April is IBS Awareness Month: Understanding the Link to Ostomies

Did you know that April is Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) Awareness Month? At Fortis Medical Products, we understand the challenges people with digestive issues face. While IBS and ostomies are distinct conditions, they can sometimes be connected. Let's delve deeper into IBS, its relation to ostomies, and how Fortis products can offer support.

Understanding IBS

IBS is a chronic condition affecting the large intestine. It causes abdominal pain, cramping, bloating, constipation, and diarrhea. While the exact cause remains unknown, factors like stress, diet, and gut bacteria imbalance can contribute. Although not life-threatening, IBS can significantly impact quality of life.

The IBS-Ostomy Connection

While uncommon, IBS can sometimes lead to an ostomy procedure. This surgery creates an opening (stoma) on the abdomen, diverting waste from a diseased or dysfunctional section of the bowel. There are different types of ostomies, each serving a specific purpose.

Here's how IBS might be linked:

Living with an Ostomy

People with ostomies wear pouches that collect waste leaving the stoma. While this might seem daunting, advancements in ostomy products have made life easier.

Fortis and Ostomy Care

At Fortis Medical Products, we offer a range of ostomy care products designed for comfort, discretion, and security. These include:

Living Well with IBS or an Ostomy

IBS Awareness Month is a reminder that you're not alone. There are resources and support available.

For those living with an ostomy, Fortis Medical Products is here to help.  Our products and educational resources can empower you to manage your condition effectively and live a fulfilling life. For more information, please give us a call at 855-550-2600.

March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month

How much do you know about colorectal cancer?

It’s an important topic for us because many of our clients with an ostomy condition (in this case, “colostomy”) have been through this diagnosis. While it’s not as deadly as other forms of cancer, provided you catch it on time, it’s still a very serious illness. We’d like to share a synopsis of CRC, along with its relationship with the colostomy procedure.

What is Colorectal Cancer?

CRC occurs when cancerous tumors develop around the rectum and/or colon. This is where healthy cells mutate into cancer, which can become life-threatening if left unchecked. This type of cancer has the potential to spread and overwhelm part or all of the rectum and colon, leading the patient to need surgery and other therapies.

Fortunately, there are ways to overcome CRC, thanks to modern medicine.

Risk Factors & Symptoms for Colorectal Cancer

What are some of the common risk factors for CRC?

It’s also important to know the most typical symptoms for CRC. Those include bloody stool, sudden and unexplained weight loss, abdominal cramps, and constipation. You should contact your personal care provider or physician if you experience these symptoms for any considerable length of time.

How Do Physicians Treat Colorectal Cancer?

The treatment options for CRC most often include Radiation Therapy, Surgery, and/or Chemotherapy.

Your provider will choose the best approach after considering the cancer’s location and severity, especially regarding its likelihood of spreading. The toughest CRC cases may need chemo or radiation to eliminate the problem.

Surgery & Colostomy

Surgery involves removing all tumorous growths, something that may lead a patient to require a colostomy. If surgery removes parts of the colon or bowel, the colostomy procedure will redirect the large intestine to an opening created in the lower abdomen. Through this new “stoma,” patients will have a new pathway for passing stool, since they can no longer use their colon/rectum (either on a temporary or permanent basis).

Choose Fortis Medical Products for Optimal Colostomy Care

If you’ve recently undergone a colostomy (or any other ostomy), then proper stoma care is essential for healthy living. Your doctors, nurses, and other healthcare providers will show you how to select, equip, and utilize effective ostomy pouches, bags, and other tools as you make this adjustment.

For the most effective ostomy pouches and accessories, please consider the proven resources from Fortis Medical Products. You can learn why we offer the best ostomy care solutions, including ones for colorectal cancer patients, by contacting us anytime at 855-550-2600.

