2020-11-24 14:27:08

Passing gas in a public area is something that everyone has done, whether they will admit it or not. It can cause embarrassment, anxiety, nervousness, or all three at the same time. A lot of colostomy appliances these days are made from a material that is considered to be odor-proof. When there is a leak, there might be some noticeable smells when emptying or changing the bag, and many people don’t want to deal with the embarrassment of a colostomy bag smell.

There are a couple of things that can be done to reduce the colostomy bag smell.

  1. Empty the ostomy pouch more often - How often do you change a colostomy bag? Emptying a colostomy bag should be done when it gets to around 1/3 to 1/2 full. If the bag ends up getting too full, sometimes the weight of it can increase the pressure on not only the stoma but on the surrounding skin. Consequently, the seal on the appliance will be loosened, and then the bodily waste can potentially leak through, causing the odor. An ET nurse should teach and train you to empty the bag. Sometimes the frequency in which you change the bag will depend on the location of the stoma. Most people with colostomy bags will empty them anywhere between 1 to 3 times per day. For people that want to change the urostomy bag, this will typically depend on how much fluid intake you are getting.

  1. Staying away from certain foods and beverages - What you eat can greatly impact the odor that is coming out of your body. Because all food is digested differently, this will change the odor of it afterward. Certain foods cause more odors than others. Foods that have soluble fiber and sugars will cause gas to be built up a lot faster in the ostomy bag. Some of these foods are :

  • Apricots

  • Apples

  • Asparagus

  • Beans

  • Broccoli

  • Beer

  • Brussel Sprouts

  • Cabbage

  • Many dairy products

  • Mangoes

  • Nuts

  • Onions

  • Peaches

  • Pears

  • Rains

  • Sodas

If you happen to have a urostomy bag, then the odor of urine might be on your mind. The odor of your urine can be reduced if you drink more fluids like cranberry juice and water. Some foods that tend to increase the odor of urine are:

  • Asparagus

  • Fish

  • Garlic

  • Onions

While these foods are still healthy for you, they will increase the odor that comes out of you. So, while you don't need to take them out of your diet, it's just good to keep this in mind if you want to reduce the odors caused.

Swallowing Air

Many people might not realize that swallowing air will also cause an increase in gas. There are a couple of different causes of air being swallowed:

  • Chewing gum

  • Drinking fluids through straws

  • Drinking carbonated sodas

  • Chewing food and then drinking too quickly afterward

  • Smoking

  1. Try using a filter in your ostomy bag  - Gas will tend to make its way to your ostomy bag, and then the bag will evidently fill with air. If the air doesn't get a chance to escape from the bag, then the bag will continue to inflate, which increases the chances of leaks. An odor-reduction filter will give the bag a chance to release some gas in a safe way. A lot of the bags today will come with a filter already installed. If you have a bag that doesn't have a filter, one can simply be applied before wearing the bag.

  1. Give odor eliminators a try- Odor eliminators can work wonders if you don't want to deal with changing your diet or some of the other options. They come in tablets, sprays, and even drops.

Appliance Deodorizers

You can place deodorizing gels or liquids in your ostomy bag so that every time you open it or change it, the contents will be deodorized. They are extremely easy to use, and some will also cause bacteria that causes odors to be reduced.

Room Deodorizers

An air deodorizer right in your room or home is convenient to have around because it will eliminate odors right away. Some products will completely eliminate the odor instead of just temporarily masking it. A very popular odor eliminator is the Hollister m9 odor eliminator spray.

Internal Deodorants

Devon is another useful product for those that want to get rid of pesky odors. It is a tablet that you can simply chew and it has bismuth subgallate in it. The FDA approves the tablets and they will reduce the odors from flatulence and stool.

  1. Get an ostomy bag that works for you - There is a wide range of ostomy bags on the market, and finding one that works just right for you will make your life easier. If you get a smaller bag, you will need to empty it more often. There are 1-piece, 2-piece, drainable, and disposable bags. You'll want to find a bag that'll fit your stoma and patterns of bowel movements. If you're the type who needs to change your bag several times a day, then a medium-sized bag might not be big enough. To prevent leaks and ensure the skin around the bag stays healthy, powders, adhesives, wafers, and seals are useful things to consider.

Staying Educated And Informed

Ostomates will typically feel embarrassed by the noises and smells that bags cause. Reducing the number of foods that cause odors and going with the right products for your stoma will go a long way in also eliminating the added embarrassment that occurs when these issues arise.