The Most Popular Ostomy Guide Posts

Over the years we’ve collected a number of informative posts and online resources to assist ostomates, their families, and practictioners. Here are links to some of our most popular content.

Hot Topic: Sex & Intimacy

Hot Topic: Traveling with an Ostomy

Hot Topic: Ostomate Lifestyles

Ostomy Supplies and More

Ostomy Reading List – Top Picks

Learning about Ostomy, Crohn’s, Ulcerative Colitis, and IBD

The Ostomy Book: Living Comfortably with Colostomies, Ileostomies, and Urostomies
Both for book and Kindle
Questions & Answers About Ulcerative Colitis
The Foul Bowel: 101 Ways to Survive and Thrive With Crohn’s Disease Living with Crohn’s & Colitis: A Comprehensive Naturopathic Guide for Complete Digestive Wellness
The New Eating Right for a Bad Gut : The Complete Nutritional Guide to Ileitis, Colitis, Crohn’s Disease, and Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Tips for Living, Overcoming, Surviving, and Thriving with Ostomy

Some of the stories about living with an ostomy, tips for better living, inspirational stories of overcoming cancer, Crohn’s and Ulcerative Colitis.

I’d Like to Buy a Bowel, Please
Stories from eighty contributors – individuals with ostomy, health care practitioners and those who support about the daily challenges of living with an ostomy in this often humorous and pithy read.

Positive Options for Living with Your Ostomy: Self-Help and Treatment
Practical guidelines and support for ostomy patients and families.

Yes We Can!
Advice for traveling and tips for living with an ostomy. This book is highly rated and provides firsthand experience from ostomates that is useful for ostomates young and old, as well as nurses working in the field who are often asked for advice.

It’s In the Bag and Under the Covers
Specific to sex, dating and intimacy for ostomates, “It’s in the Bag and Under teh Covers” answers questions and frankly discusses the topic of intercourse and relationships for both ostomates and their partners. A great read for those with uncertainties, misgivings about their physical apperance or seeking tips to best enjoy sex.

Yes We Can!
Advice for traveling and tips for living with an ostomy. This book is highly rated and provides firsthand experience from ostomates that is useful for ostomates young and old, as well as nurses working in the field who are often asked for advice.

Beating the Alternative
A story about a man whose life is turned around when diagnosed with colon cancer.

My Journey: Conquering Ulcerative Colitis: a memoir
Victoria Blaitewicz guides you through her own challanges and successes against ulcerative colitis as both an inspiring and educational story for those and those with familiy members who suffer from UC.

For Nurses and Health Care Workers

In 2010, the American Nurses Association now recognized wound, ostomy, and continence as a nursing specialty. Here are some resources for study, reference, and to provide the best care for patients.

Ostomy Care (Quickstudy Laminated Sheet)

Ostomy Events for 2011

This is a running list of the Ostomy, IBD, Crohns and Colitis events I’m aware of right now. There are a ton of events planned for 2011, and this is hardly a definitive list. If you know of an event that is not listed below, please use the contact form or add them by submitting a comment below that includes a link to their Events Page. Thank you!

UOAA National Conference (link)

  • August 7–11, 2011 @ John Ascuaga’s NUGGET in RENO, Nevada

The Annual Get your Guts in Gear Bike Ride – Each ride is 210 miles (link)

  • June 10-12, 2011 @ Hudson River Valley, New York, NY
  • August 5-7, 2011 @ The Pacific Northwest, Seattle, WA
  • September 16-18, 2011 @ The Midwest, Wisconsin.

2011 CCFA Crohn’s and Colitis Walk “Taking Steps”

  • May 7th @ Forest Park, St. Louis, MO (link)

CCFA Camp Oasis for Youth (link)

  • June 20-24, 2011 @ Camp Tall Timbers in High View, WV
  • June 26 – Jul 2, 2011 @ YMCA Camp Colman in Longbranch WA
  • July 7-12, 2011 @ The Painted Turtle in Lake Hughes, CA
  • July 10-15, 2011 @ Camp Will-A-Way in Winder, GA
  • July 10-16, 2011 @ TMCA Camp Copneconic in Fenton, MI
  • July 26-31, 2011 @ The Painted Turtle in Lake Hughes, CA (Session 2)
  • July 25-31, 2011 @ Roundup River Ranch in Gypsum, CO
  • August 1-6, 2011 @ One Heartland Center in Willow River, MN
  • August 7-11, 2011 @ YMCA Camp Lakewood in Petosi, MO
  • August 7-12, 2011 @ Camp Young Judaea in Waupaca, WI
  • August 16-21, 2011 @ Camp Scatico in Elizaville, NY
  • August 15-20, 2011 @ Camp Nock-A-Mixon in Kentersville, PA
  • August 14-17, 2011 @ Camp John Marc in Meridian, TX

