Post hysterectomy diet plan: Post hysterectomy diet for the small intestine and stomach problems, foods and weight loss tips If you’re finding it difficult to lose weight and perform typical day to day activities without feeling tired, it’s time you found out about the post hysterectomy diet plan. Follow our diet plan and learn which foods will help you feel less fatigued.
Recovering from your hysterectomy
- The Susan F. Smith Center for Women’s Cancers at Dana-Farber provides a variety of services to help patients and their families cope with the many physical, emotional, and spiritual challenges of a cancer diagnosis and its treatment. We are committed to helping patients regain a sense of control over their lives and feel their best throughout treatment and beyond.Many women have asked what they can do to help themselves recover after having a hysterectomy. Most of the strategies are common sense tips to overall good health. The suggestions listed below are meant to help you feel better faster and prevent complications. This can be used as a useful guide during your recovery and in the future.Things to doDiet
- Eat a well-balanced diet, including protein, fruits and vegetables, which will help with healing after surgery.
- Drink about 8-10 glasses of fluids a day (especially water) to keep your body well hydrated. If you have a cardiac problem, ask your doctor about your fluid intake.
- If you have a tendency towards constipation, increase your fiber intake as well. Please speak with a dietician if you need help with your diet.Special instructionsPhysical Activities
- Balance exercise with rest. You may walk and stretch. Walking is one of the best ways to recover and heal more quickly. Pace yourself and listen to your body. You may find yourself getting tired during the day. When this happens, lie down to rest or take a nap. A good time to take a walk is after your rest or nap.
- You may go up and down stairs. You will probably need to climb stairs slowly at first, one leg at a time. As your body heals, this will get easier and easier. No heavy lifting – objects greater than 20 pounds – for six weeks after surgery. Twenty pounds is about as heavy as a bag of groceries.
- You may resume driving after two weeks, if you feel well enough and have stopped all pain medication. Your responses will be a little slower at first and leg activities such as braking or clutching may be uncomfortable. Remember to resume driving only when you don’t have to hesitate at all and when you are not taking pain medication.Bathing
- Once you are home, it is important to keep the incision clean and dry. Your doctor will give you specific bathing instructions, often to wait at least 4 weeks before submerging in a bath tub. Physicians have various opinions on bathing, which can depend on your exact surgery.
- You may take a shower immediately, but allow the water to run over your incision; avoid having water hit it directly. You may gently wash away dried material from around the incision. Make sure to dry completely by gently patting, instead of rubbing.Sexual ActivityDiscuss this with your surgeon during your first postoperative visit, but the general rule is nothing in the vagina for eight weeks. (This includes tampons, douche products, and having sexual intercourse).Incision care/hygiene
- Keep the incision clean and pat dry. Every day, wash your incision and personal area with warm water and mild soap. Be sure to rinse and pat dry thoroughly.
- Check the area of your incision every day for redness, swelling, drainage or wound opening.
- If you have drains, you may wash by taking a sponge bath or a shower, making certain that the area of the drain and incision are dried carefully.
- You will probably go home with staples or steri-strips (thin, white Band-Aids). They will help your incision heal. Staples are metal clips that are used in addition to sutures to help close the incision. Your incision may be slightly red around the stitches or staples. This is normal. The staples are removed 10-14 days after surgery. After removing the staples, steri-strips may be applied. You may shower with the staples or steri-strips in place. When the steri-strips begin to curl up, you may peel them off. With time, the color of your incision will fade and become less noticeable. This will take six to 12 months.
- Wear loose fitting clothing that will not rub or irritate the incision area. You may put a clean piece of gauze over the incision to prevent irritation from your garments.
- Do not put anything into your vagina. This includes tampons, douching or having sexual intercourse. Your doctor will advise you when this area is healed well enough. This is usually in about eight weeks.
- Avoid direct sun exposure to the incision area. Also, do not use any ointments or lotions directly on the incision unless you were instructed to do otherwise.
- You may see a small amount of clear or light red fluid draining from the incision or staining your dressing or clothes. If there is a large amount of drainage (for example, the dressings become soaked), please call your surgeon immediately.Medications
- Your doctor will write you a prescription for pain medication and an anti-inflammatory (Motrin) when you go home. After surgery, discomfort and mild to moderate pain are common. Take your pain medication before the pain becomes severe. This will give you better pain control. It is also helpful to alternate your pain medication with an anti-inflammatory. If you find that you are having a lot of discomfort as your activity increases, try taking your pain medication one-half hour before that activity. If your pain is not relieved by medication, please call your physician. Pain medication may cause constipation. To prevent constipation, when you are taking pain medication drink more fluids, eat more high fiber foods and take a stool softener such as Colace (docusate) and a laxative such as Senokot (sennosides) or milk of magnesia daily.
