To live with an ostomy pouch is easier said than done. Bad luck never comes alone, and among all other jinxes, the 2 ills that most ostomates deal with are – foul smell and the risk of leakage. Manufacturers have come up with several products over the years to address these issues but the misfortunes hardly cease to persist! This article throws light on how to deal with the menaces faced by ostomates in their day-to-day lives.

Dealing with the odor issue

Given the fact of how embarrassing body odor is, you can well imagine what it takes for ostomates to manage their ostomy smell! A well-fitting ostomy pouch that hasn’t been used for overtime might keep the foul smell at bay. Nevertheless, here are your to-dos to deal with ostomy smell –

  1. The first thing to do is monitoring the body’s response to food. Certain foods create a bad smell in the ostomy pouch and it is for the candidate to figure that out! That is, an ostomate himself (or herself) needs to find out which food is producing gas to lend that awful smell to the bag. Foods that are high in sugars or soluble fibers may give rise to acidity within your digestive system.


  1. Foods that cause your urine to smell badly also need to be avoided. Staying hydrated is a plus for ostomates fighting the foul-smell issue.


  1. Manufacturers of ostomy products in the market have come up with odor eliminators today. Tic Tacs and eliminator sprays are a few things that you may use apart from solutions like staying hygienic, changing the ostomy bag, etc.

The risk of leakage from the ostomy bag

For this, at first, you need to dig into the reasons why ostomy bags leak? The common reasons for the leakage of an ostomy bag are –

An overfilled bag

The pouch is heavy or overweight due to long wear-time. An overfilled pouch is not only susceptible to leakage but also strains the skin where the barrier is attached to the skin! it is therefore important to change the pouch at regular intervals. It is the candidate himself (or herself) who needs to determine the ‘changing interval’ of the ostomy pouch. For some, it may be once a week, while for others it could be thrice!

Calculate the ‘changing time’ of your pouch especially before you travel! If you find out you'll be in the middle of your journey during your 'scheduled' changing time, don't forget to change the pouch beforehand to avoid leakage!

Physical activity

Over time an ostomate begins to lead a normal life. Consequently, he or she could be participating in sports or physical exercise. In the event of such circumstances, one needs to adopt measures like using a support garment to hold the pouch securely in place. Moreover, it’s advisable to empty the pouch before exercising or having sex.


The role of Ostomy Absorbents

The role of ostomy absorbents comes into play at this very point. Fundamentally, absorbents work towards "absorbing" the liquid. They are materials placed inside the ostomy pouch that converts the liquid into a gel-like material.

Ostomy absorbents are available in the form of tablets, gel packets, or pouches. You only need to place them inside your ostomy bag (of course, without opening them). As soon as the gel packet or tablet comes in contact with the liquid (your excretory matter), the output gets converted to a gel. It becomes easier for your bag to hold the output now as it is no longer sloshing around!

The gel settles down at the bottom of the bag paving the way for holding more of the liquid (that is the excretion) than before! Since the gel settles down, it also saves your flange and barrier to come in contact with the liquid. This not only protects your skin but increases the wear time of your ostomy bag too!

If this was a good read for you, you might consider one small piece of suggestion as well – tablets or granules are better performers than the packeted absorbents. The latter includes the time that’s required to dissolve the packet, whereas, the former starts functioning instantly.