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.

Dairy Product Intolerance in the Dairy State!

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It is a struggle to eliminate dairy from your diet, especially when you live in the Wisconsin Dairy state.My body is already thanking me because my digestion has improved and my right side doesn’t hurt.
About a month ago,food allergy testing confirmed that I’m indeed very sensitive to lactose, whey and any milk products. For years I have known I can’t drink cow’s milk or eat ice cream, but not until recently had I really started to eliminate all milk products.
A Milk allergy is a food allergy, an adverse immune reaction to a food protein that is normally harmless to the non-allergic individual. Lactose intolerance is a non-allergic food sensitivity, and comes from a lack of production of the enzyme lactase, required to digest the predominant sugar in milk. Adverse effects of lactose intolerance generally occur after much higher levels of milk consumption than do adverse effects of milk allergy. Lactose intolerance is caused by a deficiency of the enzyme lactase, which is produced by the cells lining the small intestine. Lactase breaks down lactose into two simpler forms of sugar called glucose and galactose, which are then absorbed into the bloodstream. Milk allergy is a reaction by the body’s immune system to one or more milk proteins and can be life threatening when just a small amount of milk or milk product is consumed. Some people inherit a gene from their parents that makes it likely they will develop primary lactase deficiency. This discovery may be useful in developing future genetic tests to identify people at risk for lactose intolerance.
There are many protein allergens in cow’s milk that cause allergic reactions. Casein and whey are the two main components. The curd that forms when milk is left to sour, is called casein. The watery part which is left after the curd is removed, is called whey.Casein accounts for 80 percent of the protein in milk and is the most important allergen found in cheese. The harder the cheese, the more casein it contains.Whey accounts for the other 20 percent of milk. It consists of two main allergenic proteins – alpha-lactalbumin and beta-lactaglobulin.

Secondary lactase deficiency results from injury to the small intestine that occurs with severe diarrheal illness, celiac disease, Crohn’s disease, or chemotherapy. This type of lactase deficiency can occur at any age but is more common in infancy.
People with lactose intolerance may feel uncomfortable 30 minutes to 2 hours after consuming milk and milk products. Symptoms range from mild to severe, based on the amount of lactose consumed and the amount a person can tolerate.The principal symptoms are gastrointestinal, dermatological and respiratory. These can translate to: skin rash, hives, vomiting, and gastric distress such as diarrhea, constipation, rhinitis, stomach pain or flatulence.

The symptoms of a milk protein allergy fall into 3 types of reactions:
Skin Reactions:
* Itchy red rash
* Hives
* Eczema
* Swelling of lips, mouth, tongue, face or throat
* Allergic “Shiners” (black eyes)
Stomach and Intestinal Reactions:
* Abdominal pain and bloating
* Diarrhoea (usually very runny)
* Vomiting
* Gas/wind
* Cramps
Nose, Throat and Lung Reactions:
* Runny Nose
* Sneezing
* Watery and/or Itchy eyes
* Coughing
* Wheezing
* Shortness of Breath

Milk and milk products are often added to processed foods—foods that have been altered to prolong their shelf life. People with lactose intolerance should be aware of the many food products that may contain even small amounts of lactose, such as
•bread and other baked goods
•waffles, pancakes, biscuits, cookies, and mixes to make them
•processed breakfast foods such as doughnuts, frozen waffles and pancakes, toaster pastries, and sweet rolls
•processed breakfast cereals
•instant potatoes, soups, and breakfast drinks
•potato chips, corn chips, and other processed snacks
•processed meats, such as bacon, sausage, hot dogs, and lunch meats
•margarine
•salad dressings
•liquid and powdered milk-based meal replacements
•protein powders and bars
•candies
•non-dairy liquid and powdered coffee creamers
•non-dairy whipped toppings

Checking the ingredients on food labels is helpful in finding possible sources of lactose in food products. If any of the following words are listed on a food label, the product contains lactose:
•milk
•lactose
•whey
•curds
•milk by-products
•dry milk solids
•non-fat dry milk powder

Lactose is also used in some prescription medicines, including birth control pills, and over-the-counter medicines like products to treat stomach acid and gas. These medicines most often cause symptoms in people with severe lactose intolerance.It is also commonplace for milk derivatives, like casamino acid, to be in vaccines.

What’s Happened to America’s Eating Habits?

