Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

Overview Symptoms Evaluation Treatment specialists Home Care bowel problems daily activities diet warning signs

Ostomy Skin Problem Home Care

An ostomy nurse can help a person learn how to care for an ostomy.

Home care for an ostomy includes:

  • Activities of daily living with an ostomy
  • Ostomy diet
  • Exercise and an ostomy
  • Ostomy stoma cleaning
  • Stoma appliance care
  • Taking medications with an ostomy

Ostomy Skin Problem Bowel Problems

Home care for intestinal ostomies, such as a colostomy, includes:

Constipation

  • Increase your fluid intake
  • Increase your daily exercise and activity
  • Increase your dietary fiber with whole grains, fruits vegetables

Diarrhea
  • Increase your fluid intake
  • Avoid high fiber foods for a few days
  • Use active yogurt cultures after surgery or after taking antibiotics

Excess Gas
Excess gas is almost always related to the diet. With appropriate dietary changes, these problems will resolve. Sometimes medicine is required to help treat these problems. Try avoiding the following foods and beverages:
  • Alcohol
  • Apple juice
  • Beans
  • Broccoli
  • Brussel sprouts
  • Cabbage
  • Cauliflower
  • Coconut
  • Corn
  • Dried peas and beans
  • Egg plant
  • Fried foods
  • Green peppers
  • Lactose
  • Oat bran
  • Onions
  • Peas
  • Potatoes
  • Prune juice
  • Pumpernickel
  • Raisins
  • Raw fruits and vegetables
  • Sodas
  • Soluble fiber
  • Soy beans
  • Wheat

Ostomy Skin Problem Daily Activities

Activities of daily living in those with intestinal ostomies include:

  • Bathing and showering with an ostomy:
    • The appliance bag and stoma are not affected by water.
    • You may clean the stoma and change the appliance bag in the shower.
  • Exercise with an ostomy:
    • Avoid contact sports that might injure the stoma.
  • Sexual activity with an ostomy:
    • After 4-6 weeks, you can resume normal sexual activity.
    • Prior to intercourse, the bag should be emptied and rolled up.
  • Traveling with an ostomy:
    • Pack adequate ostomy supplies with you at all times.

Ostomy Skin Problem Diet

Dietary guidelines for intestinal ostomies include:

  • Drink plenty of fluids.
  • Chew your food slowly and completely.
  • Foods that are not completely digested may be seen in the ostomy bag: this is normal.
  • Depending on the ostomy location, certain foods may contribute to excess gas or loose stools.

Foods that may cause excessive gas include:
  • Alcohol
  • Apple juice
  • Beans
  • Broccoli
  • Brussel sprouts
  • Cabbage
  • Cauliflower
  • Coconut
  • Corn
  • Dried peas and beans
  • Egg plant
  • Fried foods
  • Green peppers
  • Lactose
  • Oat bran
  • Onions
  • Peas
  • Potatoes
  • Prune juice
  • Pumpernickel
  • Raisins
  • Raw fruits and vegetables
  • Sodas
  • Soluble fiber
  • Soy beans
  • Wheat

Ostomy Skin Problem Warning Signs

Notify your doctor if you have an ostomy and any of the following:

Last Updated: Dec 22, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Ostomy Skin Problem References
  1. Carey TS, Hanson L, Garrett JM, Lewis C, Phifer N, Cox CE, Jackman A. Expectations and outcomes of gastric feeding tubes. Am J Med. 2006 Jun;119(6):527.e11-6. [16750971]
  2. Israelsson LA. Preventing and treating parastomal hernia. World J Surg. 2005 Aug;29(8):1086-9. [15981038]
  3. Tracey DL, Patterson GE. Care of the gastrostomy tube in the home. Home Healthc Nurse. 2006 Jun;24(6):381-6. [16849944]
  4. Yeo H, Abir F, Longo WE. Management of parastomal ulcers. World J Gastroenterol. 2006 May 28;12(20):3133-7. [16718830]
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