thanks for the link which I have now painstakingly read.

It seems to me that this study does not really tell us much more than we already knew in that osmotic filtration has only a borderline significance  ( P=0.05) and the large bowel is more permeable than the rest.

For me, it did not really shed any light on the question asked by Lmnman about adding saline solutions to the water. Indeed, from what I could ascertain from this article, there would be little or no benefit or effect from doing so. 

I hope this helps for those who may not be so inclined to wade through the scientific data as presented in the article.

Best wishes

Bill

Reply by Lmnman, on Fri Sep 13, 2019 9:55 pm

Hi guys! Thanks for all the assistance! Bob for the link and Bill for the interpretation. I started to read but got a little confused. As far as the saline  irrigation goes, I went ahead and gave it a try.  I am my own test animal! Well initially there seemed to be really no difference but afterward I kept having small amounts of output where I typically don't. We're talking like deer poop. Then this am on my typical flush, I believe I had the biggest output in my history. If that's too much info sorry. I don't know if it was the salt or what but really no change in diet. 

Thanks again to everyone for the support! 

Regards to all. 

Clint 

Reply by Shitt Happens, on Wed Sep 18, 2019 12:02 pm


Hello Clint,

I have been irrigating my stoma for 2 ½ years and there you have just scared me with a potential hernia, the reason you are wearing '' Stoma belt to prevent possible hernia ''. I already have a big belly and I think it has grown for 2 years, is it a hernia or glasses of wine ?? ... lolllll ... Anyway I wish with all my heart that I will never this problem because for now it goes very well with my daily irrigation. Is it common to have a hernia for us who have a colostomy ??? Because for my part I do not use any collar and bag because I am kneeling in front of the toilet to introduce the water and when my 1.5 liter is finished all the residues go directly into the toilet, and afterwards I put a cleansing pad and a tegarderm film

Reply by mobass510, on Wed Sep 18, 2019 2:03 pm
Shitt Happens wrote:


Hello Clint,

I have been irrigating my stoma for 2 ½ years and there you have just scared me with a potential hernia, the reason you are wearing '' Stoma belt to prevent possible hernia ''. I already have a big belly and I think it has grown for 2 years, is it a hernia or glasses of wine ?? ... lolllll ... Anyway I wish with all my heart that I will never this problem because for now it goes very well with my daily irrigation. Is it common to have a hernia for us who have a colostomy ??? Because for my part I do not use any collar and bag because I am kneeling in front of the toilet to introduce the water and when my 1.5 liter is finished all the residues go directly into the toilet, and afterwards I put a cleansing pad and a tegarderm film


What is a cleansing pad?

Reply by Shitt Happens, on Wed Sep 18, 2019 2:51 pm

 

Good afternoon Mobass,

it's a Cotton Makeup Remover.

Sorry for my english , i'm french from Québec, Canada Smile

 

 


mobass510 wrote:

Shitt Happens wrote:


Hello Clint,

I have been irrigating my stoma for 2 ½ years and there you have just scared me with a potential hernia, the reason you are wearing '' Stoma belt to prevent possible hernia ''. I already have a big belly and I think it has grown for 2 years, is it a hernia or glasses of wine ?? ... lolllll ... Anyway I wish with all my heart that I will never this problem because for now it goes very well with my daily irrigation. Is it common to have a hernia for us who have a colostomy ??? Because for my part I do not use any collar and bag because I am kneeling in front of the toilet to introduce the water and when my 1.5 liter is finished all the residues go directly into the toilet, and afterwards I put a cleansing pad and a tegarderm film


What is a cleansing pad?



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