Question: Considering a Stoma for Severe IBS, Endometriosis, and Fibromyalgia

I’ve been suffering from severe IBS since I was 10 and am now 43, with additional diagnoses of endometriosis and fibromyalgia. The anxiety and physical limitations stemming from these conditions are severely impacting my life, including my ability to work and leave a difficult relationship. I am considering a stoma as a solution but am concerned about its feasibility due to my excessive sweating. Would a stoma stay attached despite heavy sweating? Also, I’m uncertain if it would alleviate my bowel pain, considering the endometriosis and nerve pain. Am I even a candidate for this?

Response: Evaluating the Suitability of an Ostomy with Consideration of Severe Sweating and Chronic Conditions

Thank you for reaching out with your concerns. It’s understandable that you are seeking relief from the debilitating effects of your chronic conditions. Regarding the adhesion of ostomy flanges in the presence of heavy sweating, it’s important to note that they require dry skin for optimal attachment. However, some products are designed to manage a degree of moisture.

I recommend consulting with a specialized ostomy nurse (NSWOC) who can evaluate your specific situation. They can provide insights on different flange compositions and potentially offer trials with various ostomy products to assess their adherence to your skin, even with sweating. You can find an NSWOC near you through this link: Find an NSWOC.

In terms of pain management, it is hopeful that some of your discomfort might be alleviated with an ostomy, but this should be discussed in detail with your healthcare team. They can give a more informed opinion based on your comprehensive medical history, including your endometriosis and nerve pain.

An appointment with an ostomy nurse could also be a valuable step in addressing the anxiety you’re experiencing regarding the prospect of living with an ostomy and its impact on your quality of life. They can offer both practical advice and emotional support as you consider this option.

Lauren, RN, BSN, MClSc (WH), NSWOC, CWOCN

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