Physical Therapy Hysterectomy Recovery Diet for Fast Healing, Gas and Constipation – What are the best foods to include in your hysterectomy recovery diet to maximize your tissue healing? And, come to think of it, which foods will help you overcome hysterectomy side effects like gas and constipation? Today I’m going to guide you through a hysterectomy recovery diet that’s going to help you maximize your tissue healing after your surgery, whether it be a vaginal hysterectomy or abdominal hysterectomy, and also to help you manage your bowel so particularly problems like gas and constipation.
So, I’ve divided this presentation up into four sections. First of all, we’re going to go through recovery so maximizing your recovery and the best foods to maximize your internal recovery, then we’re going to talk about the Gut Microbiome and some of the foods that will help you restore that, then I’m going to talk about gas-producing foods that you might want to avoid, and then finally we’ll go through some of the constipation foods that will help you manage constipation and manage a bowel during your hysterectomy recovery.
So, we’ll start up with protein. After your surgery, your protein needs are increased and this is because the body uses protein on a daily basis. It can’t store protein so we need to be eating protein every day during your hysterectomy recovery. Now, ideally, you’re having two and a half to three serves of protein.
So this means that you’re trying to have a serve of protein, just about every main meal.
So, how much is a serve of protein? And, what are the best protein sources? Well, you can take a look on screen here. And I’ve got an image of some of the protein sources and I’m going to go through some of those. So, a serve of protein is a basically a serve of dairy which is a cup of milk, or also too and it can be low fat.
That’s absolutely fine, and this is three quarters, and I don’t want to tip it, three quarters a cup of yogurt. And again, it could be low-fat Yogurt, Greek Yogurt is great because it’s great for the Gut Microbiome but I’ll talk a bit more about that in a minute. Another serve of protein is two eggs, so, two eggs would be great as a starter for the day to set yourself up well for your internal recovery, and also too if you happen to not be a meat-eater tofu so you’ve got your 170 grams of Tofu, or also too if you do eat meat you could have a small can of Tuna, or Salmon, and also to your red meats.
So, your red meat like your Lam, your pork are all great especially after hysterectomy if your iron levels are down, and also to lean meat for your chicken and your turkey sauces as well. So, they’re ideal protein sources that if you include three times a day will really help your internal tissue recovery and you optimize your recovery so that the body can actually use the amino acids from the protein and lay down extra collagen in your tissues.
Now, the second thing I wanted to talk about is your Gut Microbiome. Some ladies develop long-term abdominal or bowel problems after a hysterectomy and it might be abdominal pain, it might be problems with bowel movements, and this really seems to be no cause, and what we think is sometimes after surgery the stress of surgery, or also to antibiotics after your surgery, can affect the gut microbiome and that’s all the bacteria fungi that are living in the trillions of them that live in your bowel, and they basically eat certain types of foods. Now, before you go reaching for probiotics, there’s also research to suggest that probiotics won’t restore the original Gut Microbiome and also too I have to wonder if you’re taking probiotics, how do you know what you’re deficient in so you might be taking certain probiotics but you don’t know which bacteria you need to actually restore? So, the solution is to reach for prebiotic foods. Now again, you can see an image of prebiotic foods.
Prebiotic foods feed those helpful Gut bacteria that might have been affected during your surgery. So to restore those, you can have foods like and those are the ones I really like.
Again, we’ve got the Greek Yogurt, we’ve got bananas, which are a great source of prebiotic food for some of your Gut bacteria. Other things like your Kombucha, so your drinks or Kefir. They’re great sources of food for the Gut Biome.
And also too, we’ve got things like asparagus, so you can have your fresh asparagus, or you could have tinned asparagus and I want to make a mention of the root vegetables so root vegetables are particularly good but especially after you’ve cool them so you cook them and then cool them and if you eat them then they’re really starchy and that’s the way to get lots of nutrients in for your gut bugs. Also too, we’ve got onions, and we’ve got garlic. Now, I want to just put a warning on with these ones. These are great foods along with leeks for your gut microbiome however, they can be gas-producing foods and we’ve already mentioned that the issue with side effects with gas after hysterectomy which can be really painful so these might be things you want to be very careful with introducing especially in the early stages.
