After being on prolonged intravenous nutrition therapy at a place like Chicago Weight Loss Clinic, you may be more than happy to start eating again. However, since your body has gone without real food for a while, care must be taken as you progress your diet. Below are three tips to help you transition back to a regular diet.
Eat Small Amounts To Lessen The Symptoms Of Dumping Syndrome
After any type of bowel surgery, it can take a little time for your intestines to bounce back after being manipulated. When you add the non-use of your gastrointestinal tract during IV nutrition on top of the trauma, it may take a while for your stomach and intestines to work properly.
If you try to eat large amounts too quickly, this can result in dumping syndrome. Because your GI tract cannot handle a lot of food at once, a system backup is created and you could start to have symptoms. Symptoms include nausea, vomiting, heart palpitations, stomach cramps, and diarrhea.
Especially when you first start eating, take in only small amounts. This also includes clear liquids. After eating or sipping a small amount, see how you feel. If you start to feel bloated or uncomfortable, wait until the sensations subside before attempting to take in more.
If you still feel alright, take in a portion equal the size of the first. Then, wait another few minutes to see how it makes you feel.
Avoid Or Limit Foods With Too Much Spice
Not only does your GI tract become sluggish after surgery and during IV therapy, but it also becomes sensitive. Any foods that are spicy should be avoided or at least consume with extreme care. Eating spicy foods too soon could inflame the lining of your stomach and intestines, giving your bad heartburn, cramping, or diarrhea.
Whenever you think your food may have too much spice in it, take a small bite and wait a few minutes to see how it makes you feel before eating more. Even spices you would normally not consider too hot should be used with caution. For example, black pepper may not usually give you heartburn, but your overly sensitive membranes may tell you otherwise.
Listen To Your Body To Determine How Fast You Progress
As you adjust to eating again, listen to your body to determine how fast you progress your diet. While there may be a target time frame in which you are supposed to be back to a full diet, forcing yourself to stay within that time could slow your progress if your GI tract is not ready.
For example, if you have been sipping clear broths and juices for a couple of days, you may think you are ready to try eating pureed soups. However, if you start having cramping after a few bites, you may want to skip the soup and go back to the broth for another meal. Then, you can try again the next time.
After you have been eating pureed soups and pudding, it may be time to start eating mashed potatoes and oatmeal. After taking a few bites, you may start feeling bloated or nauseated. If so, either try going back to your pureed diet for another meal or eat a few bites at intervals to prevent the dumping syndrome described in the first section.
By using the above tips and taking it easy, you should be able to get back to eating the way you did before your surgery. However, if you do not feel you are progressing fast enough or need additional help, ask your health care team for more information about the transition back to food after receiving intravenous nutrition therapy.