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Common Ileostomy Problems

Dehydration

If you experience symptoms such as tiredness, leg cramps, thirst, lightheadedness or headaches, you could be dehydrated – make sure you are drinking enough fluids for your
needs.

Blockages

If the bowel motion from your stoma has stopped for longer than is usual or your bag contains a lot of watery fluid, you could have a blockage.

If the colour, amount, consistency of your bowel motion changes significantly or your stoma swells in size and becomes a deeper red colour, you may also have a blockage.

You should contact your doctor or specialist nurse if you feel unwell with stomach pains, nausea (feeling sick) or vomiting.

Ilestomy Bag Leakage

Ileostomy bag leaks can occur for a variety of different reasons, which can include:

  • Ileostomy bag hole is too large – this needs to be a snug fit
  • Ileostomy 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
  • 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.

Speak to your healthcare professional for advice.