Ostomy Book Guide for Your Reading List

Learn about Ostomy, Crohn’s, Ulcerative Colitis, and IBD

Overcoming, Surviving, and Thriving

A few stories about overcoming cancer, Crohn’s and Ulcerative Colitis published in 2010:

For Nurses and Health Care Workers

In 2010, the American Nurses Association now recognized wound, ostomy, and continence as a nursing specialty. Of course, there are exams to take. Here are three flashcard study systems for the exams:

Ostomy in 2010 – A Year in Review with Ostomy Guide

2010 has been an amazing year for Ostomy Guide! Our little fledgling blog has grown tremendously and we’ve had the thanks and blessings of many ostomates who were seeking for more resources, support, and community online. We look forward to 2011 and all of the exciting things it will bring.

But for now, I’d like to sum up the year with the year’s most popular Ostomy Guide content:

Number 1 Topic: Traveling
In 2010, we saw many reactions, concerns, and changes in how airport security handles…well, us. This has been by far the most popular topic of the year, as these security policy changes have changed the way all of us perceive air travel; changes that affect those with medical needs the most, including ostomy. Here is some travel-related content on Ostomy Guide:

Number 2: Unique Ostomy Products
Browsing the Internet, I had come across a collection of some very, very niche products specifically for Ostomates. Almost all of these products are designed/crafted by entrepreneurial ostomates who were looking for better ways to care for their ostomy. Among the most favorite is probably “Ostomy Armor”, which is a protective belt and cover for an ostomy pouch.

Number 3: Ostomy News of 2010
There was a lot of news about Ostomy this year. Below are some of the most interesting tidbits:

Number 4: Product Catalogs
This year, we added online catalogs for Hollister, ConvaTec, and Coloplast to first help individuals locate the right supplies in the wide spectrum of Ostomy products, and secondly to help identify their compatibility, product codes, and HCPCS numbers. Since we don’t list prices or sell items on Ostomy Guide, we’ve linked relevant products to the Ostomy Guide sponsor, STL Medical Supply, so you can get more detailed descriptions, prices, and product reviews from individuals who have used them. Here are links to each of these product guides:

Hope you enjoyed this roundup…and…

Happy New Year!!!

TSA Screening Cards for Ostomates and those with Health Conditions

Yesterday, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) approved of a solution to help passengers with medical conditions such as Ostomy discreetly inform staff of their condition to avoid any potential communication issues.

These cards do not discriminate from getting screened or not; they are simply to explain your medical condition before any pat-down or screening takes place so you don’t have to shout it out loud across the room, or, not say anything and risk embarrassment like this bladder cancer survivor with Urostomy.

These cards merely state that you have a medical condition that may affect the screening:

“Notification Card: I have the following health condition, disability, or medical device that may affect my screening: (Write-in). I understand that presenting this card does not exempt me from screening.”

The back of the card further reinforces that, if asked, you’re going to have to submit to a screening before you can fly:

“TSA Respects the privacy concerns of all members of the traveling public. This card allows you to describe your health condition, disability, or medical device to the TSA officer in a discreet manner. Alternate procedures which provide an equivalent level of security screening are available and can be done in private. Presenting this card does not exempt you from screening.”

Here is a PDF link where you can download the TSA medical notification cards..

Will these cards do much to help the problem? Some argue that TSA was not listening to travelers in the first place, nor are TSA familiar enough with the potential health conditions and appliances of the travlers they are searching, nor are many of our TSA agents all familiar with the use of these cards. (This is 2010, we’ve got e-mail and blogs, does the U.S. government send the memos out to anyone who works for them?)

Others believe this is a positive step towards a solution that balances both our needs for airline security and our civil liberties.

If you or a loved one has a health condition or a medical device and is asked for either a pat-down or a screening, it is in your best interest to keep one of these cards handy in your pocket when going through the airport to (hopefully) alleviate the potential problems.

Read this post for more information on Ostomy and Airport Security and this one about traveling with an Ostomy.

