Gastric sleeve is a weight loss surgery that involves removing a portion of the stomach to reduce its capacity and, in turn, limit the amount of food that can be consumed. After the procedure, patients may experience changes in their digestive system, including bowel movements.
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The Connection Between Gastric Sleeve and Bowel Movements
The removal of the portion of the stomach that produces the hunger hormone, ghrelin, can cause changes in the digestive system, leading to constipation. The slower digestion that results from gastric sleeve can also contribute to constipation.
How Long Does It Take to Start Pooping After Gastric Sleeve?
It is normal for patients to experience a delay in bowel movements after gastric sleeve, as the digestive system adjusts to the changes in the stomach. For most patients, it takes a few days to a week for normal bowel movements to return. However, some patients may experience a longer delay, and it is not uncommon for patients to go several days without a bowel movement.
What Can Be Done to Relieve Constipation After Gastric Sleeve?
If you are experiencing constipation after gastric sleeve, there are several steps you can take to relieve the symptoms:
- Increase Hydration
Drinking enough water is essential for preventing constipation, as it helps to soften the stool and promote regular bowel movements. Aim to drink at least 5-10 glasses of water each day.
- Use Over-the-Counter Laxatives
If dietary and lifestyle changes do not provide relief, over-the-counter laxatives can help to relieve constipation. However, it is important to use these products with caution and only as directed by your doctor.
When Should You Contact Your Doctor?
If you are experiencing severe constipation or if you have gone more than five days without a bowel movement, it is important to contact your doctor. These symptoms may indicate a more serious issue, such as a blockage in the intestine, and prompt medical attention is necessary.
In conclusion, it is normal to experience a delay in bowel movements after gastric sleeve. However, if constipation persists, there are steps you can take to relieve the symptoms. If you are experiencing severe constipation or have gone more than five days without a bowel movement, it is important to contact your doctor for an evaluation.
Other Factors That Can Contribute to Constipation After Gastric Sleeve
In addition to the changes in the digestive system, other factors can contribute to constipation after gastric sleeve, including:
- Pain Medication
Pain medication, such as opioids, can slow down the digestive system and cause constipation. If you are taking pain medication after gastric sleeve, be sure to discuss the potential side effects with your doctor.
Dehydration can also contribute to constipation after gastric sleeve. In addition to drinking plenty of water, it is important to avoid alcohol and caffeine, which can dehydrate the body.
- Lack of Physical Activity
A sedentary lifestyle can contribute to constipation after gastric sleeve. Aim to get 30 minutes of moderate exercise each day, such as brisk walking or cycling, to help stimulate the digestive system.
- Poor Diet
Eating a diet that is high in processed foods and low in fiber can contribute to constipation after gastric sleeve. Aim to eat a balanced diet that includes plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains to help prevent constipation.