The Short Bowel Syndrome Diet Leads to a Healthier Lifestyle
Short gut syndrome, also known as short bowel syndrome, is a type of malabsorption disorder affecting patients who have undergone bowel surgeries. Patients who have more than half of their bowel removed are the most affected by this disorder. As part of the management plan for this serious disease, dietary adjustments are likely to be recommended. Adjusting your diet will decrease symptoms related to the disease such as weight loss, abdominal pain, gas and diarrhea.
I came across the diet recommendations for short gut syndrome and felt the rules could apply to the general populace as well. The guidelines are a simple and effective way to manage your health and decrease your chances of developing certain medical conditions. Your diet can increase your risk for heart disease, diabetes, gallbladder disorders, metabolic syndrome and several types of cancer.
More, smaller meals
One of the first dietary solutions for short bowel syndrome is to eat smaller meals frequently. Instead of eating three square meals, consume a small meal every two to three hours over the course of the day. Six to eight small meals will put less stress on your digestive system. Eating throughout the day at regular intervals is also helpful for controlling your blood sugar levels. If you only eat large meals, a blood sugar spike will likely cause you to feel hungry quickly after eating. It’s easy to skip snacking between meals when you know you’ll have something to eat again in a few short hours.
The right proteins and carbs
Short gut syndrome patients are also recommended a diet high in protein. Protein sources will keep you full for longer periods of time. However, a high protein diet should be low in saturated and trans fats. To keep fat intake low, prepare meats and vegetable sources of protein by grilling, boiling, baking and sautéing in lieu of frying. Best sources of protein include boneless and skinless chicken breast, skinless turkey, fish, peanut butter, eggs, tofu and lean cuts of meat.
Carbohydrates can be introduced into a diet in moderation. However, sugary foods should not be a major part of your diet. Avoid candy, cookies, pastries, sugary cereals and sweeteners if you want to keep your eating plan healthy.
Another important principle of this diet is to control your fluid intake. Although you should drink plenty of water throughout the day, limit beverages during meals. Drinking pushes meals quickly through your digestive system and could result in stomach upset. Between meals, aim for at least eight glasses of water each day. Most of your beverages should be water since they’re low in calories and will keep you well hydrated. Avoid drinks high in sugar and low in nutritional value such as fruit juice, soda and coffee beverages.
These recommendations are mainly for mild cases of short gut syndrome. In more severe cases, more aggressive dietary measures may need to take place. Besides electrolyte solutions, patients my need to be treated with enteral and parenteral nutrition therapies. With parenteral nutrition, nutrients and fluids are delivered through the bloodstream with an IV. Enteral nutrition requires the use of a feeding tube to deliver food sources directly into the stomach. Your doctor will keep you abreast of how to best manage your health condition with diet.