Ostomy Odour Control

The Issue of Ostomy Odour

Ostomy odour control is a common problem for people with ostomies. It can even be a potential source of embarrassment and insecurity and have a dramatic impact on your mental health. So, what can you do?

Commercial Solutions For Ostomy Odour Control

Many ostomy manufacturers have products designed to target odour control. Consider these Odour-Eliminator Drops from Hollister Canada. Also, consider Prelam’s Just a Drop odour eliminator. You can also use room deodorizer sprays, such as Febreze, when changing your ostomy; however, do not spray these inside your pouch.

Essential Oils

Another safe option to deodorize your pouch is to use essential oils, such as lavender. This study found that using lavender oil in colostomy patients effectively reduced odours, helped alleviate stress, and promoted sleep due to its natural calming effects.

Nutrition For Ostomy Odour Control

It’s important to be mindful of what you eat. Certain foods can promote gas or strong odours. These can include onion, garlic, and fish. Foods that help decrease odours include yogurt, parsley, and buttermilk. If you have a urostomy, consider drinking cranberry juice. It’s key to remember this advice is general, and what works for some may not work for others. Try to keep a journal of how you respond to certain foods. Also, try introducing new foods one at a time, so if you respond poorly to a food, you know which one it is. Finally, talk to your Nurse Specialized in Wound, Ostomy, and Continence (NSWOC), or medical provider for personalized advice.

Managing Your Ostomy

It’s key to implement self-care practices and care for your ostomy regularly. This includes emptying your pouch regularly. Aim to empty it when it reaches a third or halfway full. This helps reduce odours and the chance of a leak forming. The frequency at which you need to empty it will vary depending on the individual and type of ostomy. Consult with your NSWOC or healthcare provider about using an odour-reducing filter with your bag or how to achieve the perfect fit. If your ostomy appliance doesn’t fit perfectly, it can leak odours.

Talk to Your Medical Provider

As with any ostomy issue, talking to your medical provider or NSWOC about your problems is important. This allows them to support you better and address your concerns. They may also be able to assist you with other options. Devrom is one of those options. It’s an internal deodorant formulated as a chewable pill containing bismuth subgallate, which neutralizes odours. While it’s available without a prescription, speak to your healthcare provider about whether it’s the best option for you.

By Erika Kana, RN, Content Writer, Ostomy Canada Marketing Team.

Erika Kana is a Calgary-based Registered Nurse and health content writer. She has experience in geriatric and medical-surgical nursing and specializes in emergency nursing. Her diverse nursing experiences have sparked an interest in wound and ostomy nursing. Erika regularly seeks out ways to learn more about ostomy management and research.


2 Responses

  1. I find by first lightly spraying the inside of my colostomy bag with water then drop a teaspoon of corn starch in the bag (shake to distribute), helps bundle up the feces so that it is easily disposed of. The feces accumulates at the round part of the bag and doesn’t drop to the bottom, making it easy to dispose of. Having to dump the feces by the bottom opening creates a smell and a mess to clean up. It is a little more work because it increases the disposal times, but well worth the effort. When I go to events, dumping the bag is quicker and much less complicated.

    1. Thank you for sharing your technique on managing your colostomy bag! It’s always enlightening to hear about the different methods people use to make their daily routines more manageable and efficient. Your approach of lightly spraying the inside of the bag with water and then adding a teaspoon of cornstarch sounds like an innovative way to handle the disposal process. It’s great to hear that this method helps in keeping the feces accumulated at the top of the bag, thus simplifying disposal and reducing odors and mess.

      Your insight about the increased frequency of disposal being a worthwhile trade-off for the ease and reduced complication, especially during events, is a valuable tip for others who may face similar challenges. It’s these kinds of shared experiences that can really make a difference in the quality of life for individuals with colostomies.

      Do you have any other tips or tricks that you’ve found helpful in your journey? We’d love to hear more about your experiences and solutions! Thanks again for contributing to our community with your helpful advice.

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