At our monthly ostomy support group meeting yesterday the question was raised about marshmallows. There are anecdotal sayings that eating marshmallows will slow down your output – useful if you need to change your appliance when least expected, or when you’re visiting the doctor or ostomy nurse. I can say for sure, YES! Eating marshmallow can be quite helpful!

When visiting my ostomy nurse after my surgery, I would take 4-5 marshmallows (the large ones) with me to the appointment. I would eat them while in the waiting room, so I usually had about ten minutes to wait while they digested. Then there’s the added time talking to the nurse about what my issues were, and the time to remove my current wafer. By then, my output had sometimes completely stopped and, at least, slowed to the point that we had time to evaluate what my problems were and get a new appliance on with minimal disruption. When your stoma is over-active, it’s problematic getting that new wafer on, especially if your stoma is recessed, like mine. Usually, there was about a 20 minute window when my output was slower or stopped.

In general, it’s always good to schedule these appointments at least two hours after eating, so your output is a little slower anyway. Your stoma will be much more active and unpredictable in the weeks right after surgery, so the marshmallow trick may make things a little easier. I also used them in the mornings when I had a lot of skin breakdown and had to change my wafer daily until my skin healed. I’ve heard marshmallows don’t work for everyone, but they’re certainly worth a try, and taste pretty good, too!