Do you have a lot of gas after gastric bypass surgery? While this might feel embarrassing, know that you’re not alone. The good news is there are some strategies for managing your symptoms as well as tips to improve your quality of life post-surgery.
Why People Experience Gas After Gastric Bypass Surgery
There are several reasons why people experience a lot of gas after gastric bypass surgery. Because most foods (especially carbohydrates) aren’t easily digestible anymore, there’s more air in your digestive system than usual. This extra air frequently pushes its way out through your mouth or anus.
Another reason for excess gas has nothing to do with what you’re consuming; it simply has to do with how quickly it moves through your body. Gastric bypass procedures speed up digestion by reducing the size of the stomach pouch that holds your food. This can lead to gas since you’re not taking the time necessary for proper digestion and absorption of nutrients from the foods you eat.
The last factor behind why people experience a lot of gas after gastric bypass surgery is related to an imbalance in good vs. bad bacteria throughout their digestive system, also known as dysbiosis. Although there’s still plenty of research being done on this topic, it appears that most patients who have undergone gastric bypass procedures tend to be deficient in healthy gut microorganisms like lactobacillus (one example would be probiotics).
Gas tends to begin two to six weeks after gastric bypass surgery as your digestive system adjusts. The good news is that it usually resolves on its own within a couple of months and doesn’t impact the success of the procedure or future weight loss goals. That said, experiencing trapped gas after gastric bypass can be uncomfortable, embarrassing, and even painful. Fortunately, there are ways to manage your symptoms so you feel better without impacting your quality of life post-surgery!
How to Get Rid of Gas After Gastric Bypass Surgery
Increase your intake of probiotics. Increasing your intake of healthy microorganisms can help reduce the production of methane, hydrogen sulfide, carbon dioxide gases that cause flatulence.
As part of any meal plan post-surgery, opt for fresh vegetables over fruits since they contain more carbs with less sugar than their whole counterparts. This will also ensure there’s enough roughage in your diet—roughage stimulates bowel movements and encourages the healthy bacteria in your gut to grow.
While you’re eating, avoid carbonated beverages and try to eat slowly since they can speed up digestion time even more than gastric bypass surgery alone does. Additionally, stay away from chewing gum or sucking on lozenges as these increase air intake that leads to gas!
Incorporate ginger into your diet post-surgery because it’s been shown to reduce nausea as well as bloating by increasing the water content of stool which reduces bowel movements. Green tea has also been shown effective for reducing flatulence when consumed daily after a meal.
If possible, visit with a doctor who specializes in digestive disorders so they can prescribe medications like simethicone (a common over-the-counter option), which can help with gas, bloating, and nausea.
As you’re making these dietary changes to manage your symptoms of excess gas after gastric bypass surgery, keep in mind that your digestive system will likely take some time to adjust. However, we will be here for you. Whenever you have questions or concerns, just turn to your bariatric team.
Want to know how gastric bypass can help you? Read: How Much Weight Do You Lose After Gastric Bypass?