Constipation and Gastric Bypass: How to Fix It

Constipation and Gastric Bypass woman setting on a toilet

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Constipation and Gastric Bypass. Just. Ugh. Gastric bypass is known to alter how a patient lives their lives in the future as they can no longer do everything they could before the surgery. The diet changes, their way of life is adjusted to suit the new normal, the wardrobe is adjusted, and every other feature of their daily lives has a new experience. There are many advantages of doing a bariatric surgery; however, there are some drawbacks that many people are not aware of that seem to be a puzzle for them.

Constipation and Gastric Bypass: How to Fix It article cover image of a guy on a toilet

Take, for instance, constipation. This is a major factor that many people are not sure how to respond to when they experience it. Gastric bypass surgery is a technical issue that needs to be fully explained before, during, and after the procedure is done. Often, patients have to run back to their doctors to get help when they encounter a situation like constipation. What should they do? How can they prevent it? Or, how can they relieve the discomfort if it happens?

Constipation and Gastric Bypass: How to Fix It

We have done in-depth research on how to handle these situations, and you will get a clearer understanding as you read on.  

What Helps Constipation After Bariatric Surgery?  

Most patients have detailed their experience with having a higher level of constipation after their bariatric surgery. It could be due to your body trying to adjust to the smaller intake of food and the hormonal changes in your body. Another factor could be that you are consuming less water daily than your usual amounts.

Constipation occurs when your stool becomes too hard, or there is limited bowel movement for a period of time. But for many people, no bowel movement in a day could result in constant pain and discomfort. For those who have had weight-loss surgery, there is a higher chance of being constipated as the body realizes there is less food and fluid intake. So, should this happen, here are a few steps one can use to get some relief…

Drink More Water

Water can flush one’s system of all waste and undigested elements and prevent dehydration. Once these two issues are corrected, the chances of being constipated will be reduced. If you are physically active throughout the day, it is recommended you drink at least eight glasses of water for that period.

Constipation and Gastric Bypass: Keep Active

Exercising plays a critical role in keeping your body active, and in the process, you burn calories and excrete toxins from your body. These active movements – including lots of strength-training workouts – encourage bowel movements and reduce the chances of discomfort.

Increase Fiber Intake

If you are on a set diet plan, you may want to speak with your doctor or dietician about increasing your fiber intake to help with bowel movements. Fruits and vegetables have high amounts of fiber, as well as some fiber-infused cereals you could drop in at breakfast time. You could also ask your doctor about fiber supplements you can take for those who have had a bariatric procedure and are taking vitamins and supplements.

Vitamin C Works

Vitamin C does a lot for you in easing constipation and helps your body absorb the many other minerals and vitamins. You can opt for more citrus fruits or ask your doctor about optional Vitamin C supplements.

Don’t Delay Bathroom Calls

When you have the slightest feeling of going to the bathroom, ensure you get to it right away and don’t delay. Putting it off could lead to further discomfort and worsen the constipation issues.

Squatty Potty & Constipation after WLS | Gastric Bypass, VSG, Duodenal Switch Weight Loss Surgery

Can You Take Laxatives After a Gastric Bypass?

Laxatives may seem like a convenient option for bariatric patients when they do not have any bowel movements. However, before one is taken, it is highly recommended to speak with your doctor about all the possible options. Bear in mind, not all lack of bowel movement is because gastric bypass was done, so you want to be careful before consuming them.

However, in most cases, if there is a time-lapse, say three days, without any movement, and you are experiencing discomfort, your doctor may recommend options like milk of magnesia or general laxative tablets.

Can You Take Metamucil After Gastric Bypass?

Based on research, Metamucil is an effective option to help if you get constipated after gastric bypass. You can opt for the gummy pills or alternative fiber supplements, but ensure you keep active throughout the day after taking them to help it work faster to cause a bowel movement. Drinking lots of water with Metamucil will help it work faster throughout your system and not get lodged in place.

How Do You Stimulate a Bowel Movement?

There are numerous ways to stimulate bowel movements, such as drinking more water and eating rich fiber foods. However, people can stimulate a bowel movement by inserting a lubricated finger into the anus and moving it in a circular motion until the sphincter muscle relaxes. After completing this process, try to get in a sitting position, and for those who are probably confined to a lying position, try lying on the left side.  

Constipation and Gastric Bypass: What Drinks Make You Poop?

Many people opt for food or fluids that help with bowel movement after bariatric surgery instead of taking laxatives. So, what fluids are the most effective in helping one to head to the toilet? You can try any of these…

* Apple Juice

Apple contains lots of fiber and can aid in relieving constipation. However, try to avoid making applesauce into a liquid as this contains more pectin than the regular apple juice and rather makes your stool hard and firm.

* Prune Juice

The fiber contained in a small quantity of prune juice could be higher than your daily fiber recommended intake, thus making a great option to work with to get your stool loose.

* Pear Juice

Pear contains a lot of sorbitol, making your stool soft and easier to pass. Consuming a small glass should be effective, even though more can be consumed.

What Foods Make You Poop Right Away?

For the most part, if you are constipated, it is highly recommended to consume more fruits and vegetables as they contain a high amount of fiber which is good to relieve bouts of constipation. Some of the more effective fruits and vegetables include apple, pear, prune, flax seed, kiwi, artichokes, and fig. You can also add some sweet potatoes and oat-bran foods to your diet as the fiber content is relatively high.

Constipation has happened to just about everyone at some point in time, and these have proven to be the most effective ways recommended by medical experts, to work.  

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