Jacqui Lewis - BHSc Nutritional and Dietetic Medicine
Gut Health After Bariatric Surgery
Even after bariatric surgery, the bacteria in your gut can contribute to weight gain and poor health in the following ways:
The wrong diet containing too much sugar, fat or calories feeds bad bacteria.
The wrong type of gut bacteria can release chemicals that cause inflammation, which contributes to weight gain.
They can affect how foods are digested and make chemicals make you feel full after a meal.
By altering how you store fat and your blood sugar levels.
The wrong balance of gut bacteria can lead to obesity and a range of other health problems later in life.
There’s also scientific evidence showing gut bacteria can affect your nervous system and brain, influencing your levels of feel good chemicals such as serotonin and dopamine.
What this means is your gut bacteria can influence not only your mental health, but your overall physical health too – even after bariatric surgery.
Signs you don't have enough good bacteria after Bariatric Surgery:
1. Diarrhoea or constipation
2. Gas (either excessive burping or farting)
3. Reflux or heartburn
4. Bloating or abdominal discomfort
5. Frequent infections such as colds, flu, UTI’s (urinary tract infections), poor wound healing
6. Fungal overgrowth such as thrush, candida or athlete’s foot
7. Poor absorption resulting in low nutrient levels
Stop feeding the bad bacteria in your Gut!
Cut out processed foods such as sugar, alcohol, white bread and pasta. Processed foods, sugar and alcohol are what bad bacteria thrive on.
Food that feed your good bacteria
Fruits and vegetables are rich in nutrients and high in fibre which feeds good bacteria. Examples include garlic, onion, brussels sprouts, broccoli and beetroot.
Wholegrains – are grains that have not been processed or refined and are high in fibre. Some examples of wholegrains include oats, brown rice and barley.
Beans and legumes such as chickpeas, red kidney beans and lentils.
These high fibre foods will help increase your levels of good bacteria.
Fibre helps your gut health after bariatric surgery by:
- Helps to make you feel full after a meal, which means you eat less
- Keeps your blood sugar stable
- Reduces the severity and frequency of reflux
- Improving the absorption of nutrients
- Supports your immune health
- Fights off bad bacteria that are linked to obesity
- Feeds good bacteria
Your good bacteria are like crowd control. Which means the more you have, the less room there is for the bad bacteria to thrive.
Given gut health is important after bariatric surgery and fibre is key for a healthy gut, consider taking a fibre supplement.
BN Fibre makes it easy to increase your fibre intake. It’s dissolvable, grit and taste free so it doesn’t change the taste of your food or drink.
If you have any questions or would like more information, join our BN Bariatric community on Facebook. BN Bariatric offers a wealth of knowledge, resources, free support and lively discussion with our Clinical Nutritionists.
BHSc Nutritional and Dietetic Medicine