A [Not] Shit Week

Weight Loss Surgery blogs don’t often talk about the hard and often painful side of recovery.  We talk about food, a lot, and most recipes that suit our new lifestyle.  And we talk about clothes and results and where we get a lot of our support from (HOLLA INSTAGRAM!) but there are certain things we don’t go into much detail about, if any.  And I think this is wrong – we need to be open about the whole damn thing.

So today we’re going to talk about poop.
Because the last time I went to the loo I cried.  And the time before that, 4 days ago, I cried.  It’s painful, its scary and all I can think about is injuring myself and requiring a trip to the Accident and Emergency Department.  All whilst wiggling and trying to squeeze and break off little bits.  I’ve never felt so alone as those moments in my bathroom.

Constipation is something that the nurse and the dietician warned me about, there are even a whole two pages in my surgery handbook covering how to manage it but I didn’t think it would be a problem for me.  The dangers of remaining constipation or experiencing it regularly are hemorrhoids, hernias, and intestinal blockages. Ummm, no thanks!
My days are spent thinking about protein levels, how much water I can fit in and whether my step count is ‘good enough’.  With all the eating and the drinking, I thought I was doing okay.  The low carb/low fat lifestyle I have will be affecting things.  The changes my body is going through could be causing a bit of stress, I know there is a little brain stress, and cortisol which is a stress hormone can slow bowel movements.

I’ve been given lots of information on how to sort myself out from this problem.
Prior to surgery, Alpine Tea was a good friend of mine.  Now though, all it gives me are are really painful tummy cramps. It’s currently the middle of summer here in New Zealand and I’m drinking close to 3L a day (and probably sweating the same amount!) so I am drinking my recommended water amounts and usually more.
There are lots of other recommendations out there for helping people unblock themselves but post gastric bypass patients have to be careful with which ones they use.  Adding oats and bananas and increasing the fibre in our diets is not recommended for us.  But drinking lots of water is – and I’m doing that.  So today I went and bought a dissolvable fibre supplement.

I’m pining all my hopes on you Benefiber.

Benefiber - Allergic to Sugar

Other methods of helping constipation for bypassers include;

  1. Increasing your fluid intake – but not coffee which can make things worse
  2. Alpine Tea
  3. Electrolytes – an additional 300-600mg of magnesium (in two doses) or increasing your sodium intake
  4. Fibre – I add 1/2 teaspoon of chia seeds to my morning Chia Seeds and now I’m adding 2tsp Benefiber to my 1L water bottle
  5. Non starchy vegetables – broccoli, spinach, cauliflower, green beans and cabbage
  6. Fermented foods – low sugar probiotic yoghurts, sauerkraut and raw apple cider vinegar promote the growth of good bacteria and good gut health means good bowel health
  7. Healthy fats – adding 1tsp of extra virgin olive oil, avocado oil or coconut oil
  8. Exercise – just 30 minutes a day increases blood flow which encourages bowel movements.

So I tried to make it not too gross, I’m sure there’s a lot here that you didn’t want to know but I firmly believe in keeping the gloss off!  Let’s just hope that tomorrow, or the next trip to the loo, doesn’t involve tears!

 

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