Stoma Bag Ballooning And British Food Fortnight

Jay Balloons

British Food Fortnight is taking place at the end of September, and this got me thinking after something that happened a couple of days ago… but I will come back to that in a jiffy.

There’s a British Food Fortnight competition that anyone can enter! So do look it up, all you have to do is:

  • Hold a community event around British Food Fortnight (Saturday 21 September – Sunday 6 October).
  • Take plenty of photos and post them on social.
  • Email details of your event to before midday on Friday 18 October 2019.

There are some great prizes too so if you haven’t already done it, whip up an event and get involved!

What has this got to do with ostomates? I hear you ask.

Well we ‘are what we eat’ whether we like that idea or not. Food can be harming or healing but more importantly for today’s blog it can be gas producing. What you choose to eat can be the difference between a gentle breeze and a hurricane!

Something happened the other day that made me think yet again about the product I use.

People hear me go on about my Aura Flushable pouch but there are so many reasons why I love it so much. I was sat talking with a friend and we had a giggle as I broke wind, or as my grandson would call it, a pop pop (it’s fine to do this in front of friends, but I’m still a muffler in public!). We laughed because it was really windy outside too and I said my wind was so bad I thought I might take off! Then my friend looked toward my bag and asked, “Oh, do you need a pouch change?”

My bag was ballooning and looked like it might pop!

I’m still getting over the embarrassment at all these things but she was fascinated as she hadn’t seen it like that before. “Well no,” I said. “I’ve normally got a baggy top on or you don’t see me in the mornings!” As she works in the medical profession she was intrigued. “We call it ballooning,” I told her. “It’s just hot air really, a bag full of pop pops.” Then I realised how rarely mine does this even though my diet is rich in vegetables and I’m not short on pop pops! Usually though they seem to pass in and out of my bag with no issue at all, so it really is rare that I ever have ballooning.

When I first got a colostomy and started to read things online, I was horrified by the things I found.

I mean leaks are bad enough but ballooning, that would mean people seeing it all the time and I like to wear leggings. It didn’t help that my Stoma Care Nurse told me it can happen on airplanes due to the pressure. But here I am years later and I’ve been on many travels without ballooning once. I’ve been to many restaurants, enjoyed many a meal out, without ballooning once. I’ve been to the gym regularly and done all sorts of things including an abseil - without ballooning once! I think I’m rather lucky really because I don’t need to watch my diet the way others do. Yes, there are certain foods like onions and garlic and the usual culprits such as cabbage which produce plenty of windypops, but my stoma usually copes well with it as does the bag (provided the IBS isn’t flaring).

My friend asked me why it happened and I said, “I really don’t know; it rarely does and I really think that the product is just that good.” Just another reminder of how fortunate I am to have found a product that suits me on so many levels and can give me as much peace of mind as you can ever get with these things!

Let me know how you get on with your food celebrations over British Food Fortnight…

“When I was a new ostomate I was concerned about leaks and ballooning but thanks to my Aura Flushable pouch I don’t have to worry so much!” - @justjayhyrons

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Do you struggle with a ballooning bag? Take a look at this blog from Michelle, detailing her tips for dealing with the bloat.

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by Jay Hyrons

Jay Hyrons

About the author

Hi I'm Jay. My stoma was unexpected and very much unwanted, in fact it still is. I am a qualified Clinical Personal Fitness Trainer and a former National Champion Bodybuilder. After eight abdominal surgeries I am still Hernia free. You can see the video made in partnership with CliniMed here Core Exercises to help prevent Hernias and you can get other fitness tips on my YouTube or follow me on Instagram.

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