How I Dealt With A Stoma Blockage at Home

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! 



NB: 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 Stoma Care Nurse at one of these locations, or to give our Careline a call on 0808 256 5400 .


If your blockage lasts any more than 8 hours with no movement, you should go to the hospital as it might need surgical intervention!

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by Jen McGregor

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.

  • SecuriCare_Team

    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: https://www.securicaremedical.co.uk/our-service/our-stoma-care-nurses/securicare-stoma-nurse-clinics 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.

  • SecuriCare_Team

    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: https://www.securicaremedical.co.uk/our-service/our-stoma-care-nurses/securicare-stoma-nurse-clinics 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: https://www.securicaremedical.co.uk/our-service/our-stoma-care-nurses/securicare-stoma-nurse-clinics or to give our Careline a call on 0800 585 125.

    Best wishes,

    SecuriCare Team

  • Terry

    I am care giver for my daughter who has osteomyelitis she has a slightly formed lump at her stoma that we can see but it has not moved down. Is there something we can do.

    • SecuriCare_Team

      Hi Terry - hope your daughter is doing better now. Please speak with your Stoma Care Nurse or healthcare provider if there is still a lump by her stoma.

  • Tim

    Thanks so much for your insights. With my permanent ileostomy for over two years, the balance of right foods, slowing down on eating, and continual management have been difficult. I appreciate you sharing!

  • Joanne

    On holiday in Corfu got pain on left side near stoma was a bit bunged up when I arrived Monday night had movement Tuesday & Wednesday hard work nothing since but pain today as though I need to go again it’s now sat am and still no movement what should I do. 7th June 2019

  • Brenda

    Thank you for sharing, but I sit here wondering how much longer I’m going to wait. I also have Crohn's because of a serious block being 8 months pregnant. I had know idea I was sick until all of a sudden I had the most uncontrollable pain with vomiting that wouldn’t let up, I forgot the name. To make 48 hrs of hell in two hospitals both thought it was labor my husband finally took control and had me brought to the medical center in the city. If it wasn’t for him I wouldn’t be here writing you. After my last rights I was never so happy to see the operating room. It was 38 yrs ago this month a surgeon I never met dove right in moved my daughter and later told me another 1/2 hour both of us would have died, because under Emily was knotted bowel that turned gangrene and perforated. Now my fear is from several surgeries that left a large hernia under my which you know is bad but a new small one popped up I feel a great amount of bowel in both.
    I guess it’s time to make that call you know we know it’s always a threat, I just know my odds aren’t good because every surgery takes more bowel I know I’m a high risk thank you for letting me post it did cut the stress
    I’m off to call take care
    God Bless, Brenda

  • Lori winkler

    Two days ago i have had this very bad pain in my abdomin, i have a colostomy, it even hurts to sit down. I havent had anything in my bag for 1day. I have not threw up but feel nauseated at times, im debating on going to the hospital in hopes it will pass by itself. What do you think? Thank you.

    • SecuriCare_Team

      Hello Lori, please contact your Stoma Care Nurse or your healthcare provider to discuss this matter.

  • Kamar

    I had my stoma in 3years some time my stomach is blotted their is any way to clean it

    • SecuriCare_Team

      Hello Kamar, 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: www.securicaremedical.co.uk/our-service/our-stoma-care-nurses/securicare-stoma-nurse-clinics or to give our Careline a call on 0800 585 125.

  • Doreen Cheeseman

    Had my stoma for over 10 years first time having no output into pouch for 24 hours no pain. Who should l call obviously a saturday and stoma nurse available. Many thanks.

    • SecuriCare_Team

      Hello Doreen, the advice given is that ileostomates who have had no output for 8 hours should seek medical attention.

  • Lori

    Stage 4 cancer stoma not working threw up poop went to hospital had a tube put in my nose drained stomach. 2days hospital sent me home with no hope and said nothing they could do. I'm still alive been 2 weeks at home lots of meds blockage has not passed stoma not working. Hospice nurse put catheter in 3 days ago. Will I die?

  • Teresa

    Hi. I’ve had a. Ileostomy for 7 years now. As l of a sudden for the few months i get blockage everytime K eat anything. I found i can eat Mac& cheese & mashed potatoes w/o getting a blockage. I’m trying to stay out of the hospital. Today I have another blockage i have s lot of pain, I dont even know what i ate this time. I’ve been trying to a Avoid food, i did eat s hotdog on Saturday but i cut it up real small, i thought that would be okay. Yesterday the only output looked like green water. Today i have hardly no output just it is still green. J just drank prune juice, I thought id drink water & then maybe try a coke, i heard that’s supposed to help. I cant eat anything anymore. If anyone has advice as to why i get a blockage every time i eat. That would be great
    Thanks a Teresa

  • Sanndra Whopples

    Hi I've had my stoma just over 3 years. Early hours of Friday I was woken by the most horrific abdo pain. Checked bag, no output, nearly passed out on the floor.Area around stoma site swollen and hard. Was violently sick twice. Refuse to go to a & e. Only output is liquid. Had hot bath, massaged it, drinking fizzy pop. Still got pain when bag is filling. Can I use a cotton bud to check for blockage? Anyone has any ideas without going to a & e would be appreciated.
    Thank you
    Sandra

  • Patti

    Thank you for writing. I have only had my ileostomy for little over a year. PMG the pain. I try hard to keep fluids up. I now have a hernia by my ostomy.
    I Go to wound care So I will let my ostomy nurse know. My potassium went down and this is First time my eating spinich...well I know I read to avoid spinach well now I know why. Ok won't do that. I finally got my apple juice which has potassium and helps a lot. But no more spinach. Ow. It moves one way down then over and up and I have never felt so much pain. Thank you for your advice..take care.

  • SecuriCare team

    Hi Sandra,
    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 give our Careline a call on 0800 585 125.

  • Kathy

    i recently (4 days ago) had a blockage---I had horrible abdominal pain and violently vomiting. I actually think the vomiting so hard released the blockage. But i still am not feeling well. my stomach hurts- not pain but sore and i feel nauseous. Can this be just the after effects of the blockage. I didn't go to the hospital -- I have a permanet ileostomy and a "barbie butt"

  • Vivien Grasso

    Hi I sometimes have very hard pellet type stool for 2 days followed by forceful spell of very loose stools filling up pouch very fast. Sometimes two pouches. I have a hernia above stoma. Please can you help. I am seeing my stoma clinic nurse in mid April.

  • Theresa Findlay

    Yesterday I had a blockage in my small intestine. I had my colon removed completely in 1993 and an ileostomy formed. I’ve had 5 episodes of a blocked bowel. They’ve all been pretty horrendous but this one was the worst. After my last episode the consultant said the problems I have are exacerbated by all the scar tissue from my ‘removal’ in ‘93. An operation to improve this would only produce more scar tissue so that was that. I knew I was in trouble yesterday after 10 minutes. The pain gradually worsened but I was loath to go to A&E as I had a very bad experience at The Brook Hospital (long gone) where the doctor was extremely nasty towards me. I realise it’s common sense to seek medical help but with having a stoma as well going to a loo in a hospital is a nightmare. I think I’m ok now but should this pain return I will dial 999!

  • Janet dolan

    Ihave illeostomy lots of blockages as lots scar tissue and intestines not good peppermint is great moves blockage qwick I have hernia to flat cola and black tea good but peppermint best

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