TMI: Ostomy Issues

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I’m a very active mother of kids so nothing can stop me from getting things done.Also I think nothing like this is permanent and there are always new advances in medicine. I do know that all the little things you take for granted that are precious, now have become complicated. Since my temporary ostomy I had a heads up to all the obstacles to come with my new ostomy.Here is my point blank and very specific description of my ostomy woes.

In April 2008 due to a Crohns disease colonoscopy gone wrong, I received a temporary ostomy which proved to make a nightmare summer. Since September 2014, I now have a permanent ostomy which can be awful at times. Since the surgery I have regained a normal weight, feel better and don’t take any Crohns medicines right now. Even so, I have this whole other set of issues with the ostomy to deal with.

First of all I have very sensitive skin so I break out in rashes/fungal skin infections, so the bags don’t stick well to my skin. In 2008 and still now It is quite the experimental process to get the appliances to stick to my skin more than 2 to 3 days. I have been going through many different kinds of products to try to achieve success.

Second there are no great appliances yet that stay on long enough to make any water activities pleasant. Taking a shower is now a luxury and a gross process. Also a bath is out of the question. Swimming I can’t even imagine yet.

Third of all when you pass gas, wind or fart your bag starts to fill with air. Then you run the risk of it popping or exploding poo all over, if you don’t release the excess air in it. It is amazing that  you become aware that this is happening even when sleeping.

Fourth is emptying and sealing the ostomy bag. You thought wiping your butt was bad. When you wake up half asleep in the middle of the night to empty the bag, you try not to pass out from the smell because your nose is up close to the toilet as you do this. As you are doing this there is also poop getting on your fingers. Then you have to wipe the poop off the bag closure so that you can roll or clip it shut. It’s also great when you have to empty it in a not so clean bathroom of a store or gas station. Then I put down paper towels to kneel on so my pants don’t get dirty.

Fifth is sexual relations with your partner is not the same. It is difficult for me to feel awesome and sexual with my ostomy bag flapping around. My significant other doesn’t seem to mind,but I’m grossed out by any long drawn out lovemaking events.

Last but not least I have to carry a little ostomy emergency supply bag with me wherever I go. Sometimes my bag may leak so i have to patch it and other times it is coming off so I have to replace it before there is poo all over my clothing.

I have talked to many support groups, Doctors and regular people on the woes of the ostomy. Some people really understand what this all about and others don’t quite get it. So here is a big hoorah to all my fellow troopers out there.

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Waterproof Ostomy Protection

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So I finally have to deal with a possible permanent ileostomy.I have been down this road before when I had a bad experience with a temporary ostomy in 2008 and now it’s happening again because I have severe skin allergies to many products.

Being in or around water is a very integral part of my family life. Just to take a regular shower can be a chore with an ostomy. The ostomy nurses try to be helpful but their products and supplies are limited.

Swimming is a great way for ostomy patients to keep fit and maintain good energy levels. To swim with a ostomy bag attached is fine as long as some securing ostomy product is used, or swimwear that fits firmly around the waist/abdomen is worn. If you are worried about discretion, there are special small ostomy bags available which are very discrete and ideal for swimming.http://cymedostomy.com/

There are trendy bikinis with an internal pouch that runs from the left side to the right. They are made to support ostomy pouches during swimming or sunbathing. They are easy to use if the wearer simply angles the ostomy bag and places it inside the internal pouch so that the opening is angled in the direction between the legs. The benefit of this kind of swimwear is that the ostomy appliance is no longer against the skin thus reducing any sweating that can cause odor or irritation. It is also good because it reduces visits to the bathroom as internal pouches hold the colostomy bag contents which stop it from bulging out in an unsightly manner.

