As the UK basks in another hot summer, many will be taking advantage and enjoying the sun. However, hot weather often presents a few problems for those with a stoma.
Since the hot weather can make things uncomfortable and present some challenges, we’ve got a few simple tips to help make the heat more bearable for ostomates…
Drink plenty of fluids
Staying hydrated is always a key piece of advice for those who have a stoma, but even more so in the hot weather. Your body will be losing fluids at a more rapid rate than normal, so it’s important to keep topping up and increase your fluid intake. Drink plenty of water and maybe reduce the amount of alcohol and coffee you drink to avoid becoming dehydrated.
Top up your supplies
Many stoma pouches are designed to withstand hot weather effectively, Microskin products, for example, are fantastic at repelling moisture from sweat and contact with water (pools, showers etc) and remaining sticky in hot weather. However, you may find that you need to change more frequently all the same, which means it’s a smart move to make sure you have plenty of supplies to ensure you don’t run out due to increased usage.
It’s nice to sit in the sun, but it’s also important to ensure you stay cool and don’t succumb to heat stroke. For those lucky enough to be near a pool, swimming can be a great way to stay cool, but a cool shower will be just as effective.
If you’re nervous about entering a pool with your stoma, there are stoma caps that help. If you have an ileostomy, a cap won’t be possible, but there are other options, such as a specialised stoma belt. Read our guide to swimming with a stoma for more information.
Keep your stoma out of direct sunlight
Prolonged direct sunlight on your stoma can create problems with sticking and affect the output within. Wherever possible, try to keep your stoma covered or shaded to avoid issues.