We’ve carefully selected these blogs because they are actively working to educate, inspire, and empower their readers with frequent updates and high-quality information. If you would like to tell us about a blog, nominate them by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org!
An ostomy is a small surgically-made opening that becomes an alternate route for removing waste from the body. The main types of ostomy are colostomy, ileostomy, and urostomy, which can be temporary or permanent. For colostomies and ileostomies, a piece of intestine is exposed through the abdominal wall. Similarly, a urostomy diverts urine out of the body. In each case, wastes empty into an external bag.
Typical reasons for having an ostomy include cancer, bowel blockage, injury, diverticulitis, or inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK).
It can be upsetting to learn you’ll need an ostomy, but they’re more prevalent than you may think. About 100,000 Americans receive one each year. Still, you may worry about potential lifestyle changes impacting your everyday happiness. For example, it’s common to feel isolated or alone. You may fear your love life will change or that you might be embarrassed by an equipment leak. But you’re not alone. There’s lots of information, resources, forums, and personal stories out there that may help put your mind at ease.
Check out our top picks for the best ostomy blogs of the year.
Ostomy Help brings you lots of relevant advice, from product reviews to educational articles for managing your colostomy, ileostomy or urostomy. Their posts are straightforward (“When Should I Change My Ostomy Pouch?”) and optimistic (“Stoma Skin Care: Damaged Skin is Not Your New Normal”). Readers rate posts, so you can read the best ones first. Of note: The blog is brought to you by Express Medical Supply, Inc., who sells many of the products they discuss.
Tweet them @Express_Medical
Blood, Poop & Tears
With a lighthearted approach, Blood, Poop & Tears busts myths and shares helpful info to support people with ostomies. Jackie Zimmerman, who was 25 when she started the blog, received diagnoses of both multiple sclerosis and ulcerative colitis. She admits that having an IBD took her on an emotional rollercoaster. Her posts really resonate — or sometimes don’t — as evidenced by the active commenting community. Follow her journey from diagnosis through treatment and find support from others with similar experiences. She also founded Girls with Guts, a nonprofit for advocacy and awareness around IBD and ostomy.
Tweet her @JackieZimm
Meet An OstoMate
If you’re seeking friendship, romance, or first-hand accounts from others with ostomies, you’re in the right place. Meet An OstoMate has forums, blogs, chat rooms, and private messaging. Filter by different criteria, like place, for more tailored support. You can even find people to meet while you’re traveling. It’s a great place to ask your lingering questions, vent, or share your story without judgment.
Tweet them @MeetAnOstoMate
United Ostomy Associations of America, Inc. (UOAA)
UOAA is a nonprofit network of support groups for people who have or may have ostomies. UOAA seeks to promote advocacy and education. In addition to their support group information, they provide a wide range of informative articles. Pose any unanswered questions in their discussion forum. You can also order their free ostomy care guides for more helpful information and additional resources.
Tweet them @UOAA
Wound, Ostomy and Continence Nurses Society (WOCN)
Since 1968, the WOCN has provided support to advancing care for wounds, ostomies, and incontinence. Many posts in their blog are dedicated to nurse and advocate education, like their post on “Proper Use of WOCN Acronym and WOCNCB Credentials.” They also highlight resources and products to help their patients both medically and emotionally (meet “Awesome Ollie the Ostomy Bear”!). Check out their real-life perspective guest posts from writers living with a single or double ostomy. Visit their patient section to find resources, like a nurse directory.
Tweet them @WOCNSociety
Ostomy Wound Management
For emerging medical news, turn to Ostomy Wound Management Journal. Since 1980, they’ve provided a range of content: wound care tips, research, career profiles, and more. Their educational articles are subject to double-blind peer review before being published, so you can trust they’re well-researched. Patients and professionals alike look to them for discussion of new treatments, nutrition, and information for managing an ostomy.
Tweet them @owmjournal
Uncover Ostomy was founded by Jessica Grossman. She went through ostomy surgery in 2003. Grossman received a Crohn’s disease diagnosis when she was 8 years old, and saw ostomy as her last hope. She started the blog in 2009, aiming to promote positivity and change the stigma around ostomies. She shares her own story and welcomes others to do the same. The personal stories are filled with honesty and optimism. One firefighter describes dealing with stigma at work. Jessica shares her own struggle to find confidence after the procedure. Writers also tackle insights for friends and family, like how having an ostomy hasn’t affected one couple’s love.
Tweet them @uncoverostomy
Ostomy Canada Society
Ostomy Canada Society is a nonprofit supporting people with ostomies through resources and advice. They highlight Canadian organizations helpful for people with ostomies, like local youth camps and support groups. They also provide help finding the right nurse and understanding your right to a tax credit. In addition to educational information, they promote opportunities to raise awareness and give to others. Visit their calendar to find events, activities, talks, and conferences near you.
Tweet them @OstomyCanada
Catherine is a journalist passionate about health, public policy, and women's rights. She writes on a range of nonfiction topics from entrepreneurship to women's issues as well as fiction. Her work has appeared in Inc., Forbes, The Huffington Post, and other publications. She is a mom, wife, writer, artist, travel enthusiast, and lifelong student.