Are you struggling to adjust to the day-to-day realities of your colostomy bag?
There’s a bit of a learning curve to handling the changes, maintaining sanitary conditions, and protecting your skin from friction and abrasion. We always encourage patients to never let minor setbacks aggravate them too much. If you select the right supplies and practice fastening them properly, you’ll eventually get the hang of it, and won’t have excessive leaks.
In case you’re still having trouble, here are a few pointers for living with a colostomy bag.
5 Tips for Living with a Colostomy Bag
Explore the Right Styles & Sizes
Colostomy bags (also called pouches) come in several shapes and sizes. Most of our clients experiment with either one-piece or two-piece pouch systems, which have various advantages, depending on your lifestyle. The good news is that with modern enhancements, today’s pouches are almost undetectable under clothing, and don’t have to irritate your skin. Whether you select a one or two-piece pouch may have more to do with lifestyle preferences. You should also consider whether you prefer drainable or single-use pouches.
Continue to Practice Changing Pouches
Practice makes perfect with changing pouches. We recommend our MicroSkin Applicator to help you see better while you’re handling pouches around your lower abdomen. Also, you’ll notice that our website has a section for application steps, which offers some step-by-step guidance on ways to secure bags and accessory components.
Keep a Close Eye on the Dietary Aspects
The food you eat will play a role in how much discharge you experience. Certain gaseous foods could make the output process much faster. Some items, like beans and carbonated drinks, may contribute heavier gas and odor. Therefore, you’ll have to pay more attention to how certain foods affect you. You may also want to carry a deodorizer spray with you (in public) to mask any unexpected odors.
Don’t Give up On Activities You Enjoy
Once again, it’s important to not view the ostomy condition (whether temporary or permanent) as a jail sentence. There are thousands of Americans who have this procedure and live active lives. Assuming your condition doesn’t inhibit you otherwise, there’s no reason to think that ostomy pouches must eliminate your ability to exercise, swim, work, or do anything else you enjoy.
Secure Plenty of Accessory Items
The colostomy bag itself is just one part (albeit the most important part) of the equation. Those additional items, like stoma paste, flanges, and applicators, can make all the difference in sealing your pouch to your stoma properly. Some patients prefer flanges/wafers to attach the pouch to the stomas, whereas others rely more on stoma paste. Others use a combination of both.
We hope this helps point you in the right direction for managing your colostomy or other ostomy condition. Cymed MicroSkin makes hypoallergenic supplies, designed to make living with a colostomy bag much easier. If you’d like to learn more tips for ostomy care, then you’re welcome to reach out to us by calling 800-582-0707.