Living with an ostomy is stressful enough without dealing with extra gas, trouble emptying your pouch, or issues with your drainage tube.
If you have an ostomy, you may run into some issues now and then. Relax, knowing that many of the problems you’re having are more common than you might think. Many difficulties can be handled with a few simple changes.
This blog looks at a few common problems you may encounter and the simple measures you can take to solve them.
Do you have a problem with a lot of gas?
Gaseous meals, such as beans, cabbage, and, yes, alcohol, should be avoided. If possible, choose a pouch that includes a filter (most closed-end and some drainable types do), or add a filter to your present equipment. Never pierce the pouch’s material; doing so removes the odour-proof layer, allowing an unwelcomed smell to escape. To release air, you can simply add a gas vent tab to the top of your bag.
Do you have an issue with odour?
Everyone who uses the restroom emits an odour. However, if stool or faeces is kept in an appliance for several hours, bacteria can build up and make it more pungent when it’s time to remove it. Many good appliance deodorants are available on the market to assist neutralise odours within the pouch. Again, remember that certain meals may produce a more pungent odour. If you are using a bathroom away from home, you might wish to avoid these foods: asparagus, baked beans, broccoli, cabbage, blue cheese, eggs, fish, garlic, and onions.
Do you have trouble emptying or discarding your pouch?
Want to know a hack that is sure to change your life? Before emptying the contents of your pouch, put some bathroom tissue in the toilet. Backsplash will be eliminated as a result of this. Place the clip on the pouch so that the end of the tail spout faces upward (rather than beneath) to make emptying and directing into the toilet simpler. Before placing the clip or securing the “Velcro-like” closure, clean the tail spout inside and out with tissue.
Do you have trouble getting faeces or faecal particles to drop down into your pouch?
When emptying the pouch, leave a small amount of air in it; do not flatten the pouch. Pull the pouch’s walls open to catch a small bubble of air before applying the clip or securing the “Velcro-like” closure. Clothing will not be pressed against the appliance as a result of this. A lubricating deodorant might help you empty your pouch more efficiently and avoid static and sticking. You might also want to discuss utilising a stool softener with your doctor to help thin down your stool. This may make it easier for stool to fall into the bag.
Do you have any issues with liquid drainage?
To solidify drainage, use a jelling agent; the contents will readily flow out. This will reduce noise and make it easier for the contents to slip out. Thanks to single-use packages, gelling agents are straightforward to use with each pouch change. You might choose to use an ostomy belt to keep the wafer in place. To reduce splashing, remember to place toilet paper in the toilet first.
Is mucus obstructing your valves an issue for you?
Unfortunately, mucus is part-and-parcel of having an ostomy and cannot be avoided. Some ostomy wearers find that sitting on the toilet every day and gently bearing down (without straining) may help you to pass the mucus out of your rectum naturally. Investing in a pair of Vera SA ostomy undies can help manage mucus. The hidden stoma pouch prevents rubbing, irritation, or inflammation, and discreetly hides additional mucus. Remember, If the mucus looks green, smells or has blood in it, you should let your stoma nurse or doctor know as you might have an infection.
Do you have any issues with your night drainage tube?
Before connecting to night drainage, always keep a tiny bit of pee in your pouch. This will force urine down the tube quickly and break any air pockets. If the tubing is positioned on the side of the bed, make sure it is straight down the bed or with a curve. The use of a leg strap will keep the tube from twisting and kinking.
Do you have trouble washing your pouches and night bag?
For urinary systems, there is a range of cleansers available. White vinegar and water can be used to clean urinary pouches in a pinch, while a baking soda and water combination can be used to clean night bags.
Is your tubing turning a different colour?
The majority of night drainage bottles or bags are disposable since they are difficult to clean after a lengthy period of use.
Do you or a loved one have a stoma pouch? Do you need support?
Vera SA – a proud partner of CANSA – has you covered! Vera SA is a proud partner of CANSA. Vera ostomy men and women’s underwear range for stoma wearers (colostomy, urostomy or ileostomy) are available at CANSA Care Centres in Pretoria, Bloemfontein, Durban, and Cape Town. In addition, Vera SA gives CANSA 25% of sales done through CANSA.
Natalie Mascall, the founder of Vera SA and a stoma pouch wearer herself, had the pleasure of meeting Adele Burger, General Manager Stoma and Wellness Programme, and Trysie Havenga, Stoma Administrator, and demonstrated how Vera SA underwear functions. “Because a colostomy bag is designed to stick onto the abdomen where it collects waste, it can sometimes cause irritation to the skin and can be visible under certain clothing,” explains Natalie.
“Our unique range of men’s briefs and women’s panties stylishly conceal and discreetly support ostomy pouches. Crafted from super soft imported fabric for a fit that feels like second skin, our smooth style, and stretchy underwear lies flat against your body, giving a good fit that will stay in place all day.”
The fabric is lightweight, breathable, and moisture-wicking – suitable for even the most sensitive skin. The hidden stoma pouch prevents rubbing, irritation, or inflammation, and reduces the possibility of detachment or leaks, keeping you feeling carefree all day. Vera SA underwear is also suitable to wear while sleeping and helps prevent the bag from shifting, creasing, or curling.
All stoma products, accessories, and linen savers can be purchased at reduced prices at most local CANSA Care Centres. In contrast, Vera SA Ostomy Underwear can be purchased online or at the designated Care Centres mentioned above.
* Disclaimer: The above suggestions and information should not be used in place of professional medical advice or diagnosis. Consult your health care provider before making any changes.
READ MORE BLOGS BY VERA SA:
HOW TO REDUCE OSTOMY GAS AND ODOURS
REPLACE YOUR COLOSTOMY BAG IN A FEW EASY STEPS
THE PROS & CONS OF DISPOSABLE OSTOMY BAGS
UNDERSTANDING THE EMOTIONAL IMPACT OF OSTOMY SURGERY
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