If you have a colostomy, gas can be a big problem.
Since you have no control over when gas is released from your stoma, you could be in for an embarrassing situation. If the gas accumulates in your colostomy bag, it could expand causing leakage and odor.
While everyone has some amount of gas, if you experienced a significant amount before your colostomy surgery, it’s very likely you will afterward, too. Fortunately, there are ways to control flatulence even after colostomy surgery.
What you eat plays a big role in the amount of gas you could experience. Eat limited amounts of gas-inducing foods like
You should also limit your consumption of carbonated beverages like soda and beer as these drinks will increase gas. Other types of alcohol including wine and liquor also cause gas.
It’s not necessary to eliminate these foods from your diet entirely. Eat them in moderation so they don’t cause you excessive gas. You should also consider adding foods like yogurt and parsley which naturally help prevent gas. Over-the-counter gas remedies like Beano also work well to control gas.
You may not realize it, but fairly mundane activities cause you to swallow air which increases the amount of gas you have. These include:
The best way to control gas following a colectomy is getting rid of the colostomy bag entirely. There are several ways this can be done. A Kock Pouch works by creating an internal reservoir using a portion of your small intestine. The reservoir is connected to a stoma on your abdomen. Several times a day, you’ll use a catheter to remove waste from the reservoir.
A J Pouch works similarly but the opening is located in your ileoanal area. It can hold about 2/3 of a pint of liquid. Therefore, it’s not necessary to empty it as often. Even more effective than the J Pouch is the BCIR which creates a reservoir and a stoma opening on the lower abdomen. However, a specialized valve keeps fluid and gas from exiting until a catheter is inserted. In this way, the BCIR offers the most control over waste elimination.
To learn more about these surgical options, contact the office of Dr. Don Schiller, an ileostomy expert. Schedule an appointment by calling 323-472-9931 or request an appointment online.