Meet & talk to fellow OstoMates 20,331 members

Bag Filling With Air at Night!

Posted by alliejmw2, on Wed Oct 29, 2014 9:51 pm

I don't know if anyone else has this trouble but I find that everytime I try to sleep at night my ostomy bag fills up with air to the point where it llifts my appliance and I leak!  So i have to try to keep myself awake all night so I can monitor it or set a timer so I am awake every 3 hours to check on it.

It doesn't happen to me during the day if I take a nap...just at night.  It is driving me insane.  It is bad enough that I have insomnia so when I do get a chance to get some sleep I really want to take advantage of it and I can't because of this.

Does anyone have this problem?  Can anyone give me tips on what I can do?  I mean I make sure to cut myself off from food by 5pm and I only take sips of water or something through the night.  I even have a bag with a filter that is supposed to stop this from happening.  If anyone has any ideas for me please let me know because I am at my wits end.  I can't tell you how many clothes this problem has ruined and I have to be sure t

to sleepp either under a chuck from the hospital or a towel or my sheets get ruined!

thanks for reading and hopefully someone will have some ideas because its driving me nutters!

Reply by ChrisP, on Thu Oct 30, 2014 5:24 pm

Hi, is this really every night, regardless of what you have eaten during the day? I get the problem, but the severity of it varies, with certain foods a clear no-no! Any thoughts on this? How long have you had your bag? I've heard of people having particular problems in the first few months before things 'settle down'.

I'm afraid like you I find the filter completely ineffective in dealing with this problem!

Best of luck!  Chris

Reply by alliejmw2, on Thu Oct 30, 2014 9:24 pm

Literally almost every single night I allow myself to fall totally asleep I wake up to a bag filled with air and, most of the time, a leak.  I have had a bag on and off for over 7 years now.  I dont eat any veggies at all (I eat veggie pasta when I can to get the vitamins and I will eat artichokes) because it has a hard time putting them out and it gets stuck coming out.  I have totally eliminated any food that is even remotely spicy in any way or acidic except a bit of lemon juice here and there.  A nurse had told me that to get gas out you lie on your left side and my stoma is on the left side anyway so I tend to do that a few hours after I eat to try to get any gas out that might possibly be in there but its like it enjoys trapping the air until I am totally relaxed asleep.  I dont know what to do about it.  I even have bags for those that have a heavy output.  But it doesn't change.  When you are an insomniac like I am you really enjoy those times when your night medication actually works and you get tired.  yet i can nap during the day and it doesn't do it.

I have NO CLUE how it is I can help the problem. 

Reply by gtu_east, on Thu Oct 30, 2014 11:34 pm

Try avoiding bread, cereal, pasta, any food with grains at all.  If you would like to eat those things, eat them early in the day and not after 2:00 PM or so.  That should give plenty of time for them to move through you before it is time to sleep. These foods cause a lot of gas for me.  Drinking water seems to help and is a good idea anyway.

Reply by alliejmw2, on Fri Oct 31, 2014 12:02 am

Actually I only eat like once a day and its usually no later then 2 or 3.  I do eat pasta but never at night.  If anything at night I snack on cheetos lol.  I have it so engrained in my head that its going to leak overnight that I only eat that one meal.  And I have been having trouble with getting food stuck in my throat so I dont eat because of that too.

Reply by gtu_east, on Fri Oct 31, 2014 12:56 pm

Just try an experiment for one day. Do not eat anything made from flour or potatoes. No breads, cakes, pies, cheetos, chips, etc.... Nothing made from flour or grains.  And no sugar or sweetener of any kind.  If your system is anything like mine you, you will notice much less gas.  Then you can add those things back in small quantities at an early time in the day so that you won't have the gas at night.  You can eat three times a day.  You might just have to avoid or greatly limit the foods I have mentioned.  It works very well for me.  It was hard getting used to because I love all that stuff.  Digestive enzymes might help.  For example, try Beano.  Good luck.

Reply by ChrisP, on Fri Oct 31, 2014 3:23 pm

Some interesting ideas there I might try myself.

I would say that eating three times a day is a better policy than eating just once. The idea of digestive enzymes/'bugs' etc is worth trying too, as these should help the intestine to function more normally: I was told that the stoma tends to lose these things and they need to be replenished.

