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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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