Getting Acclimated

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UC Rookie 14
New Member

Date Joined Aug 2010
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 8/22/2010 8:31 AM (GMT -6)   

Hello all,


I am new to the forum because I am new to my ostomy. Here is a little of my back story.  I am 25 years old and was diagnosed with UC only about 20 months ago.  During that time I met with various docs and ran through a number of treatments (asacol, 6mp, pred, enticorte, remicade, enemas, etc.) with varying and limited success. Since the doctors were never able to put my disease into remission they recommended surgery and after pushing it off a number of times I had a colectomy and j-pouch surgery with a temporary ileostomy at the beginning of the month.  As a result of surgical complications I actually required another surgery to fix a hole and spent 13 days in the hospital.  So now that I find myself at home and resting (for only about a week to date) I have a few questions I was hoping some of you surgical success stories can help me with.


First, while I am ecstatic to be free of the symptoms of UC, so far my ostomy has seemed awkward and uncomfortable.  A lot of people in the forum discuss how much they love theirs and I am just curious if there is a period of acclimation to get to that point. 


Also, after meals or at random my osteomy passes gas which is sometimes loud and would be embarrassing in a public setting.  Are there any recommended methods to controlling this?  Perhaps keeping a food journal to account for the foods that cause the most gas. 


Even after reading everything I could pre-surgery I still have what seems like a million questions.  Probably because of all the free time I have these days.  Well any help would be greatly appreciated.



Scrap Girl
Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 653
   Posted 8/22/2010 11:49 AM (GMT -6)   
I've only had mine about five months now but I remember my stoma making all kinds of loud crazy noises in the early days. Thank goodness it settled down or I probably would have never left the house. The main thing that causes gas/noises for me now is soft drinks. However, since I love Diet Coke I'm not about to give that up. But if I know I'm going to be in a quiet setting and don't want to take a chance with the embarassment, I'll wait till later to have pop.
Diagnosed with UC in Feb. 2005
Asacol, Colazal, Prednisone, Rectal Meds, Remicade, Humira
Now UC Free!
First step of j-pouch - April 1, 2010
Second Step - 9/14/10
Third Step - TBD

Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 474
   Posted 8/22/2010 12:07 PM (GMT -6)   
See if you could get a two piece system with an ostomy belt. The ostomy belt helps a lot with weight pulling down. I also started using sure seals over the wafer and combined with the ostomy belt I hardly notice it.

During the first two months my stoma would make noise and I would muffle it by resting my arm over the stoma. It still makes noise from time to time but it isn't really loud. GasX worked for me during the first month.
21 y/o male livin' in Georgia. Diagnosed with Left-Sided Colitis in 2002; re-diagnosed with Pancolitis in Nov. 2009.
June 2010 I beat UC by having surgery.
Drugs tried: Just about every 5ASA medicine, enemas, prednisone, turmeric, fish oil, Remicade, psyllium seed powder, Metamucil.
Unable to take 6MP.
Temp Ileostomy and colon removal surgery - 6/2/2010
Readmitted back to hospital because of blockage (my fault cause I ate Steak n Shake 3 days after being released from surgery) - 6/10/2010
Takedown surgery - 8/?/2010

Veteran Member

Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 1054
   Posted 8/22/2010 12:21 PM (GMT -6)   
Yes, the sounds will settle down. I recommend eatimg many smaller meals throughout the day to help with that.

And yes, there is definitely an adjustment period! Your stomach and stoma are still swollen. Once the swelling goes down, your surgical discomfort goes away, and you will start to feel like you again. In a month or so you will feel MUCH more normal. Glad you're on the road to health!
Stephanie, 28 years old
Diagnosed with Crohn's Colitis March 2000
Possible diagnosis of IBS-D
Total Proctocolectomy and Permanent Ileostomy 3/18/10! :)
Blockage/Ileo revision 6/8/10 :/
Tried: Asacol, Remicade, 6mp, Humira, Xifaxan, Apriso, Imuran, Rowasa Enemas, Colocort Enemas, Psyllium Seed Powder... Tried Probiotics: Align (with no change except bloating) and VSL #3 DS (AWFUL diarrhea).
Currently taking: Prenatal Vitamin, Vitamin B 12 Complex, Biotin, Vitamin D, Calcium, Flomax (for urinary retention). 

