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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    Symptons of constipation with a stoma?

    I have clear watery gel like substance in colostomy bag with relatively small output over 15 hours and pain in stomach.
  • Find a professional to answer your question

  • 1


    Bowel Cancer Australia is the leading community-funded charity dedicated to prevention, early diagnosis, research, quality treatment and care for everyone affected by bowel cancer. We … View Profile

    Thanks for your enquiry.The symptoms you have described do sound similar to constipation. I suggest you go to see your GP as soon as you can so they can examine you and confirm if it is constipation or not. Your GP will be able to prescribe stool softeners to help if this is the case. In the meantime keep drinking plenty of water to hydrate the bowel and help soften stools.

    Kind Regards,
    Bowel Cancer Australia Nurse Adviser

    Please Note: The information provided by Bowel Cancer Australia’s Nurse and Nutritionist Advisory Services is intended for Australian residents as a reference guide only.  It is not a substitute for independent professional advice and is not intended to be used to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease or disorder.
    If you believe your symptoms are consistent with those of bowel cancer or a digestive illness, please consult your doctor.
    Bowel Cancer Australia, its directors, officers or medical professionals shall not be liable to any person, company or any other body for any loss, direct or indirect or consequential on whatsoever account for any omission or negligent misstatement.

  • 1


    Chris Fonda

    Dietitian, Nutritionist, Sports Dietitian

    As an Accredited Sports Dietitian, APD and athlete (springboard diver), Chris has both professional and personal experience in sport at the sub-elite and elite level.Chris … View Profile

    As mentioned by Bowel Cancer Australia, try to increase your fluid intake, this can come from water, juice, tea, coffee, milk etc. Increasing your fluid intake will help to soften your stools and allow easy passage. Try drinking at least 8-10 glasses of these fluids daily. Making sure you are eating regularly can also help as it keeps the digestive tract moving. See the below attached link for dietary advice for people with colostomies:

    You might also like to think about taking some natural laxatives such as prunes or prune juice, figs, fruit juice, coffee, liquorice, spicy food or chocolate. Alternatively you may like to speak to your GP about a stool softener. For more expert advice on how diet can help with managing your colostomy, speak to an Accredited Practising Dietitian (APD) who is experienced in the gastrointestinal field. You may like to contact the dietitian at the hospital you were previously at for a quick chat. 

  • Lynette Lamb

    Dietitian, Nutritionist

    For Medical Nutrition Chronic constipation and diarrhoea Gut/Bowel diseases & disorders Including Reflux Coeliac Disease and re Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), … View Profile

    • if vomitting or nausea and appetite reduced (output bound) -immedicate refer GP/ medical specialist 
    • fluid requirement is dependent on your current weight and position of stoma in the colon - guide 8 glasses based on 55-60kg.
    • to help  ensure adequate fluid,  pear juice (can) 150-200 ml,  warm water, and foods/fluids as per other posts
    • there are some very good stool softeners/aperients however need to discuss with GP as care need to be taken with medications
    All the best

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