Diarrhea after gastric sleeve can be an inconvenient and unpleasant side effect that many new patients experience. All weight loss procedures, including gastric sleeve and gastric bypass, have a significant impact on bowel habits. The small bowel behaves in strange ways and fluctuates erratically as the body adapts to the altered stomach. Diarrhea as a potential gastric sleeve side effect may also be accompanied by excess gas, loose stools, cramps, and sharp pain.
Food tolerance, preference, meal size and frequency are modified as an effect of bariatric surgery. The kinds of food you eat before bariatric surgery are typically different from the foods you eat after.
In most cases, diarrhea is a natural and temporary response to undergoing gastric sleeve. Fortunately, there are certain steps patients can take to help ease gastrointestinal symptoms following your surgery.
Why Do I Have Diarrhea After Gastric Sleeve?
One of the most common sources of diarrhea after VSG surgery is how the patient processes fatty acids. While fatty acids are usually absorbed in the small intestines, Gastric Sleeve diarrhea is incited by irritation from fatty acids going directly into the colon.
Diarrhea, as well as nausea and vomiting, can also be a sign of dumping syndrome which is a common issue for bariatric patients. This is usually caused by foods high in simple sugars and fats quickly entering the intestines. This usually occurs when the patient overeats or drinks liquids too soon after a meal.
According to University of Bern, 45% of sleeve patients develop Dumping Syndrome.
What Causes Diarrhea After Gastric Sleeve?
In general, it is important to recognize what kind of foods you eat on a daily basis. The same certain ingredients and spices that normally induce diarrhea are intensified after bariatric surgery so it is essential that you try to avoid these foods and substitute them with healthier recipes.
While it can make you feel more awake, Caffeine in drinks like coffee and soda can lead to digestive issues like loose stools. This is escalated even more when combined with additives like sugar and cream. Try other sources of caffeine-like ingredients such as red ginseng tinctures and magnesium oil or simply start weaning yourself off of caffeine by eating healthy proteins and multivitamins.
Fructose And Lactose
Intolerance to Fructose and Lactose foods like milk, yogurt, and other dairy products are common sources of diarrhea and stomach issues after bariatric surgery. If you aren’t sure if you are intolerant to Fructose and Lactose, avoid high sugar foods and instead consider alternatives like soy milk.
Diarrhea is often triggered by the consumption of bread, cereal, and other gluten-filled products. Try gluten-free supplements like rice flour bread and almond flour if you think you are sensitive to gluten ingredients.
Even if the label says it’s healthy, eating deep-fried, and ready-to-eat foods can result in indigestion after bariatric surgery, especially after the Gastric Bypass and Mini-Gastric Bypass. Learn to make easy and healthy recipes that follow the postoperative diet.
Healthy foods like avocados and blueberries usually have salicylates which can induce digestive issues in hypersensitive stomachs. This is a less common reason for diarrhea but is still recommended to avoid if you are more sensitive to stomach issues.
Histamines in your body which fight off infections can also cause diarrhea when affected by the consumption of wine, dried fruits, and other fermented foods. Experiment with fermented foods and see which ones are best for your digestion.
Real Patient Questions and Answers
I go back to work tomorrow as a teacher. I’m 4 weeks out from surgery. This morning I had an accident. A bad one and I didn’t feel it coming. If this happened in front of students I would die. Any suggestions? And are there any types of food that make us prone to having accidents?
- Avoid dairy and sugar, especially together. It will get better, but in the meantime never trust a fart.
- Carbs.. stay away from carbs, sugar, and dairy.
- Stay far, far away from sugar, but also artificial sweetener! Also, very fatty food can be really risky.
- But depends saved my butt when I was having to leave the house. Once I started solids I haven’t really had that problem though.
- Try minimizing the sugar content in your food and maybe taking a broth today in a flask to sip on through the day and some Greek yogurt.
How To Stop Diarrhea After Gastric Sleeve Surgery
After weight loss surgery, it is important to drink water and stay hydrated. Avoid foods that can intensify and increase diarrhea like fatty foods and caffeine. Learn how certain foods containing lactose, salicylates, and other sugars affect your body by experimenting with alternative ingredients and visiting a specialist if necessary.
To prevent dumping syndrome, make sure to buy products containing less than 5 grams of sugar and no added simple sugars.
The best way to stop diarrhea after gastric sleeve is to let your body adjust to the surgery. Diarrhea is normal after this kind of procedure but it is recommended that you follow the post-op guide and slowly include different food types back into your diet. Reintroducing foods or returning to an unhealthy diet can lead to more severe cases of diarrhea.