Now the weather is getting colder, it can be handy to be aware of ways in which the colder weather can affect ostomy life.
See it as your self-efficient hot water bottle, if you like! Providing it isn't a leak and output stays in the bag, see it as your little winter warmer!
When it gets colder, it's so easy to reach for the warm drinks without hesitation. It's important to remember to make sure you are getting enough fluids and the right fluids. Too much caffeine can dehydrate you as it makes you urinate more. Trying to have drinks such as 4-5 glasses of squash in the day can help but some people do find it harder to manage their hydration in Winter with it being cooler and not necessarily needing to reach for a drink as often!
Winter can dry out your skin. It's important to remember that this can impact the skin around your stoma too. If you find that this happens, it might be worth using a barrier spray or barrier wipe to help protect and nourish your skin.
Storing your stoma supplies
Where you store your stoma supplies can potentially be impacted by things such as temperature and moisture in the air. If your stoma supplies are near a radiator or heat source, this can affect the adhesive and cause it to start breaking down, potentially leading to bag leaks from poor adhesion in the future. A lot of it is definitely common sense! You could store your medical supplies in a box under your bed and everyday supplies in a little craft organiser caddy in the bathroom.
Alongside everyday clothing, Comfizz garments can be layered up for warmth as well as support. For example, pair a Level 1 boxer with a Level 1 10" waistband and you get combined Level 2 support. This time of year definitely calls for more layers! If you are worried about more layers restricting your bag, then it never does any harm to just do a bag check when you go to the loo! Comfizz products are designed to allow your stoma to function properly.
Be careful with other skin products
This time of year definitely starts to call for more all-over moisturiser. It's vital to remember that every day moisturisers and skincare products can affect a stoma bag's ability to stick to the skin, as the adhesive can break down if it comes into contact with the product/s. To avoid this, keep these products away from the ostomy bag area and never use it underneath the bag for this reason. Also, always ensure your skin is dry before applying a new ostomy bag. Only ever use specialised ostomy products for the skin around your ostomy, unless medically advised otherwise.
Put your new bag under your armpit!
A good way to warm up a new bag before taking the adhesive film off is to hold the bag under your armpit to warm it up so that it is closer to skin temperature and therefore has a chance of forming a secure, adhesive seal. It's probably not the best idea to use a hairdryer on the hottest setting as an alternative, but maybe a warm setting (one that isn't going to burn your skin or actually melt the adhesive) and not for too long either.
Managing your supplies stock
As a rule of thumb, it's a good idea to make sure that I've got at least one unopened delivery when opening a new delivery. This covers you in case deliveries are delayed due to bad weather or other reasons.
Disclaimer: As always, this post is from our Social Media & Marketing Specialist, Amy's, experience of living with a permanent ileostomy, Crohn's Disease and from what she has researched. Nothing in our blog posts should be taken as medical advice. It's always best to consult a medical professional if you have queries or concerns.
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