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To live a good life we need to get back to the simplicity of real food ingredients. There are just too many processed packaged convenience foods and fast food restaurants. Our I Pads, smartphones, computers and video game obsessions have become more important than exercise or simple friends and family time.

I’m from the mid-west and to me it has one of the highest number of overweight adults, kids and unhealthy places. The how I know is because I have been to other states, had other culturally ethnic friends and eaten many types of healthier cuisine. Because of so many calorie ridden foods many of my friends and family have gotten preventable disease like Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol levels.So many people think their medicines or a magic pill might cure what has become an epidemic of bad habits. I  see some of my friends and relatives with serious illnesses that have fallen into the rut of eating fattening foods, processed foods, sugary fruit drinks and sodas. Even when I was a kid I didn’t eat all this synthetic stuff that there is now. More people worked and played hard to burn off calories. It is sad so many people have become lazy about exercise and simple activity like walking a few blocks.
Everyone needs to be more aware of what’s in our food products. If you can’t pronounce it or there are more than 5 ingredients it most likely is very bad for you. Stick to the outside perimeters of your food stores, where there are fresh or frozen fruits, veggies and meats. Use fresh or dried herbs to season recipes. Listen and learn from your bodies cues of too much burping, gas, bloating and skin breakouts.The following are only some of my tips learned throughout the years.

12 Dangerous And Hidden Food Ingredients In Seemingly Healthy Foods

Many foods that are considered “healthy” and labeled as “natural” contain many harmful chemicals used as food preservatives and flavor enhancers – and these chemicals are often disguised under unrecognizable names.

BHT (Butylated Hydroxytoluene): this common additive used to prevent oxidation in a wide variety of foods and cosmetics is listed by the National Toxicology Program (NTP) in 2005 as “reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen” on the basis of experimental findings in animals. It is also used in jet fuels, rubber petroleum products, transformer oil and embalming fluid. As if this were not enough, the Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) warns that BHT should not be allowed to enter the environment, can cause liver damage, and is harmful to aquatic organisms.

High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS): Loaded with “unbound” fructose and glucose molecules, studies have shown that the reactive carbonyl molecules can cause tissue damage that may lead to obesity, diabetes, and also heart disease. So much for this “Strong Heart Antioxidants” cereal recipe! HFCS is made from genetically modified corn and processed with genetically modified enzymes. To make matters worse, studies have recently revealed that nearly half of tested samples of HFCS contained mercury.

Yellow #5: Almost all colorants approved for use in food are derived from coal tar and may contain up tp 10ppm of lead and arsenic. Also, and not surprisingly, most coal tar colors could potentially cause cancer.

Soybean oil: More than half of all soybeans crops grown in the US are genetically-modified (GMO) representing a meteoric rise since 1996, when only 7% were GMO soybeans. Genetically modified crops not only pose environmental dangers. There is a growing concern (and mounting scientific evidence) that genetic engineering of food plant seeds may have an unexpected and negative impact on human health.

Propylene glycol alginate (E405): this food thickener, stabilizer, and emulsifier is derived from alginic acid esterified and combined with propylene glycol. Bear in mind that even though propylene glycol is used as a food additive, it has many industrial uses including automotive antifreezes and airport runway de-icers.

Polysorbate 60: short for polyoxyethylene-(20)- sorbitan monostearate this emulsifier is widely used in the food industry. Made of made of corn, palm oil and petroleum, this gooey mix can’t spoil, so it often replaces dairy products in baked goods and other liquid products.

Enriched flour: these pretzels are made with enriched flour. But don’t let the attractive description mislead you: like most highly processed foods, enriched flour is devoid of nutrients and more often than not it is also bleached. Since the wheat germ and bran are removed from this type of flour, the body treats it as a refined starch.

Textured soy protein concentrate, carrageenan, maltodextrin, disodium inosinate, disodium guanylate, modified cornstarch: All of these are basically different names to hide ingredients that either contain Monosodium Glutamate (MSG) or form MSG during processing.

  • bleached, refined and enriched foods means they have replaced the good nutrients
  • no artificial dyes
  • any type of margarine is all synthetic and very bad
  • Eat nothing that says hydrogenated
  • no artificial sweeteners like High fructose corn syrup, sucralose, aspartame, etc..( Use honey, stevia or natural sugar to sweeten things)
  • cut back on all the fried goodies ( fish, fries, and newest is fried desserts) our bodies can’t handle all that grease
  • If an ingredient isn’t something you can use to bake or make it from scratch, then don’t eat it.