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When Your Stoma Makes Noise

OstomyLife Co-Moderator
05/01/19  9:40 AM PST
When Your Stoma Makes Noise

Having a stoma is the reason I am able to get up every morning and live my life. With that said, gas noise may be my biggest complaint. If only I could shut this thing up!

Noise is one of my biggest sources of anxiety – especially when in meetings, or when I was in a school setting (as if exams aren’t nerve-wracking enough). In these quiet environments, it seems everyone notices even the smallest of noises.

I wish I could offer one solid solution to gas noise, but truthfully, managing stoma noise is a constant battle for people with an ostomy – day in and day out. So far, I have not cracked the code. Whether at work, out having dinner, or hanging with friends, I’m usually on high alert for stoma noises. The exception is when I am alone or in noisy settings (outdoor festivals are great for this!)

But gas is a part of life for everyone, stoma or not. Since ostomy surgery, I have developed a few techniques to quiet things down the best I can:

Wear thick clothing/layers. I find that a big, baggy sweatshirt, a winter jacket, or even wearing an undershirt can help reduce noise. I also sometimes put my hands in a sweatshirt pocket or jacket pockets and push against my stoma when I feel gas coming to muffle it even more (see below). This helps reduce the sound probably 70% of the time, but we all know that when your stoma wants to be heard, it will yell through any amount of clothing!

Muffling the sound with your hand. As noted with the sweatshirt pocket, you can put your hand over your stoma when you feel gas coming. I do this often, however sometimes it doesn’t work perfectly. Without a sweatshirt or a pocket for your hand, people may wonder why your hand is on your stomach and pushing into it. This can draw attention to your ostomy pouch, which may be about to balloon up with gas until the filter can remove it. You may also worry that if you put your hand over your stoma, and it is too loud to be muffled this way, you’ve just made things more obvious! But for me, most of the time placing a hand over my stoma muffles things enough to make it worth the risk.

Adjust your diet. Avoiding gassy foods can reduce noise by not making you so gassy in the first place. Beans, cheese, cucumbers, milk, whole wheat breads… all can contribute to gas. (For more information about foods to avoid, check out Nutrition and Your Ostomy.) Foods that tend to cause less gas include meat, fish, eggs, and some fruits and vegetables (if you can eat them) like lettuce, tomatoes, cantaloupe, and grapes. These are foods that are suggested as less likely to produce gas, but every individual’s results will vary. If you aren’t sure what foods may be contributing to stoma noise, a food diary may help you figure out what foods in your diet are producing gas in your body.

If any of you have any further tips and tricks to reduce stoma noise, please comment below!

For more information, see other related articles and resources here:

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Dear Laura, I wear a two piece ostomy bag. I need help with concealing an ostomy bag. When I move around my shirt hikes up and the tip of the bag peeks out from under my shirt.
Tom
Hi Tom, I have a few suggestions that may help!
 
First, I'm wondering if a stealth belt would be a good option for you. This is a black belt that you can conveniently tuck your pouch...


Comments

1 Comment

  1. Susan
    Posted May 7, 2019 at 12:54 pm PDT

    Well I am a mortgage loan officer and most days are spent one on one interviews. Of course gas happens, and without warning or suspect! I simply just say, I apologize for my Ostomy, she just will not be quiet so I named her ‍♀️ Sassy, we all laugh and move on with business! I’ve tried all the things you’ve tried. But the worst is during Church Hey but I’m alive!

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