From Stillwater-Ponca City (OK) Ostomy Outlook Nov 2002:

Helpful Hints from Here and There


Emotional pressures and overfatigue can cause bowel upsets, especially when traveling. Do not allow yourself to become overtired.

If you like mushrooms, remember they do not digest properly, so chew them well, especially the cooked ones.

Asparagus generates a strong odor in the urine. Yogurt, cranberry juice and buttermilk help to combat urinary odor. Parsley is excellent in combating fecal odor, besides being a good source of potassium.

Keep grape juice in the refrigerator. If you eat something that causes a blockage, try drinking a glassful. It really works.

Never wait until you've used your last appliance before ordering new ones. Keep a list of your equipment, complete with order numbers, sizes and manufacturers. Let a member of your family know where you keep the list so that they can get the necessary supplies in the event of an emergency.

Do not spread paste on the entire back of a barrier--it will produce less than satisfactory results. Use paste only sparingly to fill uneven areas and around the stoma. Paste is a great filler if used correctly.

Use a round clothespin to roll up your tube of paste. (Works for toothpaste tubes too.)

If you still have your rectum and have pain or a full feeling, you may have a collection of mucus which should be washed out. Check with your doctor regarding this.

Buttermilk will soothe an irritated digestive tract and will not cause diarrhea or constipation.

Colostomates should not use water that is too cold or too hot for irrigation as it may cause cramps, pain or nausea. Do allow 45 minutes to one hour for a complete return of water. Arrange to sit for comfort and relaxation. Do not hurry through irrigation. Anxiety, frustration and spillage may result. Getting uptight can cause little or no return.

Rounding off the square edges of a firm wafer or skin barrier can decrease the chance of a belt catching on the corners.

For urostomates, if your drainage tube is clogged, try soaking it in a solution of Tide for about two hours. Then rub the tube between your fingers, insert a baby bottle brush as far as possible, pull out and rinse.

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Content last revised 2002-11-12