Thursday, September 6, 2012

TMI: Let's talk about Gas

I've been reading alot of posts on this topic lately in chat rooms and through threads of friends with WLS. It seems post RNY and our WLS Gas is a common issue. Why? I think it is very individualized about the why, but in general here is some information I found.

"An unpublicized side effect of gastric bypass surgery is excessive flatulence odor. It is understandable why these patients have highly malodorous flatus. The surgery causes them to have a malabsorptive syndrome. Their systems don't absorb the food and nutrients as well anymore and when the undigested food gets down to the colon, the enzymes and bacteria go crazy digesting the food. One of the by-products of their digestion is gas (flatulence). Most post surgery patients are desperate for a solution to this side effect, which actually causes embarrassment and most of these individuals have been dealing with embarrassment for most of their lives. The majority of these patients will try over- the -counter medications, only to be disappointed to find out they're ineffective and very costly."

It is also interesting to read about other's issue. Don't get me wrong there isn't a day that goes by that there isn't a topic on the Bariatric Bad Girls Page on Facebook where a question about poop, gas, bowel movements in the area of too much or not enough is posted. It is a common denominator we as WLS patients now all share in the TMI category. We are also not ashamed to talk about it together, but it isn't something that is often spoken of outside personal conversations, 1:1 meetings, chats, is my question why not!

Ok the obvious is Americans and women don't talk about "bathroom" issues or bowel movements, but I've found this is more often than not because they have not have a baby yet and gone through everyone "seeing your goodies" and talking about all that comes with labor. Your body is your body and its functions have functions - the good, the bad, the stinky.

My first really serious boyfriend after college was an RNY post op and this is something I learned to deal with from the beginning. It was a common problem for him and it would clear me out of the car, the bed, the house! You adapt, you learn, you carry febreeze everywhere, but I never wanted this to happen to me!

So what triggers this gas effect of massive proportions? That differes in opinions, individuals, and triggers. I've seen some large commonalities like sugar, sugar alcohols, carbs, proteins (man made), beans, and fried foods. Some people have adverse reactions to fake sugars like splenda, truvia, stevia etc. Again this is individualized. I don't know if I have found a particular trigger for me personally, but I'm one of the unlucky RNY'ers that have Gas issues! Yes, I'm stating it loud and proud and here it is the TMI. What do you happens?

Well I'm careful of what I eat if I know its a trigger. Sugar triggers it a tad, but sugar alcohols might as well let me clear a room! Carbs if they are eaten in large quantities can do that too to me, but I limit that so I try to prevent that issue. Coffee and caffiene are triggers for me and so I have to limit the amount of that I intake regularly. But sometimes you can't just deal with it and eat around certain foods. So what's the option?

According the threads I read there are lots of them that can include beano, gas x strips, tablets, and there are even prescriptions to assist in this from docs! Who knew?!?!?! I also learned that priobiotics can influence the assitance of eliminating extra gas because priobiotics help the colon work more effeciently - and here I thought all that yogurt I was eating was helfpul! I think it is, but if something as simple as a supplment can help - I'm all over that. Now to research priobiotics!

And that is what I know about Gas - the good, the bad, the stinky.

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