Thriving at Work with Your Stoma: Tips for Confidence and Comfort

Having a stoma shouldn't hold you back from achieving your career goals. While transitioning to life with an ostomy may come with adjustments, feeling comfortable and confident at work is absolutely possible. Here at Fortis Medical Products, we want to empower you with some practical tips:

Embrace the Power of Preparation

Pack an emergency kit: Keep a discreet pouch filled with essential supplies like extra ostomy pouches, adhesive remover wipes, and a change of clothes. This provides peace of mind and allows you to handle unexpected changes with ease.

Identify a designated space: Ask your employer about accessible and private bathroom facilities where you can comfortably manage your ostomy care. Knowing you have a dedicated space can significantly reduce stress.

Dress for Success and Comfort

Comfort first: Ditch the tight-fitting clothes and opt for loose-fitting garments that won't irritate your stoma or restrict movement. Consider high-waisted pants or skirts if you find the pouch noticeable under your clothing.

Explore specialized options: Companies offer clothing specifically designed for ostomates, featuring hidden compartments to discreetly hold your pouch and providing additional support.

Embrace Open Communication (Optional)

Know your rights: The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) protects your right to reasonable accommodations in the workplace. If you require a flexible schedule for bathroom breaks or a private space for ostomy care, you can discreetly discuss your needs with your employer.

Building trust: If you feel comfortable doing so, consider informing a trusted colleague or manager about your ostomy. This can foster understanding and create a supportive work environment.

Most importantly, remember:

You are not alone: Millions of people worldwide lead fulfilling lives with ostomies. There are online communities and support groups where you can connect with others and share experiences.

Focus on your strengths: Don't let your stoma define you. Your dedication, skills, and work ethic are what truly matter in your career.

By incorporating these tips and embracing a positive attitude, you can confidently navigate your professional life with your stoma and achieve your full potential. For further guidance and product recommendations, remember, Fortis Medical Products is always here to support you on your journey.

Stand Strong on World Cancer Day: A Spotlight on Colorectal Cancer

World Cancer Day, observed on February 4th, is a time to unite against cancer, raise awareness, and encourage prevention, detection, and treatment. In the spirit of this global initiative, Fortis Medical Products, a leading provider of ostomy products and accessories, stands strong in the fight against cancer. This year, we shine a spotlight on colorectal cancer, a disease that impacts millions worldwide.

Colorectal cancer, affecting the colon or rectum, is a significant health concern. As we acknowledge World Cancer Day, it is crucial to emphasize the importance of early detection and support for those battling colorectal cancer. Fortis Medical Products plays a vital role in this mission, providing innovative ostomy solutions that enhance the quality of life for individuals living with colorectal cancer.

Ostomy products, such as colostomy bags and accessories, are indispensable for many colorectal cancer patients who have undergone ostomy surgery. Fortis Medical Products takes pride in offering a wide range of high-quality, discreet, and comfortable ostomy solutions that empower individuals to lead fulfilling lives despite their health challenges.

On World Cancer Day, Fortis Medical Products reaffirms its commitment to supporting the colorectal cancer community. Through our products and services, we aim to contribute to the well-being of those affected by this form of cancer. Our team understands the unique needs of colorectal cancer patients and strives to provide compassionate care through reliable and cutting-edge ostomy solutions.

As part of our dedication to the cause, Fortis Medical Products encourages everyone to stay informed about colorectal cancer, its symptoms, and preventive measures. Regular screenings and early detection significantly increase the chances of successful treatment. By fostering awareness and understanding, we can collectively make a difference in the lives of colorectal cancer patients.

This World Cancer Day, let us join hands to support each other, raise awareness, and inspire hope. Fortis Medical Products remains steadfast in our mission to improve the lives of individuals affected by colorectal cancer, offering not just products but a source of strength and comfort on their journey towards healing. Together, we can make a meaningful impact in the fight against cancer. To learn more about us, give our team a call at 855-550-2600 or fill out the form on this page!

