By: Meaghan Edwards- Registered Dietitian
After having bariatric surgery, constipation can become a problem due to several different reasons however the main ones are not getting enough fiber in through your diet and also not getting in enough fluids. Intaking enough fluid and fiber become difficult because you are only able to eat and drink so much with a restrictive procedure and the main focus on all intake is typically protein. Here are a few tips to help improve and prevent constipation
• Drinks enough fluid to keep your urine light lemonade color
o This ranges from person to person, typically about 48-100oz is the range
• Get about 14-16g fiber per 1,000 calories you consume
Good sources are raw fruits/veggies, beans, whole grains, etc
• Avoid taking unnecessary narcotic drugs
• Find a calcium supplement that includes magnesium
• Take a probiotic
• Avoid caffeine
This can dehydrate you, increasing your risk for constipation
• Take a daily stool softener
• If iron supplement is needed, try to find one with stool softener included
Keep in mind, that directly after surgery your intake is very minimal and therefore it is very common to not have daily bowel movements. With that being said, be more aware of how your bowel movements are. If they are hard to pass and in a “pebble” form (or hard) that is a sign of being constipated. If they are normal, you have nothing to worry about.
If your constipation lasts over 3 days, you have a distended belly, vomiting, or blood in your stool you will want to seek medical attention as those are signs of severe constipation.