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How to relieve constipation after bariatric surgery?

Written by: Laura Arantegui / Date: 07-02-24 / Reading of 4 Minutes

Bariatric surgery is an effective procedure for weight loss and health improvement in people with obesity. However, as with any surgical intervention, side effects can arise, and one of the most common, in the medium to long term, is constipation. In this blog post, we will explore the causes of constipation after bariatric surgery and provide you with tips and effective treatments to relieve it.


Table of Contents

  • 1. Causes of constipation after bariatric surgery.
  • 2. Tips to relieve constipation after bariatric surgery.
  • 3. Frequently Asked Questions

Causes of constipation after bariatric surgery:

Constipation after bariatric surgery may be due to several reasons:

  • Changes in diet: Bariatric surgery entails a drastic change in eating habits. As a general rule, it is difficult to cover the daily requirements of fiber (25g/day) but after surgery, it is a little more difficult to reach those requirements due to the lower intake of plant-based foods, which can cause an imbalance in our digestive system generating constipation.
  • Reduced fluid intake: After surgery, fluid intake may have been reduced due to poor gastrointestinal tolerance, favoring the development of constipation episodes.
  • Reduced mobility: Recovery from bariatric surgery may require a period of inactivity or decreased physical activity, which may slow intestinal transit and cause constipation.
  • Changes in gastrointestinal anatomy: After surgery the anatomy of the digestive system is altered, affecting nutrient absorption and bowel function, contributing to constipation.
  • Medication use: You may be prescribed painkillers or medications that can cause constipation as a side effect.

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Tips to relieve constipation after bariatric surgery:

If you are experiencing constipation after bariatric surgery, there are several strategies you can follow to relieve it:

  • Increase water intake: Hydration is key to preventing constipation. Drink enough water throughout the day, avoiding drinking it during meals. If you find it difficult to drink water throughout the day, try hot or cold infusions.
  • Increase fiber intake: Despite dietary restrictions after bariatric surgery, you can increase fiber intake by choosing fiber-rich foods, such as fruits, vegetables, legumes, whole grain pasta and rice. Consult with your medical team for specific recommendations.
  • Eat in small portions and chew well: Chewing food well and eating in small portions can help your digestive system process food more efficiently.
  • Be physically active: Regular physical activity can stimulate bowel movements and help relieve constipation. Start with gentle walks and increase the intensity as you feel better.
  • Consider fiber supplements: In some cases, feeding may not be enough, so you may need to make use of fiber modules such as BariFIBER, which is formulated with a blend of neutral-tasting fibers that you can dissolve in any liquid food (water, purees, broths, broths, dairy, etc.).
  • Avoid excessive use of laxatives: Excessive use of laxatives can have negative effects on nutrient absorption and long-term bowel function. Consult your medical team before resorting to laxatives.
  • Consult your medical team: If you experience persistent or severe constipation, communicate your symptoms to your medical team. They can offer specific guidance and, in some cases, may consider adjustments to your treatment plan.
  • Establish a regular routine: Try to establish a daily routine that includes times to go to the bathroom. This can help train your body to have regular bowel movements.
  • Patience and persistence: Constipation after bariatric surgery can be a challenge, but with patience and persistence, most people manage to overcome it. Keep a positive attitude and remember that recovery takes time.
  • Avoid overeating or eating too fast: Eating too much or too fast can overwhelm your stomach and contribute to constipation. Pay attention to satiety cues and eat at a leisurely pace.

In summary, constipation after bariatric surgery is a common challenge, but with the right approach and attention to your diet and habits, it is possible to alleviate it.

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Frequently Asked Questions

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