Up Up and Away!

Up Up and Away!

Do you have an ileostomy or a colostomy? Have you come across your ostomy appliance filling up with air during the day but mainly through the night and on waking? You probably have it is where your body omits gas and it collects in your appliance and is often referred to as ballooning.

It is pretty much my nemesis along with pancaking as both of these are the only reasons I ever suffer leaks anymore since changing to the Peak Medical Varimate bags. But there are different things can increase or reduce the amount of gas you produce. Now at the end of the day before our ostomy surgery we passed gas the normal way and during the night none of us really know how much we *ahem* let rip throughout the night when we are sleeping. So with the appliance it just stays contained.

For me most nights I either sleep straight through or I wake up just once in the night and my bag is filled with air as if it is going to take off any second. For me I eat a lot of vegetables; which can increase gas but pfft (LOL) I am not overly bothered as they taste good, plus probably more fizzy drinks than is good for me. This then leads to the appliance literally being fit to burst with air and pulling my base plate off from my skin. This is often either met with a pop from the base plate when I sit up or I get out of bed at a funny angle whilst holding my bag then sprinting to the bathroom.

Things can produce more gas are but not limited too:

  • chewing gum or sucking on sweets,
  • fizzy, carbonated drinks,
  • sucking on drinks through a straw,
  • talking while eating,
  • eating and drinking quickly (“gulping”), and
  • smoking.
  • dried beans,
  • cucumbers,
  • vegetables from the cabbage family (onions, sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower,),
  • spinach,
  • corn, and
  • radishes.

Things that can help *me* with gas/ballooning are:

  • limiting fizzy drinks
  • eating gas producing veggie earlier in the day so it has chance to work it’s way through
  • peppermint tea
  • peppermint oil capsules (these also help mask the odour, but don’t take them on an empty stomach I found it gives me heartburn or indigestion)
  • not using a straw when drinking
  • fold the spout on your appliance down but don’t open it just before you get out of bed, this relieves some of the pressure and can make the difference between a leak and no leak
  • if you are on your own burping the bag (opening the spout to release the gas) is also a great way to allow extra time in bed…if you can stomach the smell that is – plus it does linger and meanders through the whole house!

What are your tips on ballooning or reducing gas from your ostomy?

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