If your ostomy bag is making you feel self-conscious, especially the odors that come from the pouch, you should know that help is available. You don't need to live with the embarrassing odors that tend to come from an ostomy pouch. While the odor is completely natural, that doesn't make it any less uncomfortable for you to deal with. If ostomy odors have been preventing you from getting out and enjoying life, here are four steps you can take to eliminate the problem.
Watch What You Eat
If you wear an ostomy pouch, it's important that you watch what you eat. There are some foods that can make the odors much more noticeable. Much like some foods caused foul-smelling flatulence prior to your ostomy procedure, they'll do the same thing with the smell of your bowel movements. Some foods that you should try to avoid include Brussels sprouts, asparagus, onions, cabbage, and eggs. If you do eat these foods, and you don't want to give them up, be sure to utilize some of the other odor control methods described below.
Practice Proper Ostomy Care
If the odors coming from your ostomy pouch are becoming unbearable, it might be time to look at the way you care for your pouch. You could be inviting odors without even realizing it. The first thing you should do is try changing your pouch more often; using the same pouch for too long can lead to odor problems. You should also always remember to wash your stoma and the skin around the stoma each time you change your pouch. Following those simple changes in your ostomy care methods can help eliminate ostomy odor.
Utilize Odor Elimination Techniques
If you're watching what you eat, and you're practicing proper ostomy care procedures, but the odors are still present, it's time to utilize additional odor elimination techniques, like an ostomy deodorizer. One option to consider is odor-eliminating drops. Place about 10 drops of ostomy odor-eliminating drops in your ostomy pouch each time you empty it. It's also a good idea to carry a few breath mints in your pocket; that way, if you run out of odor-eliminating drops, you can place a couple mint-flavored breath mints in your ostomy pouch each time you empty it. The breath mints can help control the odors.
Talk to Your Doctor About Medication
If you've tried everything, and you still can't control the ostomy odors, it's time to talk to your doctor about medication. There are medications available that can eliminate the odor at the source, inside your bowels. With medication, you'll no longer need to worry about the odors.