The Vital Role of Nutrition in Ostomy Care

Living with an ostomy can be a challenging journey, requiring individuals to adapt to significant changes in their daily routines. As we continue to explore ways to enhance the quality of life for those with ostomies, one crucial aspect that often gets overlooked is nutrition. Fortis Medical Products understands the importance of comprehensive ostomy care, and today, we delve into the vital role that nutrition plays in supporting individuals with ostomies.

Maintaining a balanced and nourishing diet is essential for overall well-being, and this holds true for individuals living with an ostomy. Proper nutrition not only promotes healing but also helps prevent complications and supports the body's resilience.

Recent studies have shed light on the impact of specific dietary choices on ostomy care. Research suggests that a diet rich in fiber can contribute to better bowel regularity, potentially reducing the risk of complications such as blockages. Fortis Medical Products recommends incorporating a variety of fiber sources, such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, into the diet, ensuring a mix of soluble and insoluble fibers for optimal digestive health.

Furthermore, adequate hydration is paramount for individuals with ostomies. Staying well-hydrated not only supports digestion but also helps prevent dehydration, a common concern for those with ileostomies or colostomies. Fortis encourages individuals to monitor their fluid intake closely and consult with healthcare professionals to determine personalized hydration needs.

In addition to traditional dietary recommendations, emerging studies highlight the potential benefits of probiotics for ostomy patients. Probiotics, found in certain foods and supplements, may help maintain a healthy gut flora, promoting digestive health and potentially reducing the risk of pouchitis.

Fortis Medical Products remains committed to providing comprehensive ostomy care, including staying abreast of the latest research and dietary recommendations. By understanding the pivotal role of nutrition in ostomy care, individuals can take proactive steps to enhance their well-being and embrace life with confidence. We all carry an extensive line of ostomy products online.

In conclusion, a well-balanced and thoughtful approach to nutrition is fundamental for individuals navigating life with an ostomy. Fortis Medical Products encourages individuals to consult with healthcare professionals to create personalized dietary plans that cater to their unique needs, promoting a healthy and fulfilling lifestyle. For more information about Fortis, feel free to give our team a call at 855-550-2600.

Ostomy-Friendly Resolutions: Making Positive Changes in 2024

As we approach the dawn of a new year, it's a perfect time to reflect on the past and set intentions for the future. For individuals living with ostomies, the start of a new year presents a unique opportunity to focus on health, well-being, and positive lifestyle changes. At Fortis Medical Products, we understand the importance of supporting those with ostomies in their journey toward a healthier and more fulfilling life. Here are some ostomy-friendly resolutions to consider for the upcoming year:

Prioritize Self-Care

Make self-care a top priority in 2024. This includes regular check-ups with healthcare professionals, maintaining a proper skincare routine, and practicing mindfulness. Taking care of your mental and physical health is crucial for a positive and confident outlook.

Embrace Physical Activity

Explore physical activities that suit your lifestyle and comfort level. Whether it's gentle yoga, swimming, or walking, staying active contributes to overall well-being. Consult your healthcare provider for guidance on exercises that are suitable for your specific condition.

Stay Hydrated and Nourished

Ensure that you're providing your body with the nutrients it needs. Focus on a well-balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Stay hydrated to support digestion and maintain overall health.

Connect with Support Groups

Consider joining support groups or online communities for individuals with ostomies. Connecting with others who share similar experiences can provide a sense of community, encouragement, and valuable insights into managing life with an ostomy.

Set Realistic Goals

Set achievable goals that align with your personal aspirations. Whether it's returning to a favorite hobby or taking on a new challenge, breaking down larger goals into smaller, manageable steps can make the journey more attainable.

Educate and Advocate

Take the opportunity to educate those around you about ostomies and advocate for awareness. Sharing your story can help break down stigmas and foster understanding, ultimately creating a more inclusive and supportive environment.

Explore Ostomy-Friendly Products

Stay updated on the latest innovations in ostomy care. Fortis Medical Products is committed to providing cutting-edge solutions designed to enhance comfort and convenience for individuals with ostomies. Explore our range of ostomy-friendly products to discover options that suit your unique needs. If you have any questions, please give our a team a call at 855-550-2600.