There is an ostomy protector called Dry Pro which has a watertight vacuum seal that fits snug yet comfortable during a shower, a bath and even an active swim. It’s made of high quality surgical latex, that is both durable and re-usable and is guaranteed for a year. After putting on the ostomy protector, the pump sucks out the air so that the ostomy protector cannot come off, plus the ostomy pouch stays completely dry and secure. To choose a size you should measure around the circumference at the Stoma or around the waist area. Make sure it will fit snug and flush around the skin. If you are between sizes, they recommend opting for the smaller size as the material used in the ostomy protector has a lot of give. A “rule of thumb: the best fit is within 2 inches of the navel. The best fit needs to have as smooth a surface as possible, consequently scarring can be an issue.”

http://cymedostomy.com/

http://www.theraquatics.com/waterproof-ostomy-protector-cover.html

http://www.drycorp.com/content/waterproof-ostomy-protector-information/

http://www.ostomyarmor.com/

Swimwear and Underwear :

http://www.ostomysecrets.com

http://www.whiterosecollection.co.uk/

http://www.glitterbeach.co.uk/

http://www.stomaatje.com/clothing.html

What Should Eating Gluten Free Mean?

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It should mean getting back to basics of eating real foods that our ancestors ate 100 years ago or more, but with some twists. Not buying up all the trendy gluten free products on the store shelves.When a loaf of bread or bagels weren’t filled with artificial ingredients and preservatives with high sugar contents.

Everything now is made to be so fast and convenient but not many of us even read what the ingredients are.We eat at all these fast food places that have souped up sauces, bread on top of breaded meats,and french fries that live forever when dropped under the seats of our vehicles. More than half the things on store shelves have ingredients we can’t even pronounce, let alone do we know what they are.

As someone who has had Crohns Disease for 28 years it has been trial and error to just stay away from all the junk out there. All the artificial ingredient filled breads,cookies and fast foods are always so tempting. Gluten is added unnecessarily to thicken things like meats, sauces, soups and boxed foods. Then add in the extra artificial sugars and outrageous amounts of sodium to food products, so that our bodies can’t even process it to get proper nutrients.

There are so many diseases like diabetes, ADHD, IBS, and more that can benefit from eating real food like meat,fruit and vegetables. We don’t always need to eat all the bread, pasta and rice. If you do want grains without all the gluten try Ronzoni mixed grain pasta and real rice. The tough one is bread because there aren’t many gluten free bakeries and the store stuff is outrageous. It is however easy to make real bread at home. A Betty Crocker Cookbook has a REAL bread recipe which  has all purpose flour, 1-2 tbsp. sugar, salt, butter or shortening, yeast, and water or milk. That’s what real bread used to be, but there are also gluten free all purpose flours for making bread.

WELL GOOD LUCK IF YOUR JOURNEY TO BETTER HEALTH INCLUDES BECOMING GLUTEN FREE.

Are We unknowingly Gluttons for Gluten?

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Why do so many doctors in the US ignore that many more people than you think are affected by gluten? It is because they are backed by big pharmaceutical and food companies, plus not taught the importance of  food intolerances on health. Other countries like Australia, Ireland,Italy, Finland and South America recognize food intolerances, especially gluten.If you have a disease like Crohn’s,Colitis, diabetes,Celiac, autism,thyroid disease, migraines and more, you can vastly improve your health.

Many people don’t even understand just how much gluten is hidden in all of our foods. Since the late 60’s and early 70’s the food industry has introduced more hidden gluten containing foods than people ever used to eat. Almost all of our boxed, bottled and packaged food products have outrageous amounts of gluten and other unnatural ingredients.People used to eat more real homegrown and homemade foods. Now because of stress, poor diet, fast paced lives and different bacteria from other places coming into our lives, the gene has been awakened more in many people.

Gluten is the protein component in wheat, Barley, Rye and a sticky binding substance added to many foods. Many of us have digestive systems that cannot digest gluten protein into amino acid building blocks.When this happens the inside of our intestines become inflamed and release antibodies that can cause a cavalcade of reactions throughout the body. It is estimated that 1 out of 133 Americans have gluten sensitivity or even Celiac disease.The gene for Celiac and gluten intolerance is usually carried throughout a families genetics.

