An ileostomy is an opening within the belly made by a doctor as a simple way for waste products from the intestines to leave the body.
An ileostomy is usually called a “stoma,” which could be a medical word that means “opening.” After you’ve got an ileostomy made, waste products from your intestines will come out through the stoma into a bag that is attached to your skin.
With an ileostomy, the waste products from the intestines that pass into the bag are more frequent and looser than normal bowel movements.
A special doctor (called an ostomy doctor) will teach you ways to take care of your ileostomy. He or she is going to teach you:
- When and how to empty the bag
- When and how to put on a new bag
- How to test your stoma for problems
There are different types of ileostomy bags that people can use. With some kinds of bags, you empty, clean, and reuse them. With other types, you throw them out after each use.
You might worry that your bag will leak, or that other people are going to be able to smell your bowel movements. But these things rarely happen. The bags are made in order that they do not leak or smell.
Some people have a particular kind of ileostomy. they do not use a bag to gather their bowel movements. Instead, they need an inside pouch made out of intestine, which they drain through the stoma some times daily.
Different problems can happen with an ileostomy, either instantly or years later. Let your doctor know if you have any of the following symptoms or problems:
- Your stoma starts turning purple or black instead of pink.
- Your stoma is swollen or larger than usual otherwise you have a bulge to the side of the stoma.
- Your stoma is smaller than usual.
- You have a rash or sores around your stoma.
- You have diarrhoea.
- You have sudden belly pain, cramps, or nausea.
- You are dehydrated. Dehydration is when the body loses too much water. Symptoms of dehydration include not making the maximum amount of urine or having dark yellow urine, or feeling thirsty, tired, dizzy, or confused.
When people have an ileostomy, their body doesn’t always absorb medicines normally. Due to this, try to use liquid medicines rather than pills. Don’t take pills labeled “enteric coated,” “time release,” or “extended release.” Your body might not absorb these kinds of pills well.
Yes. When people have an ileostomy, their body doesn’t always absorb water, vitamins, and salts normally. due to this, you should drink lots of fluids to avoid getting dehydrated.
You should avoid eating foods that would easily block your intestine or stoma. Some of these foods include popcorn, mushrooms, dried fruit, and fruits or vegetables with skin.
The foods you eat can also affect the odour of your bowel movements, and how solid or loose they are. Certain foods can also make you have more gas.