5 Tips on How to Get Rid of Gas After Bariatric Surgery
Bariatric surgery can have many side effects, including dietary sensitivities and acid reflux. A little-known side effect, however, is excess gas and flatulence. For many, having gas after weight loss surgery is a minor, albeit embarrassing, side effect. For others, it’s a painful condition that can disrupt their daily activities.
Tijuana Bariatrics, conveniently located in downtown Tijuana, Mexico, prioritizes patient education. That’s why knowledgeable surgeons are here to give you five tips on how to get rid of gas after bariatric surgery.
Gas After Bariatric Surgery
Experiencing gas after bariatric surgery is completely normal, and it has many causes, including:
- The surgery introduced air into the abdominal cavity
- New dietary changes or sensitivities can trigger gas production
- The gastrointestinal tract fails to break down and absorb nutrients efficiently
Regardless of the reason, there are many things that patients can do to help relieve gas after weight loss surgery.
Tip #1: Eat Mindfully
Eating mindfully means paying attention to how well you’re chewing your food and listening to your body’s hunger and satiation signals. Patients should chew food until it is a puree-like consistency before swallowing. Additionally, patients should avoid overeating by closely following their surgeon’s recommendations regarding meal frequency and portion size.
Tip #2: Avoid Foods that Cause Excess Gas
Fiber-rich foods, like beans and vegetables, have a reputation for triggering gas and flatulence. But, some patients find that their gastrointestinal tracts behave a little differently following bariatric surgery.
This means that certain foods, like dairy and alcohol, may become problematic for some patients. The Tijuana-based bariatric surgeons we work with encourage patients to document and avoid foods that seem to trigger painful gas production.
Tip #3: Take a Probiotic
Our guts contain trillions of microorganisms. Many of these microorganisms help keep us healthy, but some are harmful to our health. Gastrointestinal distress, like gas and flatulence, may result when the harmful microorganisms begin to outweigh the good.
A probiotic helps restore the balance between healthy and unhealthy bacteria in the gut. Patients must consult with their bariatric surgeon before beginning a probiotic regimen, as some patients may not be suitable candidates for probiotics.
Tip #4: Take Over-the-Counter Medications
Many over-the-counter medications can help relieve painful gas quickly, including:
- Alpha-galactosidase supplements: Products like Beano help break down hard-to-digest carbohydrates.
- Simethicone supplements: Gas-X and Mylanta help move gas along the digestive tract for faster relief.
- Lactase supplements: Products like Lactaid can help digest the gas-producing sugars found in dairy products.
As always, patients must discuss dietary supplements and aids with their bariatric surgeon. In some cases, your surgeon may recommend a prescription medication over a store-bought medication.
Tip #5: Stay Hydrated and Get Active
Drinking plenty of water helps keep the digestive tract moving smoothly. In turn, food and gas can pass through the digestive tract faster and easier.
Physical activity encourages better digestion and helps move food and gas through the gastrointestinal tract. Something like light yoga or a 30-minute walk can help relieve painful gas trapped in the stomach.
Talk to Skilled Bariatric Surgeons Today
Gas is a common side effect of bariatric surgery, but it shouldn’t keep you from pursuing weight-loss surgery. If you’re ready to explore your options, request an appointment online here.