Celiac disease and gluten sensitivity is a multisystem disorder that has a wide range of symptoms and effects many body functions. The most alarming thing for me is that Celiac disease is often misdiagnosed as Crohns disease, IBS,Chronic fatigue syndrome and acid reflux. I was diagnosed with Crohns disease as a child and have almost all the symptoms listed. Here is a partial list of Celiac indicators:

Abdominal pain, Anemia,constipation,Diarrhea, Distension, Excessive weight loss with a large appetite, excessive weight gain, Fatigue, gas,Headaches,Joint/bone pain, muscle cramps,skin rashes, smelly bowel movements,inside mouth sores, vitamin deficiency, missed periods,delayed puberty and stunted growth in children.

If you are now concerned because your health hasn’t really improved with all the drugs, get tested.There are a few tests for Celiac disease: a blood test that runs the following panel(Antiendomysial antibody, Total serum IgA, Antigliadin antibody,Tissue transglutaminase), an endoscopy biopsy and Human Leukocyte antigen test.

Much of this research came from Dr. Peter Green, Dr. Andrew Weil, Elisabeth Hasselback, Jennifer Esposito

Fistulas and Crohn’s Disease woes

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Since 2011 my Crohn’s disease has been drastically changing. Many things attributed to my declining health. I decided to go to school full time to finish my graphic design degree and I went back to work at a 25 hour plus week job. Then added into all this is friends, family and household time. This cavalcade of stressors lead me to lose sight of eating well and slowing down.

In April 2011 I was hospitalized for a week with an abcess. Then in June 2011 I was transported in an ambulance from my hometown hospital to a bigger hospital for a week due to a UTI infection because the abcess didn’t totally go away.Then it was the same day in June of 2012 that I was again transported to the bigger hospital for a UTI infection and dehydration due to a fistula attached to my colon. In between this I also got Bells Palsy due a nervous system response of being on and off so many antibiotics.Next on August 16, 2013, again I was hospitalized for a UTI due to the same thing. My latest visit to the hospital was March 20th 2014 for the same UTI/ fistula to colon infection.

Each time I have lost 5 to 10 pounds of weight and can’t seem to gain it back. Since 2011 the doctors have wanted me to have surgery to totally remove my colon and the offending fistula. By no means is this a cure for my problems.

In 2013 I graduated with my Associates degree in Graphic Design.Yay, I finally finished my second attempt at a college degree. At the end of April of this year I quit my part-time office job.Now I have slowed down, but at 5ft 1in., I weigh 82lbs and still keep breaking out with UTI’s due to my bladder fistula to colon attachment. I also have changed my diet, but it is hard to not be tempted by flare up foods with kids and family.

My woe for surgery is because In 2008 I had a 3 month temporary colostomy bag and it was the worst experience. Also I have several relatives with ileostomy or colostomy bags who still have horrible Crohn’s or Colitis. Still I’m at a stopping point of what they can do for my Crohns because of the fistula.Surgery is almost inevitable.

A Parent’s Work is Never Done

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I give kudos to the mom or dad who works part-time or full time, does housework plus all the extracurricular activities with their child or children. I tried to be supermom along with the everyday challenges of my Crohn’s Disease. When you live with a chronic disease there are often unexpected road blocks. It’s frustrating because I can plan to go to an event and end up being very ill.

Not so long ago I went to college full-time, worked part-time, ran kids to and from places and also did housework. All of that really took a toll on my health, my well being and loss of me. I finally realized I had to slow down a little to plan better meals and snacks for myself,so that I can be there for family, friends and be a better me.

Skinny Mini’s Struggle to Gain Weight

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  • Increase your calorie intake, but try not to do so by eating a lot of saturated fat. Skinny women who want to gain weight think they’d be happy with any fat, but fat that is not designated can end up anywhere. Genetics determine where your fat will go so eat more good food, and do it slowly.

  • 2

    Pursue lean muscle weight gain by exercising and lifting weights. Hire a trainer to guide you in the right direction. Muscle weighs more than fat and distributes itself evenly.

