How often empty bag?

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Regular Member

Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 88
   Posted 11/21/2010 2:06 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi, I went in for a "simple" resection 3 months ago ..... had every complication from a leak to abscesses ..... however 7 weeks ago I got an ileostomy .... I was on TPN at home until last wednesday .... I'm finding it hard to keep up with the output from the bag ..... its still very watery (is that normal) and I empty about 150/200ml 7-8 times including twice during night .... i take immodium and am eating all the right things ....rice,pasta,potatoes etc...only occasionaly it thickens I being too impatient? .... think I'm getting paniky as I want to go back to work next week and I'm still a bit breathless as some days really hard to drink so much..... I so try to get as much electrlytes .... but really dislike all the drinks with it in apart from OJ. Thanks :-)

Regular Member

Date Joined Nov 2010
Total Posts : 61
   Posted 11/21/2010 2:21 PM (GMT -6)   

I had an ileo placed 2.5 months ago and I still empty my bag quite often. I'm not sure if that's "normal" per say but I know I'm still doing it. I too am looking to start work soon but I think we learn to deal with these things, empty and clean up quick, and get back to our desks or computers.... whatever we're doing in life. It takes some time to get used to but I know you'll get there. I was up every hour or every other hour last night emptying my bag. It was a little ridiculous if you ask me but my nights aren't usually that bad. Maybe I'm up once or twice in the night and that's normal for me. Things will mellow out but as I've realized it's a learning curve for everyone and what may take someone one month to get used to could take you two, etc.

Sorry I am not much help in this arena, but I think that you will get used to the bag and I hope our bodies will settle in and we can empty them less frequently!

Equestrian Mom
Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 3115
   Posted 11/21/2010 4:06 PM (GMT -6)   
GassyLassy~is it possible you have a jejunostomy? A stoma from that area will produce a very liquid output and no matter how much you drink it will be liquid. Did you feel better when you were on TPN?

OJ has a lot of sugar and unfortunately, sugar will cause diarrhea (high amounts of liquid output), too. You can try salting your food and use the BRAT (bananas, rice, applesauce & toast). The BRAT diet is very helpful with thickening your output!

I hope you feel better soon yeah
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 Nov 2006
Total Posts : 88
   Posted 11/21/2010 5:08 PM (GMT -6)   
Thank you ... both :-)

Ohio ...its def just an Ileostomy. I do have the occasional thickening ... and I do the BRAT diet .... pasta seems to be good ....but still a hit and a miss. I'll just have to persevere .... more worried about the dehydration ....was doing great on TPN .... gonna have to learn to drink more ... lol

Thanks again :-)

Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 5975
   Posted 11/21/2010 5:28 PM (GMT -6)   
     I had my ileostomy five months ago.  My output thickened by the time I came home from the hospital.  Occasionally, it would become watery depending on my diet.  One time I drank the blue Gatorade smhair   and wow did that ever go through me.  My husband had to call 911 as the output was actually pouring into my bag and my fingers and toes started to go numb.  When the paramedics arrived I started vomiting, so they lost no time in taking me into the hospital.  I was badly dehydrated.  I was hospitalized for three days, until my electrolytes returned to normal.  Since then, things have settled down.  I am not much of a drinker but force myself to drink more water every day.

still a lot to learn
Regular Member

Date Joined Nov 2010
Total Posts : 33
   Posted 11/21/2010 5:51 PM (GMT -6)   
Dear Gassy,
I had an ileostomy placed in Aug '09.  (history of prior resection too).  I recall for the first couple of months I was amazed at the amount of watery "stool" I produced.  Often times nearly 2 liters/day.  I was using a lot of Immodium and Lomotil both.  I agree with Ohio, orange juice and other fruit juices have a lot of natural (and sometimes added) sugar that made even a higher output happen.  When I drank the juices, I would cut them in half with water, that helped.
I am still struggling with (what I consider) too high output.  I sometimes have "dumping syndrome" as soon as I eat.  I've learned that frequent small "meals" helps.  Also, it helps to not eat before I go to bed, still haven't discovered my ideal cut off time in the evenings yet.
Now I usually empty about every 2 or 3 hours, even at night.  I am still learning what makes me watery and what thickens things up.  My activity level *sometimes* makes a difference too.
When I am putting out too much and feel the electrolytes getting out of whack, I will put half a teaspoon of salt in my palm and lick it. YECH!!!  (I don't like the electrolyte drinks either.) This works better for me as it seems that nowdays, the more I drink, the more watery and frequent my output becomes.
I'll have this thing for years, I've learned a lot, but still don't feel like an "old hand" yet....far from it. 
Still thankful that I have this ileostomy, I returned to work after 6 weeks (I am a nurse working night shift in an Intensive Care Unit) in much better shape than how I had been in the months prior to my surgery. yeah
I was venting to a fellow nurse about how I felt so stupid and lost and *should* know more by now and she shared some lovely words of wisdom.  She told me to treat it like a newborn baby and me a new mom, the stoma would mature with time and I would become much more proficient in living with it.  I try to keep that in mind .
Take care and good luck  smilewinkgrin
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