For people with an ostomy, the ability to control expelling gas is lost and it can naturally be quite embarrassing for many, making them feel socially awkward.
The foods we eat affect the behavior of our digestive system. The following are some of the ways food can increase the production of gas.
Increased gas-producing foods
- Vegetables of the brassica family (cabbages, broccoli, cauliflower)
- Leguminous foods (beans, peas)
- Carbonated drinks and beer
Incomplete digestion foods
Some foods are only partially digested such as those high in fiber which results in more flatulence. Some of these foods include:
- Cabbages, celery and mushrooms
- Apple peels
- Dried fruits
Foods that contribute to higher stool liquidity
Stools higher in liquid content usually produce more flatulence. These foods include:
- Sugary foods and juices
- Foods with a high fat content
- Spicy Foods
Although there is no absolute rule on what to eat or not to eat, knowing how various foods affect the body’s response to them will help ostomates better plan their day.
Suppress flatulence with stiflers
Stoma stiflers are specially made polyurethane foam products that attach themselves to a stoma cup.
As its name implies, it works by muffling and suppressing the noise made by the stoma and can be adjusted to accommodate the changing consistency of stool.
This adjustment does not require a restroom as it can be done discreetly even in public or while on the move. The stoma noise stifler also offers some protection to the stoma due to its cup-shape over the stoma.
Coping with those embarrassing moments
Despite taking various precautions to reduce flatulence and its accompanying sounds, it is impossible to reduce them one hundred percent.
Ostomates who are new to this experience can be overly conscious and embarrassed to a point where their lives, especially the social aspects may be affected negatively.
Patient education is perhaps the best tool to help with coping since they can lead a full life like anyone else and engage in activities such as:
- Performing home chores
- Sports (non-body combative activities)
- Sex and intimacy
- A myriad of social activities
Joining a support group can help the patient face the situation more confidently. As one ostomate said, ‘developing a sense of humor helps to minimize the embarrassment at a time the ostomy rumbles in public and those around look at you.’