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Do protein powders cause constipation?



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I am 4 weeks pot op, and having trouble getting all my Protein in. I’ve formed an opinion about the Protein Shakes. Which btw, taste perfectly fine to me and didn’t cause any issues with constipation *before* surgery. Now....ahem...not good. I am at the puréed/mushy food stage and I’ve tolerated just about everything perfectly fine. I just can’t get enough down throughout the day. My digestive system is working very well right now and that makes me very happy.

So I’m weighing the pros and cons with the protein powders. Any issues there? Are certain kinds of Proteins harder on your digestive system than others? Like whey vs. whatever else is out there.

And what about the clear protein waters? I did get super tired of them just before the surgery, but I’d be willing to give them a try again.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

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Well... most Protein powders do have Iron in them and iron will stop you up but generally it also has Calcium and calcium makes it so the iron doesn't really absorb so... it really shouldn't be affecting you in such a way. What caused constipation issues for me was too much iron in my Multivitamin routine. I had to cut down the amount I was taking. Also, banana's also cause constipation so if you eat banana's it might be that...

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Thanks @NovaLuna!

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Protein might cause constipation. Going from low to higher intake might cause constipation. Drink plenty of Water and get in some Fiber and it should be fine

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constipation is pretty common. The combination of a high Protein & low fibre diet is the main cause. Plus you’re not eating much so don’t have a lot to excrete. If you haven’t yet, add some fibre supplements like benefibre. Avoid the ones that swell in your small tummy. They’ll fill you up & you won’t want to eat which is more important. Also keep your fluids up.

If I went every second day I was happy. I’d take a stool softener if I hit a third day. I also found if I just sat & was patient, not straining, I would get some movement. It does get better when you’re closer to maintenance & are eating a more balanced diet.

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chronic constipation is very common with both VSG and RNY patients. I think it has to do with the high Protein diet plus the Iron and Calcium supplements (if you take those - RNY patients usually take those - not sure if all VSG patients do). All of those things can cause constipation.

even people who've been off the shakes for years still deal with constipation, so although they may have some effect, there are other things contributing, too...

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All of the above are part of the problem. Classically, "high protein" diets tend to be constipating, and while are diets aren't really all that high in Protein (they're basically a maintenance level of protein), they are low in most everything else - like Fiber. I don't think that the shakes specifically are any better or worse than any other protein source.

I average in the 110-120 g per day range typically and have no problems at all with this, and haven't for years. But my diet is also quite high if fruits and veg, and I don't skimp on the whole grains, so there is normally lots of fiber going through along with it. So, during this weight loss phase when your diet is quite restricted, some fiber supplements are usually called for to help keep things moving (and sometimes for the long term, depending upon what kind of dietary habits one adopts after the weight loss phase.)

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