Oh, and I drink lots of water - all drinks here come in 1pt mugs!

Reply by moonshine, on Sat Nov 01, 2014 2:51 am

It sounds like you have an illeostomy? I have had illeo since 2010 - carbs of any kind cause gas in healthy people........same think in the bag...Im Italian and have had to cut out bread, pasta, rice....I have Scleroderma (CREST) and acid reflux is a huge problem. I have had to cut out wine as well...

Try it carb free for a few days. It worked for me

Reply by ron in mich, on Sat Nov 01, 2014 11:08 am

hi allie i,ve had my ileo. for 30 yrs. and i found that if i go bed hungry or empty stomach i produce more gas and have a bag full of air in the morning, i eat 4 small meals a day and have a snack in the evening.

Reply by LadyHope, on Sat Nov 01, 2014 3:23 pm

Hi Allie,  Sorry to hear that you are struggling with bag inflation.  In order for me to keep the bag more or less deflated, I use one with a filter.  Saying that, I usually have to change the bag everyday because the filter gets clogged and will not work.  As much as I enjoy eating cucumbers, I've found that they make the pouch inflate, especially while I am sleeping.  My friend (with an ileo too) suggested removing the skin of the cucumber and eat the English style and it helps some.  I must be very relaxed while snoozing because several times I woke up thinking I could float away.  The pouch was totally inflated and not necessarily with anything.  I am a light sleeper too so any noise or vibration in my pouch, I wake up.  Some nights, especially early post op,  I was kept awake by the activity and it was frustrating because I was so tired.  Anyway, I try to eat early in order to have things calming down by bed time.  I also avoid, as much as possible, all carbonated beverages including sparkling wine and beer.  This aggravates the situation.  Lastly, I found that it I don't eat for 6 hrs plus and then eat, I produce more air/gas than usual in the bag, probably because my stomach is empty and I am hungry.  Fortunately, things have calmed over the last 15 months as I am learning more about my digestion cycle.  I think that it may have taken my body some time to adjust to the new routine too.  Hope this helps - good luck to you.  LH

Reply by labjano, on Sun Nov 02, 2014 12:24 am

Hi Allie - I have had an ileostomy for 30 years and have found that if I go to bed hungry I produce more gas. If I'm nervous or stressed about anything I also produce more. I drink decaffeinated tea before I go to bed and try to relax. That seems to help. Good luck and sending over the sandman to your house to bring on some restful sleep for you!


Past Member
Reply by Past Member, on Sun Nov 02, 2014 6:26 pm

Hi Allie, if you have an ileostomy think it's better if you have more than one meal a day (I agree with ron in mich and ChrisP).  I have had an ileo for 6 years and I eat at least every four hours, even just a snack like cheese and crackers I count as a small meal.  The only time I get gas is when I haven't eaten for an extended period (like first thing in the morning) or have not been drinking enough water.    

Then if I do get a ballooning bag I just carefully undo the tailpiece (making sure it's pointing up!)and let the air out.  I use filtered bags but believe the filters are pretty much useless particularly with an ileo as they have a tendency to leak.  I just cover the filter with tape (any kind) and even then the bag doesn't balloon any more than usual (and definitely doesn't leak).   I can get 5-6 days wear time from the whole appliance by doing this.

I also think the fact that I eat regularly and drink plenty of water, helps me sleep right though the night for at least 6-7 hours without having to get up and empty, and on average I empty the bag about 5 times a day. 

Below is a link which I found helpful when I first had surgery.


Reply by alliejmw2, on Mon Nov 03, 2014 1:35 pm

my thing is that my ostomy is very recessed do when it outputs it burns so I have it in my head that if I only eat once a day it wont output a lot and then it wont burn.  its psycchological on my part I guess but...hopefully after wednesday....i wont have that trouble since i will have had it redone.  fingers crossed.

Reply by gtu_east, on Tue Nov 04, 2014 10:48 am
Best wishes and prayers for a successful surgery!
Reply by ron in mich, on Tue Nov 04, 2014 12:29 pm

good luck with your surgery wed. and fast recovery.

* Please, do not post contact information like email, Facebook or Twitter accounts, or phone number. These will be removed by the Administrator.
All times are GMT - 4 Hours
Currently online: 15    
3 members & 12 visitors
marty (m)