Hot, Cold, and Stoma – How Weather Affects An Ostomy

The temperature and climate of the region you live in can have a game-changing affect on how you wear your ostomy appliances. Especially useful for traveling to new climates, or for those who live in temperate zones with extreme temperatures each season, an ostomate has to adapt to these new conditions to keep a consistent wear time and maintain the reliability of their ostomy appliances.

Here are some tips for managing your ostomy in warm and cold temperatures. (See sources/references at the bottom for more information on managing an ostomy.)

Hot Weather

SunLong, hot summer days might be great for barbecues and being outdoors, but can be a real nuisance for ostomates. Hot temperatures decrease the wear times by causing skin barriers to break down faster and excess moisture on the skin.

Here are some considerations for managing a stoma in hot climates:

1) Perspiration caused by heat gets between the skin and the barrier, which can cause adhesives to break down. If this is a problem with your adhesive, talk with your nurse and seek out something stronger and more reliable. You can also try an antiperspirant or powder around the ostomy location to keep from perspiration from building up.

2) If you have trouble with ostomy appliance leaks because of moisture, you can also try stoma paste or Eakin seals to create a stronger, more reliable seal.

4) Avoid using any Karaya rubber-based ostomy wafers in high heat conditions. This rubber material is soft and conformable, but in hot conditions it can break down and even melt. It’s best to use a synthetic wafer which tends to have a higher heat threshold.

5) The skin is more susceptible to breakdown when it is hot and moist. his includes the area where the ostomy appliance sits, which can form rashes because of the friction of the pouch against the skin combined with heat. An ostomy pouch cover can be work to soften this, and is also recommended for a more comfortable wear. You can typically find ostomy pouch covers in medical supply stores.

6) Due to sweating, it is especially important for Ostomates to drink more fluids to avoid dehydration.

7) Ostomates who exercise and are more active in the summer months will likely want to keep a variety of pouches, including ostomy mini-pouches and stronger, waterproof adhesives that won’t breakdown if you’re running or swimming. You may also prefer to use a Waterproof tape or elastic ostomy belt with a two-piece system to increase wear time and confidence.

Winter and Cold Weather

SnowThere is indeed more concern over heat and its affects on ostomy appliances than cold. Colder climates are actually far more ideal than excessively hot temperatures when it comes to ostomy appliances, but dry air can sometimes be an issue to cause or affect the skin, causing dryness and irritation.

A dry skin surface is actually the best condition for applying adhesives and ostomy appliances, but excessive dryness on any part of the skin (especially parts covered with adhesives and appliances…) are more susceptible to irritation.

A solution for dry air may be to try a low-cost humidifier indoors to increase the moisture in the air. Use moderation in how much humidity you increase indoors, however, as excess moisture can cause adhesives to loosen, and can also cause issues with mold in the home.

How much humidity is good? Sticking within a range of 30-50% relative humidity (measured with a hygrometer) is a good range to keep skin from getting too dry without overwhelming you or your home.

Do you have more Ostomy tips for ostomy pouches and different climate conditions? Have you dealt with climate conditions that changed the way you think and wear your ostomy appliances? Leave your comments below!

New Standardized Ostomy Algorithm Aims to Help Nurses and Improve Life for Patients

A lot of ostomy care has moved away from highly specialized staff and hospitals to non-specialized clinicians and, sometimes, home care settings. Because of this, it has become increasingly more necessary to set standards for Ostomy care where a patient’s safety and quality of life can be assured.

Enter the Ostomy Algorithm, a set of 11 assessments for non-specialist clinicians to identify the type of ostomy and to optimize care for their patients.

Recently published in the journal Ostomy Wound Management, new quantitative and qualitative results validate the new standardized algorithm for Ostomy care, making it the first guideline for ostomy care management to go through content validation.

The algorithm was developed by an expert panel of WOCN clinicians along with ConvaTec, a manufacturer and provider of Ostomy supplies and innovative technologies in the field. Part of this algorithm includes one of ConvaTec’s new medical tools for health care professionals, known as the SACS Instrument, allowing clinicians to assess and classify peristomal skin lesions as well as track their progress. (Peristomal lesions are a complication facing many ostomates.)

The study validation consisted of 166 ostomy care experts who were asked to quantify the validity of the Ostomy Algorithm’s components on a 4 point grading scale.

Overall, individual scores ranged from 3.59 – 3.91 and an overall validity index of .95 out of 1.0.

These results are well-received; while further refinements are made, it demonstrates the potential for a standardized, evidence-based method for improved Ostomy care that benefits both health care professionals and patients alike.