Constipation After Surgery

Often, one of the main difficulties in healing after surgery is getting the bowels moving regularly again. Often your body has been placed into a bit of shock, changing diet or even not eating at all for a bit of time. Reintroducing food into the body can cause the digestive system to be all out of sorts and this may create constipation. The best ways to fight constipation after surgery are natural. This keeps you from having to worry about any adverse side effects with other medications you might be taking and allows your body to regain the strength and nourishment it needs.


The best way to eliminate constipation after surgery is through your diet. Try juices such as prune, apple, pear, orange, or pineapple to benefit you with laxative effects as well as providing nourishment through vitamins your body needs.

Teas are another way to stop the discomfort of constipation after surgery. Brew the tea using peppermint, ginger, black tea, green tea, or rhubarb root. Sip it slowly while breathing in the aroma deeply to provide opportunity for relaxation of the body and, hopefully, the intestinal muscles. Add blackstrap molasses or honey to the tea to induce activity in the digestive tract, as well as adding flavor.

Constipation After Surgery 300x225 Constipation After Surgery One very important thing to drink to relieve constipation is simply water. Drink lots of it. Eight glasses a day are recommended for a healthy body.  Particularly after surgery it is necessary to replace any fluids you may have lost during the procedure.


Oils, known as emollients, will act as a lubricant around the stool. This helps the body evacuate the bowels with less pain and stimulates the working of the digestive tract. Oils, such as olive oil or castor oil, can be placed a teaspoon or two at s time in your foods or beverages. Mineral oil is a well known laxative and is best if taken in water prior to bedtime. The results with oils are quite good for short term, but should not necessarily be used long term as they may be harmful to your body in excess.


Maintaining a healthy diet including lots of fiber will be important for complete recovery from surgery.  Some foods that are ideal for eliminating constipation are prunes and fig.  Prunes can be consumed either whole or in juice form to stimulate the digestive system. Other fruits with laxative properties include apples (whole, in juice, or in sauce), pears, and guava.

Leafy green vegetables are excellent sources of magnesium, which is a natural laxative.  They also contain iron, which can be hard on your system when you get it trough red meat, but is much more easily digested in spinach, dark lettuces, kale, and other greens.

Whatever your situation or kind of surgery you’ve had, be certain to consult with your physician about any severe pain or discomfort you may be experiencing from constipation. Find out what the doctor suggests and inform him or her that you would like to treat the constipation as naturally as possible.


Image: “Kidney Stone” from Flickr by Kables

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