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How do you care for a colostomy?

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Caring for a colostomy is easier when a person changes his pouch each morning before consuming any food or drink, adheres to a diet high in fruits and vegetables, eats slowly and avoids foods that cause odor, according to the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. Colostomy care begins with dietary habits designed to keep the digestive tract as calm as possible.

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Drinking at least six glasses of fluids each day, following a regular eating schedule and maintaining balance at meals is crucial. Chewing thoroughly and drinking from the glass directly instead of through a straw cuts down on the air swallowed, which limits gas. Eating food at or before 8:00 p.m. gives the digestive tract time to settle before bedtime, notes the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.

When applying the colostomy pouch, it is important to keep the skin surrounding the pouch free of wrinkles, as wrinkles can cause the seal to break when the skin moves or stretches. When hair grows near the stoma, it helps to trim or shave the hair to make the best seal. Writing the date on the tape when applying a new pouch gives a reminder about the last change, explains the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. Emptying the pouch is best when it is one-third full, as pouches with more stool, urine and gas make emptying the pouch tougher.

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