What To Know When You Can't Go: Tips for Constipation Management
Many weight loss patients will experience constipation in the first few months after surgery. Bariatric surgery patients are more at risk for constipation due to:
- Certain medication use
- Low intake of fiber rich foods
- Low levels of physical activity
- High protein intake
Many patients find that they can prevent or manage constipation by using a combination of methods. Some of these include:
- Aim for 48-64 ounces per day.
- Start drinking fluid immediately after waking up.
- Keep a water bottle with you to sip on between meals.
- Aim for foods high in fiber to eat alongside your protein. Some examples include: berries, edamame, lentils, flax or chia seeds, and avocado.
- Use a fiber supplement to help you reach your fiber goal. If you are not used to these products, make sure to start with a small amount and gradually work up to your target. This method will prevent worsening of constipation. My favorite fiber supplement can be purchased here (affiliate link).
- Aim for healthy fats when you have the chance. These include fatty fish, walnuts, chia or flax seeds, olives or olive oil, etc.
- When you have been cleared to restart exercise, begin with activities you are comfortable with and slowly increase the frequency, duration, and intensity as you are able.
- Flora (aka bacteria)
- Supplementation with a probiotic (healthy bacteria) can help support a healthy gut. Some of the benefits of these microorganisms include helping to break down food and supporting your immune system.
- Probiotics are also found in fermented foods such as yogurt, miso, kefir, kimchi, and sauerkraut.
- Additional options: Smooth Move tea, Medications (such as Colace of Miralax)
If issues persist, make sure to talk to your doctor for additional suggestions and treatment.