- Take all of the medications you were on before the operation, unless any of those medications have been changed or stopped. If you have any questions about what medicine to take or not to take, please call your surgeon. Your primary care physician is another resource to help answer such questions.Bowel functionYour bowel takes time to recover from surgery. By the time you are discharged, you should be passing “gas” or flatus. This should continue once you are home. Your first bowel movement should occur 4-5 days after surgery. You may experience “gas” pain. Drinking hot liquids and walking will help relieve discomfort. You should use a stool softener such as Colace (docusate) and a mild laxative such as Senokot (sennosides) or Milk of Magnesia, which you can purchase at the drugstore. You should continue the Colace and laxative until you have stopped taking the pain medication or your stools become unusually loose.Body changes
- You may have a vaginal discharge for up to eight weeks. (At first this may be bloody, but with time should gradually get lighter and thinner.)
- Two weeks after surgery, some women experience an increase in vaginal bleeding for 24 hours. This is normal. However, if it persists or becomes very heavy, call your doctor.
- If both ovaries are removed, you may experience symptoms of menopause, which may include hot flashes, vaginal dryness and night sweats. Hormone replacement therapy may be an option to treat these symptoms and should be discussed with your physician before surgery.How you may feel after your surgery:
- You may feel tired, weaker than usual, or “washed out” for up to six weeks after a major surgery. Try to take naps, or frequent rest breaks, during the day. Simple tasks may initially exhaust you.
- You may feel a sense of loss or become depressed. You may have trouble concentrating or encounter difficulty sleeping.
- You may have a poor appetite for a while and food may not seem to have its normal taste or appeal.
- All of these feelings and reactions are normal and should go away in a short time. If they persist please tell your surgeon. At all times please feel free to contact his/her office with any questions.
This is a surgery in which a woman’s uterus is removed from her body. This operation is conducted by a professional surgeon. It may also involve the removal of fallopian tubes, ovaries, cervix, and other surrounding structures.
Different reasons for hysterectomy
What to eat for recovery after hysterectomy?
Here is the food you must eat for recovery after hysterectomy:
- Include smoothies or shakes
Sometimes there is a loss of appetite after surgery. So you can make your food in experimental and exciting ways. A fresh fruit smoothie is one of those options that fill up your belly while satisfying your taste buds.
- Whole grain meals
The refined white version of bread and cereals is not healthy. Rather, always go for the whole grains as they are an excellent source of minerals and fiber. Breakfast is the best time to include whole grains to your plate.
- Seafood and fish for lean protein
Such food is an excellent powerhouse of lean protein. If you have a problem eating seafood and fish, try taking supplements such as protein powder in milk, drinks, and smoothies.
- Consume high fiber food
High fiber food such as whole grains, whole grain bread, fruits, cereals, and vegetables are a great source of fiber and would not arise the circumstances of constipation which could be a great barrier in the process of healing the stitches.
- Drink a lot of water and liquids
It’s a well-known saying that consuming enough amount of water will heal most of your problems. Keep your body hydrated to avoid lethargy and constipation during the rest time as this might strain your incisions.
Food To Be Avoided
Food such as pastries, cakes, and other sugary food must be avoided as they are likely to cause acidity and bloating which will ultimately put pressure on your incisions and would hamper the healing process.
- Processed food
Processed food are the ones that are not in their raw or primarily cooked form. For example, a whole orange is a whole food whereas orange juice is processed food. Whole food will be a great source of fiber than processed ones.
- Milk and dairy products in access
Such products if not consumed in moderation might cause a problem in clearing bowels.
Cheese might be a nightmare for the people who are lactose intolerant.
Meat is known to have a high level of saturated fats which causes constipation. It should be strictly avoided after the surgery and during the healing phase.
Recovery diet plays a vital role!
The recovery after a hysterectomy depends a lot on your diet. Be it any case. In the case of hysterectomy surgery, one needs to be quite vigilant and cautious while in taking food as it will directly impact the healing. Incisions will be taking time to heal if saturated fat products are consumed as it might cause strain while clearing bowel. Food high in protein but not gastric will be great for recovery.
Everybody type is different and hence, the requirement also varies. You must strictly adhere to the prescription before following any strict diet regime after surgery and should consult your doctor too. Eating the right food after surgery plays a very important role as it would directly impact the healing process without complications.
15 Healthy Lifestyle Tips After Your Hysterectomy
After a hysterectomy, a healthy lifestyle is no longer an option — it’s a necessity. Suddenly, weight gain is an issue. You may not sleep well. You may feel irritable. Your hormones are changing, and so is your body.
The good news: With good nutrition, exercise, and stress reduction, you can offset the downside of a hysterectomy.
- You’ll keep weight under control.
- You’ll sleep better.
- And you can protect yourself against a host of diseases: heart disease, stroke, broken bones (because of osteoporosis), type 2 diabetes, cancer, and possibly the onset of Alzheimer’s disease.
