3 Common Misconceptions About the Stoma

Regardless of public awareness, some people are not fine with the purpose of an ostomy wrap because of the myths surrounding the stoma condition. The truths make it hard for ostomates – an individual who has a stoma – to speak out in their illness and triggers several new patients unnecessary distress and anxiety. With that in mind, this post will showcase some of the common misconceptions about the stoma. 

Only Old People Have Stomas

Despite increased public awareness about ostomies, many people still think that an ostomy is a condition that only affects older people. Although older people are more likely to be affected by a variety of causes for stoma surgery, many causes can affect people of all ages, including children born with birth defects. Incontinence, diverticulitis, childbirth, trauma, autoimmune diseases and cancers such as Crohn’s disease are some of the many factors that trigger an ostomy. Besides, bowel or bladder dysfunction, which affects children, can also lead to the stoma condition. On the other hand, older patients should be treated similarly to younger patients in terms of subsequent ostomy takedown, if an acceptable operative risk.

A Need to Change in Diet

Even though having a colostomy or ileostomy changes where your poop comes out, it doesn’t mean you have to change what you eat. You will need to change your daily diet in the weeks after surgery, but you don’t have to make any long-term changes in the way you eat. Of course, the foods that caused you constipation, indigestion, or diarrhea will continue to do so after stoma surgery, so doctors recommend a healthy, balanced eating plan, just as they would for anyone else. To begin with, take easily digestible foods like meat, fish, eggs, cheese and milk to aid healing. And for a little while, limit fruit, vegetables, wholegrain bread and cereals, coffee and other bowel stimulants (such as alcohol) and fizzy drinks which may cause problems with diarrhoea and wind. 

People With a Stoma Smell

“Can I smell if I have an ostomy?” — is a common question we hear from those who have the condition and from those who have not. However, modern ostomy devices are made of lightweight, odorless fabrics that ensure that no odor escapes. You may notice the odor when you move the toilet bag, but it should be no different for anyone else on the toilet. It is thought that this myth arose because older ostomy supplies were not odor-proof. But with modern ostomy bags, there should be no odor at all. Thus it is not safe to assume that people who live with this condition is alone. Many of the myths and fears exist because many ostomates think they are isolated, that they are the only person who has a stoma, that they have nobody to talk or and have no one who will understand.