January Newsletter Charlotte County Ostomy Support Group
Our Christmas party at the Golden Corral was absolutely wonderful. The tables were festive, the food endless, and those of us attending enjoyed each other and the gift exchange. The Downs brought candy canes for all. We do appreciate the warmth and love shared, but missed you if you couldn’t make the party. Only 15 of us were there. This is the smallest turnout we have ever had. If you were among those who weren’t there let us know why. Communication is always important.
We have Valerie Miller RN from Convatec as our January speaker. I know you are always eager to hear what is new in supplies since feeling secure is what builds self confidence. If you suffer from leaks you need to have your problems addressed, and hopefully solved. Research and development in each of the manufacturer’s production of supplies always want to provide you with the security. Of course the meetings always offer the exchange of information with other ostomates. This is the start of a New Year. Hopefully it will be the best ever!
Since I have just celebrated my 89th birthday I felt the following piece I found in my file was most appropriate to include.
“Age is not a time of life”
It is as possible to grow young as it is to grow old. This is the distinct privilege of a human being- a privilege shared by no other living creature. The ability to grow young is the crowning glory of a human being.
Growing young is an art, not an artifice. The art is not to be acquired in beauty parlors or barber shops, or baths, not in chemical laboratories or gymnasiums, but in the sacred place where the inner springs of life are fed. Youth is not a term of years: It is a state of mind.
To be young is to possess a state of spontaneity and flow of emotions, liveliness or imagination, a potency of will. Youth means freshness in the depths of the spirit. Your body is as old as your arteries; your mind is as young as your aspirations, and your mind is YOU! You will not grow old by living long, but by the loss of interests, the lowering of ideals, and the waning of enthusiasms. Time wrinkles the skin, but moroseness and cynicism wrinkles the soul. They rob the spirit of vitality and doom it to decrepitude.
If there is within you a growing capacity for sweet wonder, and increasing appreciation for the challenge of events, a kindly ardor for knowledge, a mountain of gratitude for the tender
mercies of God, you are surely and steadily growing young. You will be younger next year than you are now.
You are as young as your hopes, as old as your years, as young as your songs, as old as your sighs; as young as your raptures, as old as your rebellions, as young as your love, as old as your hate. Not until your enthusiasms perish can you ever grow old.
Stress and Intestinal Gas
Edited by Bobbie Brewer UOAA Update 9/2011
Stress and Intestinal Gas
Stress is the cause of one of the most common gastrointestinal complaints. Flatulence occurs in people during stressful situations. When people are under stress breathing is deeper and one sighs more, encouraging a greater intake of air. Dr. Richer, a gastroenterologist at Massachusetts General Hospital, states that the average person belches about 14 times a day.
The person with a flatulence problem does not belch more often. However they may experience the sensation of needing to belch and get little relief from doing so. Here are some ways to relieve gas.
- Avoid heavy, fatty meals, especially during stressful situations.
- Reduce the quantity of food consumed at one sitting. Eat small low-fat meals about every three hours.
- Avoid drinking beverages out of cans or bottles. Avoid drinking through a straw.
- Avoid foods and beverages you personally cannot tolerate.
- Avoid any practice that causes an intake of air, such as chewing gum, smoking, and blended foods that contain a lot of air.
- Drink at least 8 glasses of water a day.
- With the advice of your doctor or Ostomy Nurse experiment with foods in your diet to achieve adequate bowel regularity.
- Avoid eating too many fiber foods in one meal. Gradually add fiber foods to your diet to prevent excessive intestinal gas.
- Avoid skipping meals. An empty bowel encourages small and gassy stools. Poor digestion can often exaggerate the symptoms associated with flatulence. Digestive enzymes aid in food assimilation and chemical digestion. Enzyme supplements should always be taken immediately before or after eating. Food coats the stomach and helps prevent gastric juices and acids from destroying the enzyme action.
Rumbles and Grumbles, growls and howls are such noises that come from the abdomen. Since it happens to everyone, you would think you could just laugh it off or ignore it, but instead we are embarrassed, and as ostomates, we wonder if something is wrong. However it is sound and fury signifying nothing important.
Any of the following may be the cause:
- You are hungry. Peristalsis goes on whether there is anything to move or not.
- You are nervous, so peristalsis is increased.
- You have been drinking coffee, tea, cola, or beer, all of which stimulate peristalsis. Since these are often consumed on an empty stomach they produce gurgles as peristalsis redoubles its movement.
- You may have been reading about lowering your cholesterol by eating a high fiber diet and added these foods. Digesting fiber produces gas, so rumbles increase.
- You may be eating too many carbohydrates. The intestines do not digest starches and sugars as easily as proteins and fats, Some of the culprits are often lactose ((a sugar in milk) Sorbitol(a sugar free sweetener) Stachose and Raffi nose (sugar in dried beans)
- You may be swallowing air; eating too fast, or talking while you eat.
Swallowing air creates grumbles and growls as it is moved along the digestive tract.
Prevention: Eat a light snack between meals if you are hungry; or smaller more frequent meals and eat slowly and don’t gulp.
Merry Christmas Dear Ostomates
by Edith Long UOAA Update 11/2011
Merry Christmas dear ostomates
I wish you good cheer
May your health- cares lessen
In the coming New Year
We carry Extra baggage,
But we do it with grace
Even embarrassing accidents
Won’t make us lose face
With the support of our friend,
Whose similar problems we share,
We’re there for each other,
We know that you care
Never give up!
Keep a prayer in your heart
We’re tough- We’re survivors!
And the New Year’s a fresh start!
Fluids and Electrolytes
Electrolytes refers to the normal chemicals dissolved in body fluids needed to maintain body activity. If electrolytes are out of balance a person may become weak or ill and may need to take medications by mouth or intravenously.
Electrolyte balance (especially potassium and sodium) is important. When the large colon is removed a greater risk for electrolyte imbalance can occur. Diarrhea, excessive perspiration and vomiting can increase the risk. A person with short bowel syndrome is at high risk. Their electrolytes should be monitored closely. The diet should include liquids and foods rich in electrolytes. A general rule is- to salt foods to taste. Do not exclude sodium in the diet unless instructed to do so by your doctor.
Problem: Dehydration: Increased thirst, dry mouth, dry skin, decreased urine output, fatigue, shortness of breath, headaches, dry eyes, and abdominal cramping.
Treatment: Increase fluids. (any type, Gatorade/PowerAde are high in potassium and sodium)Daily intake of fluids should be 8-10 8oz glasses.
Problem: Sodium depletion: Loss of appetite, drowsiness, headaches, abdominal and leg cramps,, feeling of faintness particularly when standing, cold sensation in arms and or legs.
Treatment: Increase intake of foods and beverages high in sodium, such as regular soup bullion, Gator Ade/Power Ade
Problem: Potassium Depletion: Fatigue, muscle weakness, gas, bloating, shortness of breath, decreased sensation in arms and legs.
Treatment: Increase intake in foods high in Potassium, such as orange juice, bananas, and /or Gatorade/Powerade