Common causes and some quick and simple fixes:

It’s normal to experience leaks at some point in your stoma journey – especially in the early days as you get the hang of your stoma care routine. Luckily, there are plenty of stoma leak solutions that are known for fixing the situation quickly. 
It’s always a good idea to chat with your stoma care nurse about any issues with leaks as they may want to switch your appliances. In the meantime, here are a few common culprits – and how to fix them. 

What causes increased or loose output  

Stoma leaks often happen thanks to loose or liquid output. Changes to your output can be caused by:

  • Medications
  • A change in diet
  • Fluid intake
  • An infection or illness

Recognising loose output that’s not normal for you

If you’ve got an ileostomy, a looser stoma output might be normal for you. A colostomy means you’re likely to experience a looser output sometimes. And if you’ve got a urostomy, you might be used to a higher volume of output.  It’s important to get to know what’s usual for you, and to monitor any episodes of increased output.

If you’re experiencing a higher volume or an unusually looser ouput than usual, you’ll probably be emptying or changing your stoma bag more often, which can also lead to leaks. Luckily, there are plenty of stoma leak solutions that can fix the problem with just a few tweaks. But no matter what, it’s a good idea to report any changes to your stoma care nurse, who may ask you to measure the volume of your output for monitoring. They’ll also be able to provide some extra solutions.  

Helpful tips if you’ve got an ileostomy or colostomy:

Thickening your output

Diet plays a huge factor in any changes to your output. So, putting your detective hat on and trying to pinpoint any new or different foods or liquids that might have caused your looser-than-usual output is a good first step. Some common culprits include:

  • Fresh fruit
  • Cereals
  • Raw vegetables
  • Alcohol (sorry!)

There are also some foods you can add into your diet to help you naturally thicken your output. These include:  

  • Bananas
  • Jellybeans (yes, really!)
  • Marshmallows
  • Natural yogurts

You can find out more about the effects of foods on your stoma in our nutrition advice guides.

These are designed as a guide only, and if you’re looking for more personalised info, then your stoma care nurse will be able to put you in touch with a dietitian.