The holiday season is a time of indulgence, and while the festive feasts are a delight, ostomates need to be mindful of the potential for blockages. The abundance of rich, hearty foods can pose challenges for those with a stoma.

Festive foods, often high in fibre, can contribute to thicker output and a higher risk of blockages. While fibre is essential for overall health, it’s crucial for ostomates to strike a balance to help keep your stoma working effectively.

We have compiled a list of our top tips on how to prevent stoma blockages during the festive period:

  • Opt for cooked and peeled fruits and vegetables, since the skin typically contributes more towards stoma blockages.
  • Be mindful of the foods that typically cause you blockages and try to minimise these. Of course, everyone is different – only you truly know your stoma.
  • Chewing thoroughly is another simple yet effective practice to prevent blockages. Taking the time to savour your food can aid digestion and reduce the likelihood of causing issues in the stoma.
  • Stay well-hydrated throughout the festivities. Adequate fluid intake helps maintain the proper consistency of stoma output, reducing the risk of blockages.

If you do happen to get a stoma blockage this Christmas, here are a few suggestions on how to get rid of the blockage:

  • Drink more fluids to flush away the blockage.
  • Enjoy a warm bath to ease the discomfort.
  • Attempt to manipulate your stomach muscles to help stimulate your bowel.
  • Contact your stoma worse if the symptoms worsen or last longer than 12 hours.

If the pain becomes severe or you become dehydrated, call the doctor, or ask someone to take you to the hospital. It is important that you do not take laxatives or any medication without speaking to your doctor. Unless your health care professionals have advised you to, do not insert anything into your stoma.

If you are vomiting and or have no output, you should not drink or eat anything. Don’t wait too long to call a doctor, if you feel something isn’t right, please do seek advice.

By being mindful of your dietary choices and practicing good stoma care habits, you can navigate the festive season without compromising your digestive health.