As we welcome the new year, let it be a time of empowerment, growth, and positive change. With the right mindset and support, individuals with ostomies can embrace 2024 as a year of renewed vitality and well-being. Cheers to a healthier, happier you!

Caring for Your Ostomy: Year-End Maintenance Tips

As the year comes to a close, individuals with ostomies must ensure that their medical supplies and equipment are in optimal condition. Fortis Medical Products, a trusted name in the healthcare industry, offers top-notch ostomy care solutions to make the process seamless. Let's delve into a comprehensive year-end maintenance routine to ensure your ostomy stays healthy and trouble-free.

Equipment Checks

Supplies Inventory

Healthcare Appointments

Skin Health

Emergency Preparedness

Create an emergency kit containing essential ostomy supplies in case of unexpected situations, such as natural disasters or travel disruptions.

Keep a list of emergency contacts, including your healthcare provider and supplier, readily available

By incorporating these year-end maintenance tips into your ostomy care routine, you can enhance the longevity and effectiveness of your Fortis Medical Products. Prioritizing regular equipment checks, maintaining a well-stocked inventory, and staying proactive with healthcare appointments will ensure that your ostomy journey remains as smooth and comfortable as possible. Trust in Fortis Medical Products for reliable solutions, and embrace the upcoming year with confidence in your ostomy care. For more information, please give our a team a call at 855-550-2600.

Navigating Holiday Feasts with an Ostomy

The holiday season, with its festive gatherings and sumptuous meals, can pose unique challenges for individuals with an ostomy. In our previous post on navigating holidays with an ostomy, we briefly touched upon the importance of mindful eating. Now, let's delve deeper into practical dietary considerations for the upcoming holiday celebrations.

It's crucial to acknowledge that each ostomy patient's condition is unique. Always consult with your healthcare team, including doctors and dieticians, for personalized advice. However, here are some general guidelines to keep in mind as you prepare for holiday meals.

Avoid Problematic Foods & Prioritize Vitamins

Steering clear of heavy sugars, junk foods, and high-sodium content is a given. Additionally, focus on incorporating foods rich in essential vitamins like Vitamin C. Ostomy-friendly options such as broccoli, cranberries, and potatoes can be excellent choices.

Opt for Smaller Meals

Resist the temptation of indulging in mega meals, a common challenge during the holidays. Instead, aim for more frequent meals with smaller portions. Pay special attention to thoroughly chewing your food and adopting a slow eating pace.

Prioritize Hydration

Distinguishing between hunger and thirst can be challenging, especially for ostomy patients. To avoid unhealthy choices, prioritize optimal hydration by drinking more water. Steer clear of alcohol, coffee, and sugary fruit drinks that can have the opposite effect.

Scrutinize Ingredients

Ostomy patients need to be cautious about certain ingredients, such as corn and nuts, which may disrupt the delicate digestive process. The holiday season often tempts with cakes, cookies, and pies—potential trigger foods that require vigilance to avoid.

Choose Safer Ingredients for Dishes

Building on your understanding of "safe foods," continue to maintain a food diary. This invaluable tool helps differentiate between acceptable foods and those that may cause discomfort, aiding you in making informed choices during the holiday season.

For comprehensive dietary advice and access to top-notch ostomy care products, explore the offerings at Fortis Medical Products. From pouches and wafers to skin barriers, we provide solutions to make life with an ostomy more manageable. Contact us at 855-550-2600 to learn more about eating tips and our range of products. Your well-being is our priority.

The Emotional Journey of Living with an Ostomy

Living with an ostomy can be a life-altering experience. For those who have undergone ostomy surgery, the physical changes can be challenging to navigate, but the emotional journey is equally significant. At Fortis Medical Products, we understand that it's not just about supplying quality ostomy products and accessories; it's about providing support for the emotional aspect of living with an ostomy.

