What people with IBD should know

I am often asked, “What would you tell someone recently diagnosed with IBD?” So, this is what I think you should know! Look out for clickable links in this blog, leading to more detailed information! For many, a definitive diagnosis is a massive relief after a long period of being unwell. This does not mean that acceptance is easy, after all, you have just been diagnosed with a chronic disease which has no cure. Do NOT panic, we’ve got this, life is not over! It is worth pointing out that no two IBD patients’ lives are the same. The disease does not always manifest in the same way, and the fact that a treatment works for one person does not mean it will work for another. This makes IBD notoriously difficult to treat. That said, some IBD patients may have one flare, find the right medication straight away and never have another, and that is fantastic! For the rest of us, being diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease or Ulcerative Colitis may mean some lifestyle changes and som

Ostomies and hot weather

It's not uncommon for Summer to be a source of anxiety for ostomates. The extra heat for a couple of months every year can cause issues, such as itching, melting adhesive, leaks, and dehydration!

It's not something I managed to figure out for myself, but as you probably already know, I'm an active member of the online IBD and Ostomy community, so what better way to find solutions than to ask those that have been dealing with these ostomy problems?!

I received lots of advice from Instagram and the #IBDSuperHeroes Facebook group, so I wanted to share those ideas with you.
Now, just like with IBD, what works for one ostomate may not necessarily work for another, so it may take a few tries and maybe even a combination of these ideas to help you.

Antihistamines help prevent itching for some.

Cotton ostomy bag covers.

Tapping rather than scratching when itching.

Bags with micro-skins rather than a thick flange.

Something to lay over your stomach to keep cool, such as a pet cooling mat.

Lots of different methods were suggested, but the majority were things to apply to the skin before applying a new flange which may help absorb perspiration and/or prevent itching. These were:

  • Baby powder
  • Cornstarch 
  • Barrier wipes/spray/paste
  • Calamine lotion 
  • Roll-on, non-perfumed deodorant
  • Using the crusting method - use a stoma powder then a protective barrier spray. Alternate the two products 3 times before applying a new bag.
For tips on dealing with dehydration, please visit this page.

I'd love to know if you use any of these methods, or if you try any and they work for you!