If you have an ileostomy, you will be used to a looser stoma output, whereas with a colostomy you can sometimes pass a looser output, and with a urostomy a higher volume of output, due to factors such as diet, medications, and fluid intake. However, it is important to monitor any episodes of increased output, whatever your stoma type.

A looser output may mean you need to empty or change your bag more often, but it is also more likely to lead to leaks if your stoma care routine isn’t fully secure. If you are experiencing leaks due to an increased volume of output (or for any other reason), you do not have to live with it. There are many solutions available to you, some help to thicken your output and others help make your stoma care routine more secure. Please remember to discuss any concerns you have with your stoma care nurse, who may ask you to measure the volume of your output for monitoring.

Thickening your output

Diet can be a big factor in why your output has changed, so assessing what has caused looser than usual output could be a first step. Foods such as fresh fruits, cereals, and raw vegetables can lead to increased output for those with an ileostomy or colostomy. Drinking alcoholic drinks can also increase the volume of output.

Eating foods like bananas, jellybeans, marshmallows, and natural yogurts (where tolerated) can help thicken your output naturally. More information regarding the effects of foods on your stoma can be found in our Nutrition Guides, available to download online here, but please remember that these are a guide only and you may wish to speak to your stoma care nurse who can direct to a dietitian if you have further questions or concerns.

You may also wish to use a solidifying agent such as ABSORB, which are little sachets that can be added to the inside of your bag to absorb output and solidify it, to make it thicker. Available on prescription and to purchase, click here to check it out.

Secure stoma care routine

If output is getting under your baseplate you may want to consider adding a seal to your routine. Frequent leaks can damage the skin around your stoma making it sore and irritated which can be both painful and difficult to manage.

Using a seal with high absorption properties such as eakin Cohesive® seals, or eakin freeseal®, can help protect you by stopping output from reaching your skin around your stoma.  This extra layer of protection that seals can provide can also help provide a flat surface for your bag to adhere to the skin, creating a secure seal, giving you confidence in your stoma care products even with loose output.


There’s an eakin® seal for every ostomate. Click here to find out more and to sample one today.

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