zig
0

Notifications

  • You're all caught up!

How to Treat Constipation After Gastric Bypass

by
author image Marcy Brinkley
Marcy Brinkley has been writing professionally since 2007. Her work has appeared in "Chicken Soup for the Soul," "Texas Health Law Reporter" and the "State Bar of Texas Health Law Section Report." Her degrees include a Bachelor of Science in Nursing; a Master of Business Administration; and a Doctor of Jurisprudence.
How to Treat Constipation After Gastric Bypass
Doctors operating on a patient. Photo Credit Pixland/Pixland/Getty Images

Gastric bypass surgery reduces the size of the stomach in morbidly obese patients and reroutes the digestive system to block some calorie absorption, according to MedlinePlus. Patients often complain of constipation in the first three months after surgery due to reduced intake of food and water, as well as side effects of iron supplements, pain relieving narcotics and other medications, according to Sinai Hospital. Increasing dietary fiber and water, exercising and stool softeners should help to prevent and treat postoperative constipation, but patients should consult their surgeons if symptoms persist.

Step 1

How to Treat Constipation After Gastric Bypass
Medical professional pouring medicine into a spoon. Photo Credit Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images

Contact your bariatric surgeon for instructions if you had surgery less than one month ago. Some surgeons advise patients to try a dose of Milk of Magnesia for constipation during the early postoperative period, while others prefer that contact the office before taking any laxatives, says Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center.

Step 2

How to Treat Constipation After Gastric Bypass
Close up of water being poured into a glass. Photo Credit Ryan McVay/Photodisc/Getty Images

Drink at least 64 oz. of water or other sugar-free, caffeine-free fluids daily to prevent and treat constipation, says Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center. In hot weather and during physical exertion, increase fluid intake to replace fluids lost through sweating. Drink fluids between meals since fluid intake during meals can cause you to feel over-full, reducing the amount of nutrient-rich foods you can take in, advises MedlinePlus.

You Might Also Like

Step 3

How to Treat Constipation After Gastric Bypass
Powder mix being poured into glass of water. Photo Credit Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images

Drink water mixed with an over-the-counter fiber supplement powder every day to treat and prevent constipation, says Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center.

Step 4

How to Treat Constipation After Gastric Bypass
Oats with a metal scoop. Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images

Add dietary fiber if you are eating soft or regular foods. Increase fiber slowly to avoid bloating and intestinal gas. Try adding unprocessed bran to ground meat, salads or yogurt, or use dried peas and beans to provide protein plus fiber, suggests Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center. Eat oatmeal, sugar-free applesauce, a baked potato with skin, bran cereal, whole grain bread or unsweetened pureed prunes every day to increase fiber and treat constipation, says Sinai Hospital.

Step 5

How to Treat Constipation After Gastric Bypass
2 bananas. Photo Credit John Foxx/Stockbyte/Getty Images

Avoid foods that tend to increase constipation, including bananas, cheese, rice, potatoes without the skin and peanut butter, says Eastern Idaho Medical Center.

Step 6

How to Treat Constipation After Gastric Bypass
Woman stretching outdoors. Photo Credit Comstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images

Exercise daily to increase bowel motility. Walking and core exercises that improve abdominal strength help to prevent and treat constipation.

Step 7

How to Treat Constipation After Gastric Bypass
A box of pills on a table. Photo Credit Visage/Stockbyte/Getty Images

Choose your supplements wisely. Take calcium citrate instead of calcium carbonate, which is not digested well after gastric bypass and may cause constipation, says Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center. Taking a compound supplement with a 2-to-1 ratio of calcium to magnesium produces softer and more frequent bowel movements. Ferrous fumerate or ferrous gluconate iron supplements cause less constipation after gastric bypass surgery than other forms of iron.

Step 8

How to Treat Constipation After Gastric Bypass
Surgeon talking to patient. Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images

Consult your bariatric surgeon about stool softeners such as docusate sodium if other measures do not relieve your constipation within five days, says Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center.

Related Searches

LiveStrong Calorie Tracker
THE LIVESTRONG.COM MyPlate Nutrition, Workouts & Tips
GOAL
  • Gain 2 pounds per week
  • Gain 1.5 pounds per week
  • Gain 1 pound per week
  • Gain 0.5 pound per week
  • Maintain my current weight
  • Lose 0.5 pound per week
  • Lose 1 pound per week
  • Lose 1.5 pounds per week
  • Lose 2 pounds per week
GENDER
  • Female
  • Male
lbs.
ft. in.

References

Demand Media