Tips for Dealing with Constipation after Bariatric Surgery

People normally have bowel movements ranging from a few times a week to two to three times daily. After weight-loss surgery, the number and consistency of bowel movements will change. Missing a bowel movement does not mean you have constipation. Rather, if the consistency of your stool is hard and it is difficult to pass, that is considered constipation.
During the period immediately after weight-loss surgery, you will likely have fewer bowel movements. This is because you are eating very little. Later, you may experience constipation. Common causes in the first few months after surgery include inadequate fiber consumption due to limited stomach capacity and an emphasis on eating enough protein. Also, inadequate fluid consumption is a common culprit.

If it has been awhile since your surgery but you are still having issues with constipation, before you start adding a fiber supplement try to add fiber through your diet by doing the “Seven-day 3-2-1 challenge” – where you consume 3 servings of fruits/vegetables (1 serving = ½ cup), drink 2 liter of water (or 64 oz), and have 1 serving of oats or bran-containing products (1 serving = ½ cup) food each day for a full week. If after the seven days your bowel movements don’t improve, experiment with the following fiber supplements until you find what works for you. Start with the smallest dosage and increase as tolerated. For products containing inulin limit dosage to no more than 10-15 grams/day. For products with wheat dextrin you can take higher dosages – 30-45 grams/day. As you add more fiber to your diet either from foods or supplements make sure to also increase fluid intake.

  • Alive (Nature’s Way)
  • Benefiber
  • Citrucel
  • Fiber Choice
  • Konsyl or Konsyl Balance or Konsyl Fiber betic
  • Metamucil
  • Natural brand Supper Fiber by GNC
  • Nature Made Fiber
  • Regular Girl On the Go
  • Phillips Fiber Good Gummies