Undergoing gastric sleeve or gastric bypass surgery is a big deal. Your body has gone through a lot! Healing and recovery will take some time. Your intestines and digestive system are going to feel a lot of the impact of your surgery, and one of the most common complaints of weight loss surgery is constipation.
Constipation is generally defined as having difficulty with bowel movements due to hard stools. This can be a common condition post-op, and sometimes people that have gastric sleeve surgery (sleeve gastrectomy) experience significant changes in their bowel movements as a side effect.
Most of the time, constipation is a temporary condition that doesn’t have serious complications associated with it. However, the longer it lasts, the more severe and uncomfortable it can get. So if you can prevent constipation after bariatric surgery and help treat it, you will feel better.
So why does constipation after weight loss surgery happen? There could be a variety of reasons why you experience constipation after surgery. Some of the most common causes include:
- Less food intake
- Iron supplements
- Medication use
- Lack of exercise
- Inadequate fiber intake
- Weakened abdominal muscles
- Not drinking enough water
How to avoid constipation
Adequate fluid intake is the best way to ensure your bowels are functioning properly. Bariatric surgery patients should aim to drink at least 96 ounces of water every day. In fact – it’s one of the diet plan requirements at WeightWise. It will keep your body hydrated during the recovery process as well as decrease your risk of constipation.
In addition, don’t drink caffeine, and make sure you get up and move as often as you can after surgery. You don’t have to start a rigorous exercise routine right away – all you have to do is walk and be active. Physical activity will help get your bowels moving.
And last but not least, once you have transitioned back into your “normal diet,” make sure you’re taking Miralax if you’re having issues. We discourage other short-term solutions such as milk of magnesia, laxatives, and fiber supplements. They increase the risk of dehydration and are harder on bariatric patient’s stomachs. Miralax is not a laxative or addictive so if you want to take it every day you can.
Your Weight Loss Experts
Losing weight can be a difficult task, whether you need to lose 10 pounds or more. When you have more than 100 pounds of unwanted weight, the job can be that much more difficult. We believe our program gives our clients the best chance at success.
WeightWise takes a holistic approach to your weight loss efforts. Gastric sleeve, duodenal switch, gastric bypass, or lap band surgery is just one piece of the puzzle. And while this physical change certainly plays a big part, the real work happens in the weeks, months, and years after surgery.
After all, surgery won’t change your lifestyle. Before any surgery, you’ll meet with one of our surgeons for an initial consultation. We’ll find out more about you, your history, and why you want surgery. This is also the time for you to ask questions about our program and to find out what is expected of you.
Unfortunately, not all patients are accepted into the program. This isn’t a quick-fix solution – it involves a lifelong commitment to a healthier lifestyle. In addition to the surgery, you’ll meet with a dietitian and exercise physiologist to map out plans for the next year of your life.
The physical aspects are just one side of the weight-loss coin, however. Our patient advocates are here to help with the emotional strain of losing 80, 90, or more than 100 pounds of unwanted weight. These “personal cheerleaders” will answer questions about scheduling, payment, and insurance.
Your advocate will also be a shoulder to cry on, be available for high-fives, and offer other forms of support. We want you to succeed, so we give you all the tools you need to lead a healthier lifestyle for the rest of your life. Watch our FREE online seminar for more information. And when you’re ready, contact WeightWise – we’ll be here for you.