How I Dealt With A Stoma Blockage at Home

by Jen McGregor

How I Dealt With A Blockage At Home

I haven’t been too well recently with a new diagnosis of endometriosis which was quite a shock, and I also experienced the most severe blockage behind my ileostomy I’ve ever had. So I thought it would be good to discuss how I was able to deal with my blockage at home, without a hospital admission.

My blockage started on a Friday morning when I was eating some melon for breakfast, I definitely didn’t chew as well as I should have and that’s what caused the blockage. I didn’t even realise there was a problem until a few hours later when I was driving on the motorway to my boyfriend, Stuart’s house. I started to feel that familiar ache in my stomach which signaled it was a blockage and I knew from that point I had to halt eating for a while and dramatically increase my fluids to avoid dehydration.

By the time I arrived about 10 minutes later, my pain had increased as I expected. I’d considered stopping on the hard shoulder but I knew once I was at Stuart’s I could get a large glass of full fat cola to try and help force the blockage out. The carbonation helps to do this, and I also hoped it would break down the melon a bit too.

About 30 minutes after taking pain relief I started to feel a bit better but I still wasn’t producing output - it would take a good few hours to pass. The suggested guidelines are that if your blockage lasts any more than 8 hours with no movement, you should go to the hospital because it might need surgical intervention!

I really wanted to avoid going to the hospital and I knew if I could keep my fluids up and get things moving again, I’d be able to stay at home.

Alongside my fluids and painkillers, I find it helpful to massage the area around my stoma because any help in getting things moving is a huge help. I also had a bath in hot water, high enough to cover my stomach, and later used a hot water bottle. All of this did the trick, and after my 4th pint of diluting juice and about 7 hours since my pain first started, I finally had some output!

There were definite signs of movement earlier because there were some crazy loud noises and my pain moved from my bottom left abdomen to the middle underneath my tummy button.

The pain of a blockage is pretty intense

An ileostomy normally becomes swollen when there’s a blockage and you probably won’t be able to see much movement of your stoma because the blockage will be stopping that but it should all return to normal after the blockage has passed.

Dealing with the blockage at home made for a long and restless day but it was my preference and I’m glad I avoided hospital. I know this is not something that might be right for you and if you notice any worrying signs like bleeding or if you are in too much pain to comfortably cope at home then you should definitely seek medical attention!

If you are struggling with pain after the blockage passes, then you should also seek medical advice because there may be remnants of the blockage, a stricture or kink in your small bowel. Unfortunately I am currently dealing with this and I’ve had another 2 smaller blockages. Thankfully those passed purely thanks to drinking cola, and massaging my stomach. The next step for me is to have an MRI of my small bowel to check for any abnormalities. I really don’t like the procedure as it involves drinking bowel prep to swell the small intestines but I’d much rather know what’s going on than deal with these symptoms for a second longer than I need to!

Hopefully by the next time I blog I’ll have an update for you all but in the meantime if you end up with a blockage remember to be vigilant and if you think there’s something wrong that you don’t feel comfortable with then please go to the hospital! 

Jen McGregor

About the author

I'm Jen, I've had Crohn's Disease for more than 10 years and have a permanent ileostomy. I love all things fashion, animals and travelling. I'm also a student, a vlogger, and I have a dream to bring my adaptable clothing line CrohnieClothing to the masses.

Recent Comments

  • Nicola Keeble

    Thank you so much, your post was really beneficial. I went to the hospital first and had an x-ray and an ultrasound, all was good, They gave me a fleet enema, but I had no result. The Dr sent me home with more laxatives. I read your information after I had been in the hospital all day. I will take your information on board from now on though. I will take the fluids from now on, I had thought about doing that before I went to the hospital as well. I should have used my instincts.

  • louise worsley

    I have an ileostomy and last few days had green oozy output but tummy ache and not having a great deal of out put. Does this sound like blockage........

  • Jenefer

    Does this problem occur almost once in every two days?
    Can drinking soda help to make the movement?

  • Claude Chevalier

    Why does my stomach have pain? When I touch it very sore also if I press around the outside of my stoma. Maybe the fact I get blockage ? Thank you.

  • Tosh

    My 13 year old boy is in agony from colostomy. His output is liquid but copains of excessive pain. I really dont knw if I cud treat this at home.

  • Hello all, if you are concerned about something that is causing you pain, please seek advice from your healthcare practitioner. If you don’t have access to a Stoma Care Nurse, you are welcome to visit a SecuriCare Nurse at one of the locations listed here: or to give our Careline a call on 0800 585 125.

  • Julie hirst

    My daughter is 12. She a colonostomy. She hasn't had any output in about 16 hrs. She's having 7.5 mls of pica sulphate at night and up to 6 sachets of movicol a day.
    She is in agony with it.
    Any ideas.

  • Jami

    Hi I was wondering if any one can tell me what could cause upper abdominal pain after eating? I have had an ileostomy for two years now, and the past couple days everytime I try to eat my upper stomach hurts and my output is watery and foul smelling... almost like vomit..... I don't know what it could be.

  • Hello @Julie hopefully your daughter's output is better now? If not, please seek advice from your healthcare practitioner. If you don’t have access to a Stoma Care Nurse, you are welcome to visit a SecuriCare Nurse at one of the locations listed here: or to give our Careline a call on 0800 585 125.

    @Jami, if you are still having problems, please seek advice from your healthcare practitioner. If you don’t have access to a Stoma Care Nurse, you are welcome to visit a SecuriCare Nurse at one of the locations listed here: or to give our Careline a call on 0800 585 125.

    Best wishes,

    SecuriCare Team

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