  • 3

    Stay away from treadmills and stair stepper machines. Aerobic type exercises are good for the heart but will not cause weight gain. If anything, you’ll burn more calories and lose more weight.

  • 4

    Keep track of the amount of calories you consume in a given week. In order to gain weight, add about 500 calories to your norm. After a few weeks if you do not see a noticeable difference, add 500 more. Do this until you begin gaining weight.

  • 5

    Consume 20 to 50 percent of your calories in proteins each day. This food group includes chicken breast, turkey breast, lean beef, eggs, fish and milk.

  • 6

    Eat 30 to 60 percent of your calories in carbohydrates, which include, potatoes, brown rice, oats, pasta, whole grains, black beans, sweet corn and broccoli.

  • 7

    Make sure to eat 20 to 30 percent of your calories in unsaturated fats and consume avocados, nuts and oils which provide your body with essential fatty acids.

  • 8

    Drink a vitamin enriched meal replacement powder if you find it hard to eat six nourishing meals. Check the contents on the container before purchasing. Most of these protein drinks are high in nutritional value.

  • 9

    Enable your body to absorb a higher amount of nutrients by eating six times a day rather than the traditional three. This recommendation isn’t just for those trying to lose weight. It has been proven to benefit all people of all sizes.

Read more : http://www.ehow.com/how_4557005_can-skinny-woman-gain-weight_.html

As a woman with Crohn’s Disease I’m constantly struggling with maintaining a healthy weight. Even as a child I was called skinny Mini because I was so small and skinny. It wasn’t until I was 14 that I was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease. A cavalcade of Crohn”s complications such as UTI’s, my period, allergies and inflammation have always made it difficult to gain or maintain weight for very long.Now as an adult, I get so tired of seeing and hearing all the commercials about how to lose weight.

  • Pursue lean muscle weight gain by exercising and lifting weights. Hire a trainer to guide you in the right direction. Muscle weighs more than fat and distributes itself evenly.

  • 3

    Stay away from treadmills and stair stepper machines. Aerobic type exercises are good for the heart but will not cause weight gain. If anything, you’ll burn more calories and lose more weight.

  • 4

    Keep track of the amount of calories you consume in a given week. In order to gain weight, add about 500 calories to your norm. After a few weeks if you do not see a noticeable difference, add 500 more. Do this until you begin gaining weight.

  • 5

    Consume 20 to 50 percent of your calories in proteins each day. This food group includes chicken breast, turkey breast, lean beef, eggs, fish and milk.

  • 6

    Eat 30 to 60 percent of your calories in carbohydrates, which include, potatoes, brown rice, oats, pasta, whole grains, black beans, sweet corn and broccoli.

  • 7

    Make sure to eat 20 to 30 percent of your calories in unsaturated fats and consume avocados, nuts and oils which provide your body with essential fatty acids.

  • 8

    Drink a vitamin enriched meal replacement powder if you find it hard to eat six nourishing meals. Check the contents on the container before purchasing. Most of these protein drinks are high in nutritional value.

  • 9

    Enable your body to absorb a higher amount of nutrients by eating six times a day rather than the traditional three. This recommendation isn’t just for those trying to lose weight. It has been proven to benefit all people of all sizes.

Read more : http://www.ehow.com/how_4557005_can-skinny-woman-gain-weight_.html

A woman who is underweight can develop many health issues such as a weakened immune system, decreased muscle mass, unhealthy hair, skin and nails, weakened bones and the inability to menstruate. Gaining weight and maintaining a healthy lifestyle can decrease the probability of these health issues. Women should look for healthy ways to gain weight, rather than gaining weight through increasing fat on their body.

 Throughout the years I can’t even begin to tell you how many people have said you’re so skinny, you should eat more. Little did they know that I have always had a great appetite, but  many times I felt sick after eating foods.Until a few years ago, I never really considered how much of it could be food allergies and intolorences. After food allergy testing it was found that I’m intolerant to most dairy, also the test was inconclusive to gluten and yeast.

