Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Happy Bathroom Visits

Ok... I am really hoping that this blog post doesn't suddenly attract a whole bunch of Internet wierdos. But the subject matter is one that's is a chronic problem for many folks after WLS. Let's talk about poop. After RNY there are many factors that contribute to chronic constipation in a great majority of us. Here's some general reasons why we suffer from constipation:
  • Because food is no longer churned in the stomach, the particles that the intestines have to deal with are larger and the shortened route means that food hits the large intestines less digested then before surgery.
  • We're now eating more dense foods (protein takes longer to digest than carbohydrates).
  • We're focusing so much on protein, our fiber intake is much lower than the recommended level. We should be getting 25-30g fiber per day but most are barely hitting 10g a day.
  • Various supplements and medications can also cause constipation -- iron is a classic culprit.

So add all those things together and you've got some major bathroom issues going on. For the past year or so I've really been focused on getting 25-30g fiber per day. I've had to use a supplement - FiberSure - every morning in my protein shakes to even come close to that number. I also take 2 fish oil capsules and 2 Colace pills per day to help. And yes, I'm drinking enough water too. But chronic constipation has been my nemesis for far too long and I was getting desperate for a solution. Then two weeks ago my friend Tara mentioned her new fiber habit and I jumped on board with it. Each morning she measures out 1 cup of Fiber One Cereal (the twigs) and munches on it throughout the day. That 1 cup of cereal equals 120 calories, 8g protein and 30g fiber (and only 22g of other carbs)!! 30 grams of fiber! Holy cow!!! So I started it. I measured out one cup servings into baggies so it's easy to grab and go. I carry it with me to work and usually munch while I'm driving to and from work and add it to my morning yogurt. Technically it's grazing since I am snacking all day without it being on a schedule ... but I'm making an exception to this rule because it's for a very specific purpose and because it is budgeted into my daily calorie intake. Ever since I started this routine I've had "Happy Bathroom Visits." I know, I know... TMI. Sorry. But I gotta tell you that it has changed my life. Ok, maybe not THAT dramatic, but really it's an amazing difference. Right now I'm averaging about 40g fiber per day when I add in the rest of the food I eat besides the cereal. So if you're having an unhappy relationship with your bathroom, I highly recommend the one-cup-a-day of Fiber One. ~Pam


  1. spicy food will curb my constipation too ... but it's not always a "happy" bathroom visit.

  2. I am going to try this for sure.


    Pam E

  3. Well thanks for the info. I crush fiber one cereal and coat my chicken with it (my son hasn't figured it out yet) and I works great for onion rings in the over (a hungry girl recipe) but I love the idea of one cup in the baggie. I am very unhappy right now . . being on midnight's not eating right if at all and then trying to stay awake on OT day shift is making me "very unhappy". . . is that to much info for you . . lol
    Thanks for the "crappy" post . . lol . . . I'm full of it . ..

  4. Thanks for the info! As a pre-op I have heard that this can be a big problem post-op so I will definitely keep this in mind!

  5. Oh! I'm so honored to be mentioned here!! I too felt a slight twinge of guilt about the grazing issue. BUT - I ususally try to incorporate it into several meals and sometimes I eat a half cup for a nighttime snack.


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