So they’re foods that can help restore the Gut Microbiome.
Now, let’s move along to foods that are likely to cause gas and we’ve already just looked at two of them, haven’t we? We’ve just looked at garlic and we’ve looked at onions but other gas-producing foods are these. So, you might be someone who likes a lot of beans, so legumes, legumes are also a great source of protein. I should have mentioned that at the outset but I haven’t gone into detail with them because again they can cause a lot of gas. So, tinned beans are usually less gas-producing than beans that you’ve actually dried and that you actually restore with water before cooking.
So you might if you’re going to have some beans, maybe just start with a small amount of tinned beans and just check your tolerance with those.
But other foods that can cause gas are some of the foods like your pears, and pears are also I mean pears are great for softening the stool with constipation but they’re also high in fructose so they can produce a lot of gas so you’ve got to be careful with pears and also with prunes. Dried fruits, I’ve got some dried figs here which I love. Any of the dried fruits particularly if they’re sulfur dried will increase gas in your belly. So you want to be really careful with those sorts of foods.
As far as drinks go unfortunately coffee or caffeine in the coffee can actually produce gas in the bowel as can soft drinks and beer. So be really careful with your consumption of those foods after your hysterectomy especially in the early days and then you might want to gradually reintroduce them afterwards. Now, finally, let’s move on to foods for constipation.
Now constipation is a really common problem after hysterectomy and it’s often really unexpected, isn’t it? So what we need to do to manage constipation is to soften the stool because the longer the stool takes to actually pass through the bowel, the more dried out it becomes, and that’s what creates the hard stool and lots of pain when you’re trying to empty.
So we want to make emptying as comfortable as possible post-hysterectomy. The way you can do that if you’re already constipated don’t reach for fibre that’s a really big mistake and you can see more about or learn more about that in my video above about foods that high fiber foods, and also two more about foods to soften the stool as well. But, get to be careful with that high fibre, resist that temptation and reach for foods that will soften the stool without overloading and causing further blockage, but do this after you’ve emptied. So it’s important to perhaps get some Movicol, Osmolax, or Miralax to empty first and a lot of ladies take these medications for the first six to eight weeks postoperatively just to keep the stool soft and moving through and you can check with your doctor if that’s okay for you to take as well.
Now, foods that will soften your stool.
Well, there’s quite a few. We’ve got rolled oats, so oats rolled oats, fantastic food for softening in the stool and they’re also really nice for your Gut as well. Other foods here, I’ve got a little platter here to show you. So, we’ve got your leafy greens, so your Asian greens like your Bok choy wonderful, spinach, so your spinach leaves are terrific, your fresh fruits, so things like your nectarines your stone fruits your apricots, plums, they’ll be great as and I’ve already mentioned pears, so pears are great for softening the stool but again being really mindful about the fructose content in those.
And also two kiwi fruits so kiwi fruits are great in that they often don’t produce gas so they’re a great fruit to have.
They’re low fodmap which is also really handy, but they are also really nice for softening the stool. So, that might be something you might like to include in your diet. In some places they’re called Chinese Gooseberries, in Australia, we call it Kiwi fruit. And also too with your breads, so you’re obviously going to reach for your multi-grain breads or your whole-grain breads, you might choose whole meal if you’re already constipated and then move on to multi-grain once you’ve cleared your bowel.
So, they’re some of the foods that you can actually choose to soften your stool.
So, I think you can see there’s quite a bit more than what you might think to your hysterectomy recovery diet. It’s really important that you’re having your protein for your internal tissue healing. It’s also important to think about restoring your Gut Microbiome and thinking about the bacteria and the fungi viruses in there in your body that actually need support to recover and restore that your natural flora internal flora. Also too, we talked about your gas-producing foods to be really mindful of and you might gradually reintroduce some of those during the course of your recovery, and then finally, we talked about foods that will soften the stool, and not reaching for too much fiber initially you might start to reach for your higher fiber after your bowel has cleared if you’re already constipated and the importance of keeping that stool soft.
So, I really hope this information helps you with your hysterectomy recovery diet.