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Common Colostomy Problems Page Contents

Common Colostomy Problems

Colostomy Bag Constipation

Constipation with a colostomy can occasionally cause colostomy bag problems; however, there are one or two simple remedies to try before seeking further stoma advice:

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  • Increase fresh fruit and/or fresh fruit juice, vegetables and high fibre foods. We also recommend taking a look at our colostomy diet advice for further guidance. If you are in search of some culinary inspiration, our meal ideas for stoma patients offer some delicious recipes.
  • Increase fluid intake, especially when eating more fibre
  • Try, where possible, to do some gentle exercises such as walking or swimming

Colostomy Bag Leakage

If you find that your colostomy bag keeps leaking, or even if it only happens occasionally, this could be caused by a variety of reasons, including:

  • The colostomy bag hole is too large – this needs to be a snug fit
  • The colostomy bag is applied incorrectly – this can be due to creases in adhesive and abdominal skin behind the pouch. To combat this, the skin needs to be gently stretched; please see our practical tips on how to apply your stoma pouch for further information.
  • Skin is too moist – make sure the skin is dry before applying the stoma pouch
  • Stoma is in a dip or crease in the abdomen – try paste, washers or different pouches to help the adhesive gently conform to the body’s shape. Speak to your healthcare professional for advice.
  • Stoma is flat or retracted – you may need a stoma pouch with a convex flange.

If you have further questions, we suggest speaking to your healthcare professional or consulting our stoma FAQs.