A Rollercoaster of Emotions

The emotional journey of living with an ostomy can vary widely from person to person. For some, it may involve a period of shock, grief, or even anxiety before acceptance sets in. For others, the emotional struggle may persist for an extended period. It's essential to remember that every individual's experience is unique.

The Initial Adjustment

After ostomy surgery, the immediate concern for many patients is how the ostomy will affect their appearance and self-image. Feelings of self-consciousness and fear of judgment from others are common. It's crucial to remember that these emotions are natural and may lessen over time as you become more comfortable with your ostomy.

Acceptance and Empowerment

As time passes, many ostomates find themselves adjusting to their new way of life. They start to appreciate the benefits of their ostomy, such as improved health and a greater sense of freedom. With the right support and resources, ostomates can reclaim their self-esteem and confidence.

The Role of Support

The emotional journey of living with an ostomy can be made more manageable with the support of friends, family, and healthcare professionals. Support groups and online communities can also provide a safe space for ostomates to share their experiences, ask questions, and offer encouragement to one another.

Caring for Your Emotional Well-being

Caring for your emotional well-being is just as important as tending to the physical aspects of your ostomy. Seek out a mental health professional if you're struggling with persistent anxiety, depression, or other emotional challenges. Remember that you are not alone, and many people have successfully navigated the emotional journey of living with an ostomy.

At Fortis Medical Products, we're here to support you on every step of your journey as you adjust to life with an ostomy. While the emotional journey can be challenging, it can also be a path to empowerment, self-acceptance, and a renewed sense of well-being. Remember, you're not alone, and we're here to provide you with the ostomy products, information, and support you need to live life to the fullest.

Avoid Ostomy Skin Irritations with Hypoallergenic Supplies

Skin irritation is a top concern for ostomy patients, given the extra sensitive area around the stoma. It’s a location that can become vulnerable to bumps, rashes, or even bleeding if you aren’t careful. We’d like to go over some of these common skin irritations and offer suggestions to prevent or minimize further trouble.

Various Skin Irritations You May Encounter

Red & Pimply Skin - You may notice a rash with small pimples and pustules developing around the stoma location. This is often a sign of hair follicle infection. It may occur after tearing off the pouch adhesive plate too quickly, or also from improper shaving. You would want to make sure you’re applying and removing pouches slowly, and if razor shaving is the culprit, then consider switching to scissors.

Wet & Bumpy Skin - Here’s another type of rash, which might also involve an infection. Diabetic patients may be more prone to this problem. These happen more often in darker locations and can become a breeding ground for fungal infections. It’s essential to keep the skin around the stoma clean and dry to avoid this problem.

Skin Bleeding - Although the stoma tissue bleeds somewhat easily, and isn’t always a cause for alarm, it shouldn’t be excessive. If it is, you may have a contact reaction, which could require medical intervention. 

Allergic Reactions - This is a rare problem because you should use hypoallergenic materials for everything you do around your stoma. If you are having trouble, then it’s essential to evaluate what might be causing the reaction, and find substitute supplies. Don’t forget to investigate all the wipes, body soaps, and anything else you use for sanitary purposes anywhere near the stoma.

Other Common Skin Issues

Sometimes skin irritation is a function of having the wrong fit for your ostomy pouches. If you struggle with leaks and irritation, this could be the cause. That’s why our Entrust brand of drainable pouches, and all our other supplies, comes in several sizes to facilitate a proper fit. 

Finally, skin irritation can happen if the adhesive material (holding your pouch system to your skin) degrades, and leaves you with much more friction. That’s an important thing to check as soon as you notice pain or discomfort.

If you’ve had any other skin irritations that you don’t recognize here, then don’t hesitate to contact your physician for further guidance.

We hope you found this helpful and will consider the hypoallergenic ostomy supplies we make at Fortis Medical Products. Our pouches, wafers, and other materials offer you the best chance to avoid skin trouble and resume a comfortable and normal life after an ostomy procedure.

Contact us anytime to learn more about ostomy supplies, including appropriate sizes and application instructions, by calling 855-550-2600.