Liquid output, “ballooning” and odor – three problems that many ostomates are faced with on a daily basis. While some of these challenges can be remedied by changing what you eat or how often, for some, these issues simply never go away. Using multiple products to combat these problems separately may not be desirable, so when a product claims to be able to tackle them all, it certainly warrants some review.
Today I’ll be looking at the ConvaTec Diamonds sachets, which I purchased from a local ostomy supplier.
The ConvaTec Diamonds (previously known as Trio Diamonds) claim to be able to thicken output, reduce odors and eliminate ballooning in ostomy pouches. In their own study, they claimed that:
- Almost 9 out of 10 said they would continue to use ConvaTec Diamonds™
- 80% benefited from the elimination/reduction in odour
- 6/10 reported elimination/reduced ‘ballooning’ (excess flatus)
(above data taken from http://com.stage.ebusiness.convatemp.dk/media/177113/pl0128-diamonds-faqs.pdf)
That’s pretty impressive, and I was interested in this product mainly for the anti-ballooning claim. These are marketed to ileostomates.
The Diamonds come packaged in a plastic jar and includes a small zip-lock bag to keep a few sachets on you for when you’re out of the house.
The product is easy to use: After emptying your pouch, you simply drop a sachet into your ostomy pouch. The sachet will dissolve and do its magic. You then empty your pouch contents normally and repeat the process. I should note that when you empty your pouch, don’t be alarmed if your output is black when using this product – that’s the sachet contents and it’s completely normal.
Because I don’t usually have liquid/loose stools, I had to be selective when I used the Diamonds or they simply won’t dissolve or work as intended. One such occasion was during my last hospital stay, where I spent six days in the hospital following my rectum removal surgery and my output was very liquid for several days post-op. The Diamonds helped to considerably thicken my output during that time and made things a lot easier for me in the hospital (especially while being sore and drugged up).
While at home, I’ll occasionally get liquid or loose stools from time to time, and when it happens, I use the Diamonds to thicken things up. Unfortunately, they’ve never helped to reduce/eliminate odor and I often find myself using a liquid pouch deodorant at the same time.
How do they work for ballooning? Well, they didn’t – at least not for me. My biggest challenges with ballooning happen at night, so if nothing else, reducing or eliminating my nighttime gas would have made this product worth the price. I consistently noted the same “fullness” in my pouch due to gas following the use of the Diamonds sachets and have since opted for the Osto EZ-Vents to manually expel pouch gas.
At the time of this writing (Dec 2015), a package of 100 Diamonds sachets costs approx. CDN$60, but can be purchased in the US for under $30! As a gelling product, this is very expensive, especially if you experience daily liquid output. However, if this product also helps you with odor control and/or ballooning, it could save you from the cost of other products. This product should be sold internationally, but I find that most suppliers don’t carry it. You may need to shop around if your current supplier doesn’t stock these. ConvaTec does offer samples to try, so I highly recommend trying the samples before ordering a container.
Even though the Diamonds product didn’t help with my gas or pouch odor, it works quite well for gelling. Since there are other gelling products which sell for much less, I can only recommend this product IF it helps with at least two of the product claims. Sample first.
For more info, visit http://www.convatecdiamonds.com/
Have you tried this product? Did it work better for you?
Post updated: March 5, 2015