Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Hacking Your Intestinal Track

The surgeon warned me about this: he said that the trickiest part of my hernia surgery was going to have nothing at all to do with the hernia itself. The major complaint his patients (and me included) have is that your gastrointestinal track gets totally hosed from the anesthesia.

This means a couple of days of misery from either going the bathroom too often, or not often enough.

Did I prepare for this ahead of time? No, of course not. But now that my system is basically back to normal, I figured I should read up on what I should have been eating to get back on track faster. Or at least not make matters worse.

This information is also essential for travel - and I'm tempted to print this out and put this in my dopp kit. There's nothing worse than being on travel, having some intestinal woes, and then eating exactly the wrong things to make it worse.

Thanks to the America Cancer Society for providing this useful information.

If You're Going Too Often

  • Eat smaller amounts of food, but eat more often.
  • Avoid coffee, tea, alcohol, and sweets.
  • Avoid high fiber foods: including whole grain breads and cereals, raw vegetables, beans, nuts, seeds, popcorn, and fresh and dried fruit.
  • Eat low-fiber foods instead, such as white bread, white rice or noodles, creamed cereals, ripe bananas, canned or cooked fruit without skins, cottage cheese, yogurt, eggs, mashed or baked potatoes without the skin, pureed vegetables, chicken or turkey without the skin, and fish.
  • Stay away from fried, greasy, or spicy foods.
  • Avoid milk and milk products
  • Eat more potassium-rich foods, such as bananas, oranges, potatoes, and peach and apricot nectars
  • Drink apple juice and lots of water

If Your Not Going Often Enough

  • Drink 8 to 10 cups of liquid each day, if OK with your doctor. Try water, prune juice, warm juices, teas, and hot lemonade.
  • Eat high-fiber foods such as bran cereals, popcorn, brown rice, whole wheat bread, nuts, broccoli, carrots, corn, green peas, potato with skin, apple with peel, banana, blue berries, pear with skin, prunes, orange, raisins, strawberries
  • Add high-fiber foods slowly to your diet to avoid bloating and gas.

And yes, I do consider this post further proof that there is simply no topic off limits on Ben's blog. Bathroom tips included!

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