  To gain weight, You are going to have to eat far more than before if you want to gain weight.It takes a little extra planning and a different mindset to eat more frequent small meals, especially if you are on the go. Since body composition is 80% diet, you are going to have to eat 5-6 small meals a day or 3 regular meals and snacks in between each. You need to provide lots and lots of proteins for those hormones to synthesize. This will be a new journey that I hope will get you back to wellness.

 Eat healthy fats

Eat plenty of healthy fats to increase your caloric intake. Eat your egg yolks, bananas,nuts,fish, coconut oil and other healthy fats.

 Increase protein intake

Never let your protein intake go lower than 1g/lb of body weight when you are aiming to add long-term muscle. It’s the building block of muscle, and your body is going to be starving for it.

 Foods that help you gain weight

Whole eggs: It is economical and loaded with protein, vitamins A,D, E plus good cholesterol. make hard boiled eggs, scrambled eggs and even deviled eggs.

Butter: Butter is linked with long term weight gain. Intake of butter should be in moderation, as regular consumption of butter is bad for your heart.

Fish: The vital fatty acids in tuna contain a host of healthy fats, which not only aid in weight gain but also help in maintaining physical well-being.Sardines, tuna, salmon, mackerel, & herring are 5 of the fattiest fish that are also rich in omega 3 fatty acids, known to protect against cardiovascular disease.

Natural fruit and juice: Sip 100-per cent fruit juice that’s low in added sugar and high in nutrients. Also eat fresh or frozen fruit whenever possible.All natural,unsweetened applesauce is also a good way to get your fruit.

Eat lots and lots of healthy vegetables:

  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Green and red cabbage
    • Asparagus
    • Kale
    • Spinach
    • Swiss chard
    • Collard greens
    • The herb parsley
    • Red and green lettuce
    • Mustard and turnip greens
      • Peas
      • Lentils
      • Soybeans
      • Lima beans
      • Kidney beans
      • Garbanzo beans
      • And other legumes
  • Leeks
  • Onions
  • Shallots
  • Scallions
  • Garlic
  • Sweet potatoes and yams
  • Summer and winter squash

Nut Butters– Spread natural peanut butter, almond butter or cashew butter on bread or crackers. It gives you approximately 192 calories, plus it is extra high in protein.

Energy bars – Are good for when you are on the go and can’t stop for a proper meal and snack. Find bars with no artificial sugars or none at all. They are loaded with good-for-you nuts and oats.

Smoothies – Invest in a blender if you don’t have one because smoothies are a fast way to combine all your nutrients in a convenient take along meal/snack. You can make a few smoothies ahead of time and freeze them too.

Oil – Adding extra fat to your food is an easy way to add calories, choose olive oil, canola oil, etc. which is good for your health and will add those much needed calories too.

Bananas – One banana contains approximately 100 calories. Not only are bananas rich in carbs and nutritious, they’re also great for workout fuel.

 Daily tips to gain weight

Include three to four servings of fruits and vegetables to your daily diet. It is best to consume fruits in their natural form to get all the nutrients.

Make sure you get enough rest.

Oats: A bowl of oatmeal is the perfect nutritious breakfast. It is high in fiber, and it also provides the body with vital nutrients.

Yogurt: The healthy fruit-flavored, yogurt can give you as much as 118 calories. Include it in your daily diet for quick weight gain. If lactose or milk intolerant, buy soy, goat milk or other alternative

Chew food slowly to properly improve digestion.

  • Avoid excessive intake of beverages such as coffee and tea immediately after meals, as this hinders the absorption of minerals like iron.

Gain muscle mass. It’s a good idea to continue to exercise while you attempt to gain weight the healthy way. However, it’s probably best to lay off the cardio (which burns those hard-earned calories) and focus on strength training instead (which builds muscle mass and helps you to gain weight).

  • Strength training includes working with weights and performing exercises such as squats, deadlifts, bench presses, bicep curls, crunches, chin-ups and leg curls. Do not do high energy workouts such as zumba, aerobics and running that helps you lose weight.