2b ColonFree
Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 2603
   Posted 8/22/2010 1:11 PM (GMT -6)   
lol i'm still not back to work yet too, so i have sooo much time on my hands as well.

glad you're feeling good, that's the most important thing - that's what mostly made me love my stoma.

i had my lieostomy surgery July 8th this year. the noises go away with time.... i know what you mean lol, at the first days post op i thought OMG i cant go in public any more.... :( lol there were days i just closed the door of my room at the hosp (luckily i had to be isolated, so i had a single room ;) and i just didn't come out of there, cuz i was sooooo embarrased. but thank godness, it was completely gone after 2 weeks or so. i did notice that cottage cheese causes me extreme gas, all beans too, so i don't touch those. now i have gas only at night - i know, cuz when i wake up in the morning the bag is full of air.

yes, there's a period of acclimation to it, it's hard at first, cuz you're not sure how to manage it, but once you've got it, it's really a peace of cake taking care of it, its really not that big of a deal, and once you feel that way, the existence of your ostomy won't bother you at all, you'll get busy and will get on with life, you'll forget it's even there. when i get busy, i forget it's there. newshiny - that belt you mentioned, sounds like it's worth a try - thanks for the idea :)

any other questions you may have, please ask away.
06/05/2007 - STARR procedure
colonic inertia w/pelvic floor dysfunction
08/16/2009 - total colectomy w/ileorectal anastomosis
07/08/2010 - loop ileostomy

New Member

Date Joined Jul 2010
Total Posts : 19
   Posted 8/22/2010 1:44 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Rookie,

I can sympathize about the whole "sounds" thing. I had an emergency colostomy mid-June. I work as a courtroom clerk and my fear was, from the beginning, that I would pass gas or make some other weird noise. Wellll... week before last, I was simply doing my job - passing files to the Judge, answering questions, etc., then there was a split second of quiet and, yep you guessed it, I passed gas! Luckily, I was looking down when it happened and so I looked up with my mouth all bulged out as if I were swishing water. If the Judge heard me, he certainly didn't say it, and I felt like I covered it pretty well. Plus, since no one can smell anything, I didn't need to be too embarassed - LOLOL!

As far as asking questions, everyone here has been amazing to answer my "millions of questions". They have all been there and are more than willing to help out. Ask away!!

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 2765
   Posted 8/22/2010 1:58 PM (GMT -6)   
Welcome UC Rookie,

There is a definite period of acclimation, and things get so much better with time! I had a lot of gas the first couple of weeks after surgery, too, which is normal. Now, I only have it overnight or when I eat on an empty stomach. One time, I had a lunch meeting at work and rested my right forearm over my stoma to muffle it, just in case it decided to be chatty! smilewinkgrin

The other thing that took some getting used to was having the weight of a full pouch attached to my stomach. To alleviate that, I make a habit of emptying every time I go to the bathroom to pee, so I don't let it get full and heavy.

I have also figured out which foods cause gas and try to stay away from them, unless I'm going to be home, and I don't care if my pouch fills up like a balloon! wink

I was sick with Crohn's for 7 years, so being disease free since my surgery in 2006 has been a miracle and a blessing! I'm so healthy now and am very active and work full time, so most of the time, I forget it's there!

Hope that helps, and please feel free to ask any questions you have. We're all here to help!

Dx'd Crohn's in '99 at age 28. Proctocolectomy and permanent ileostomy in '06.
Disease-free and medicine-free since surgery and very thankful to be healthy again.

UC Rookie 14
New Member

Date Joined Aug 2010
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 8/22/2010 4:21 PM (GMT -6)   
Thank you everyone for responding so promptly.  It helps so much to hear from people who have experienced what I am feeling right now.  I'll certainly be in touch going forward. 

Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 6571
   Posted 8/22/2010 5:12 PM (GMT -6)   
if you tape the top of your bag to your stomach, it helps with the weight problem, also tucking your bag up into your undies helps with that too.

until you are about a month to six weeks out you have more gas than normal, but after that it will start to calm down. Keeping a food journal right now wouldnt be that helpful because everything is going to give you gas! If you wanted to do that, probably start at least three months out. And also, foods that give you gas one time may not the next time.
I suggest that you take a gas-x when you get up in the morning, then another mid day.
UC for 8 years, before finally kicking its butt and having a permanent ileostomy April 17 2007!
-I have gone to find myself, if i get back before i return, keep me here-
No matter what kind of day you are having, take five minutes to sing loudly and dance like a fool!

Equestrian Mom
Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 3115
   Posted 8/23/2010 10:35 AM (GMT -6)   
I'll just ditto that is does get better with time. Keeping small amounts of food will help and before you know it the noises will be few and far between! The food journal is a great help early on:)

Do you still have staples in your incision? When those are removed things usually improve, too.

Don't use straws (even though in the hospital they give them to you!!).

What other questions do you have?

p.s. Welcome to the forum!
Crohn’s dx 1989
some terrible years before my
temporary ileo in 2001
Proctocolectomy w/end ileo in 2008
...wish I knew then what I know NOW!

Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 453
   Posted 8/23/2010 10:36 PM (GMT -6)   
My problem with the gas is that it blows the pouch up so much it has actually had to be changed and it is sort of painful.  The doc wants me to drink Boost but it gasses me so much it has blown the pouch off.  Out in public it seems like there is enoug background noise you can't hear "privey's indescretions", but she sounds loud and clean when it is quiet here at home.  Silly littlr girl sure seems  to have a mind of her own and I know it is brainless....
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