Ostomy Hacks | Tips for Living with an Ostomy

Laura Cox, LPC
Ostomy Lifestyle Specialist | Shield HealthCare
03/11/24  1:30 PM PST
Ostomy hacks

There are so many ostomy hacks, tips and tricks people pick up while living with an ostomy. The following five tips are some of my favorite hacks I’ve picked up during my time with an ostomy. Please share any ostomy hacks you’ve picked up in the comments below!

Ostomy Hacks

1. Eating a few large marshmallows 20-30 minutes before changing an ostomy appliance can help slow down ileostomy/colostomy output. This is due to the gelatin in the marshmallows.

ostomy hacks

2. Use a heating pad or hair dryer to warm up a newly applied ostomy wafer to improve the seal. Many hydro-colloid products create a strong seal by melting into the pores of the skin when it is heated up (by body heat or other means). When using a heating pad or a hair dryer, make sure the setting is on “low” so you do not burn yourself.

ostomy hacks

3. Putting toilet paper at the bottom of the toilet bowl reduces splashing. This is not a new or unique tip, but boy is it a good one! Sometimes when you are emptying a full pouch, it splashes onto the underneath of the toilet seat, which makes clean up a necessity. You can avoid this by just placing a few squares of TP at the bottom of the bowl!

ostomy hacks

4. Applying your ostomy pouch at a slight angle away from the body may help eliminate leg abrasion. If your stoma is low, like mine, the end of the pouch may land right by your groin if you apply it directly facing downward. This has always rubbed and caused uncomfortable abrasion for me. I now slightly angle my pouch so it does not rub. Some people prefer to apply the pouch a whole 45 degrees away from the groin, but I find a slight angle works just fine for me!

ostomy hacks

5. Pressure points can help reduce nausea. I still get nauseous fairly easily (generally when I eat too much at one time). A few years ago a nurse showed me some pressure points to help with my nausea. My favorite spot is below the wrist. Here is a link to the wrist pressure point.

What are your thoughts on these “hacks?” We would love to hear some of your favorite tips in the comments below!

Serving Medicare Ostomates Nationwide
Hey Laura, I’m a new ostomate and just got the clearance from my doctor to resume a regular diet. Any tips for things I should watch out for?
Hi Susan, Excellent question!
I would say there are three important things you can do to reduce your risk of problems when returning to a more normal diet...

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