What Are Gelling Products?
Gelling products offer a novel way of minimizing some of the problems that go along with having liquid or loose stools. They are designed to gel the contents of an ostomy pouch without the need for any dietary changes to be made by the ostomate.
How Gelling Products Are Usually Sold
You can find gelling products in a multitude of types: tablets, capsules, sachets and powders. Each have their own strengths, but they all do the same thing; I generally prefer sachets, as they are the easiest to travel with.
When you buy tablets, capsules or sachets, you often get 100 or more in a package; powders will come in a container.
The price for gelling products can range between CDN$16 a bottle (140 tablets) to nearly $80 for 100 sachets. The good news is that most insurance companies will cover gelling products.
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How to Use Gelling Products
You add gelling products directing into your pouch each time you empty it. Most manufacturers will suggest adding one tablet, sachet or capsule at a time, but if you feel that they aren’t doing a good enough job, you are free to add more.
I’ve found that most gelling products will work very quickly to solidify your output, usually less than 10 minutes. I’ve got a cool video demonstrating how this works using the ConvaTec Diamonds sachets:
At the time of this writing (June 2017), I haven’t used loose powdered gelling agents, but I can only assume that they will solidify output the fastest of all the types.
Tips When Using Gelling Products
- It is not recommended to use gelling products if you have a urostomy.
- Keep these products away from moisture! If you store your supplies in your bathroom, make sure they are either in a sealed container or airtight Ziploc bag.
- Get samples before settling on one brand or type of gelling agent; some work better than others.
- Using a gelling product can make wearing your pouch horizontally (like with a Stealth Belt) more manageable and comfortable.
- The ConvaTec Diamonds and Trio Pearls sachets will include a mini Ziploc bag that keeps the sachet free from moisture and makes it easy to travel with.
Are Gelling Products Vegan-Friendly?
Most gelling products are free of animal ingredients, but capsules tend to be made using gelatine, so it’s best to avoid those.
I have a list of products that are vegan/non-vegan, including gelling agents, on THIS page.
If you’re having trouble dealing with liquid or loose ostomy output, you might want to check out the tips on THIS page.