Foul-Smelling Bowel Movements After Bariatric Surgery

Malabsorptive bariatric procedures such as the Gastric Bypass, Duodenal Switch, and SADI can help produce impressive weight loss after surgery, but they can come with a few unpleasant side effects: foul-smelling bowel movements and gas. These are due to the significant intestinal rerouting that produces changes in digestion and bowel habits. In this blog post, we’ll uncover the main causes of this issue and offer actionable strategies for management and prevention.

The Role of Diet in Bowel Health Post-Surgery

Reducing Processed Carbs, Sugar, and Fat

After a malabsorptive bariatric surgery, the body’s ability to digest and absorb nutrients undergoes significant changes. High intake of processed carbohydrates, sugars, and fats can exacerbate digestive issues, leading to malodorous bowel movements. These foods can ferment in the gut, producing gas and unpleasant odors.

To reduce the smell and frequency of your bowel, opt for whole, unprocessed foods can mitigate these effects and promote a healthier gut flora. When at the grocery store, shop the perimeter of the store and avoid the central aisle that will contain the most highly processed foods (ie: anything packaged in a bag or box with bright marketing colors on the containers).

Increasing Protein and Fiber Intake

Protein is essential for healing and maintaining muscle mass post-surgery. It is digested more slowly, providing a sense of fullness that helps to stabilize blood sugar levels. Fiber, on the other hand, aids in regular bowel movements and supports a healthy gut microbiome. Incorporating a balanced diet rich in lean proteins and high-fiber foods like vegetables, fruits, and whole grains can significantly improve bowel health and reduce odor. You can also purchase an over the counter fiber supplement such as Benefiber which also contains both pre and probiotics to help balance your gut microbiome.

Addressing Frequent Bowel Movements and Potential Infections

Experiencing more than five to six bowel movements a day can be indicative of underlying issues, such as a bacterial infection. Clostridioides difficile (C.Diff) is a common culprit, especially after antibiotic use. It’s crucial to consult with your healthcare provider to rule out such infections and receive appropriate treatment prior to starting over the counter medications like Imodium to slow your bowels down.

Devrom: An Internal Deodorizer

For those struggling with gas and the odor of bowel movements, Devrom offers a solution. Acting as an internal deodorizer, it can help neutralize odors, making this post-surgical adjustment period more comfortable. Other natural herbs like ginger, fennel, peppermint, cumin, and parsley can also help so try incorporating them into your daily diet to help with odor control.

Implementing Lifestyle Changes for Long-term Success

Regular Physical Activity

Engaging in regular physical activity can improve digestion and reduce the occurrence of foul-smelling bowel movements. Exercise promotes gut motility and aids in the efficient processing of food.

Hydration is Key

Adequate water intake is essential for softening stools and supporting healthy bowel movements. Aim for at least 64oz of water daily, more if you’re active or live in a hot climate.

Mindful Eating Practices

Eating slowly, chewing thoroughly, and consuming smaller, more frequent meals can significantly improve digestion and nutrient absorption, reducing the likelihood of malodorous stools.

In Summary

Managing foul-smelling bowel movements after malabsorptive bariatric surgeries such as the Gastric Bypass, SADI, or Duodenal Switch involves a comprehensive approach that includes diet modification, lifestyle changes, and, when necessary, medical intervention. By embracing these strategies, bariatric patients can improve their digestive health and quality of life in the post-surgery period.

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Foul-Smelling Bowel Movements
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