Start your healthy lifestyle before your hysterectomy, advises Gladys Tse, MD, assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.
Recipe for a Healthy Lifestyle Before Your Hysterectomy
Whether you’re preventing weight gain — or trying to melt body fat — the basics are the same. Cut calories. Get regular aerobic exercise. Do strength training by lifting weights. It’s the secret of weight loss: As you build more muscle, the body burns more calories.
“A lot of women get an exercise trainer before the surgery, and get into Weight Watchers or another program to change their diet,” Tse tells WebMD. “They understand they would have a hard time after surgery, so they started this beforehand to avoid it. Some of the healthiest women I’ve seen are those who were counseled before their surgery.”
If you’re having a hysterectomy and want optimal health, here are tips to follow for better nutrition, stress reduction, and fitness.
Tips for Good Nutrition
Feast on colorful foods. Fill your plate with vibrant fruits and veggies — red, orange, yellow, and deep green. These are packed with disease-fighting antioxidants and fiber and should be the mainstay of your diet.
Get plenty of grains & legumes. Whole grains like oatmeal, brown rice, whole-wheat pasta and cereals are all great high-fiber options. Black, red, and kidney beans are high in fiber and antioxidants.
Choose proteins & fats wisely. You need a balance of lean protein (like skinless chicken), fatty fish like salmon (with omega-3 fats), and vegetable protein. Avoid trans and saturated fats, like fats found in butter, margarine, salad dressing, fried foods, snack foods, sweets. Vegetable oils (like olive oil and peanut oil) are good fats.
Get enough calcium. For bone health, get at least 1,200 mg of calcium daily, plus vitamin D. Take supplements or eat three to four 8-ounce servings of low-fat dairy daily. Hard cheese, yogurt, fortified products like orange juice, canned salmon, broccoli, and legumes are good calcium sources. Talk to your doctor about a bone density scan.
Tips for Stress Reduction
Decide what matters most to you. To achieve a well-balanced life, it’s essential to get your priorities clear. Satisfying career? Spouse? Community service? Health? Adventure and travel? Figure out your “top five” list. Then give those things your undivided attention.
Drop unnecessary activities. If a commitment doesn’t fit into your priority list, drop it. You’ll have more time for things that do matter to you. Give your priorities the respect they deserve.
Learn to relax. Listen to music that provides a mental escape. Or find a relaxation exercise that works — like rhythmic breathing, deep breathing, visualized breathing, progressive muscle relaxation.
Get enough rest and sleep. Sleep helps your body recover from the day’s stresses.
Find quiet time. Meditate or pray every morning. Read something that inspires you. Focus on self-renewal, optimism, hope. Find purpose, meaning, and joy in life. Share the love.
Enjoy yourself. Make time forfun, relaxation, family and friends. Develop new interests. Enjoy dancing, backpacking, yoga class, biking, painting, gardening, date night with your spouse, girls’ night out. You’ll stay active, youthful, healthy, connected.
Keep things in perspective. There’s truth in the adage: “Accept that there are things you cannot control.” Be assertive when you need to be. Share your feelings and opinions without being defensive. Then let it go.
Drink sensibly. If a woman drinks, one alcoholic drink a night is usually recommended.
Tips for Fitness
Get plenty of aerobic exercise. Walking, jogging, and dance-exercise are all good choices. Exercise at least 20 minutes several days a week. If your goal is weight loss, you’ll need to exercise more. Exercise builds strong bones, helps you lose weight, and reduces heart disease risk. It will also improve your mood and help you sleep better.
Lift hand weights. It’s known as strength training, and it helps with weight loss, improves strength and posture, and tones the body. Find a weight you can comfortably handle for eight repetitions. Gradually work up to 12 reps.
Stretch it out. Yoga and Pilates help you stay flexible, build core body strength, and increase stability. They also improve balance, so you avoid falls and fractures.
6 Types of Healing Foods to Eat After a Hysterectomy
Foods like berries are good sources of nutrients like fiber and phytonutrients, which may help you recover after a hysterectomy.
Image Credit: id-art/iStock/Getty Images
A balanced diet will supply you with the nutrients you need to heal and rebuild strength after a hysterectomy. Here are the best foods to eat after your hysterectomy, including what to snack on in the first few days following your procedure and foods to include in your longer-term recovery diet.
To help promote healing after your initial hysterectomy recovery period, fill your diet with fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins and healthy fat.
1. Soft Foods
After surgery, you’ll likely stay in the hospital for a few days, according to the Mayo Clinic. During the first day or so, you’ll stick to a clear liquid diet to avoid putting any digestive strain on your body, per University of Utah Health. Here are some clear liquids to include in your initial hysterectomy recovery diet:
- Pulp-free juice like white grape or apple juice
- Electrolyte sports drinks
- Clear sodas like ginger ale
- Tea or coffee (without milk or cream)
- Ice pops or fruit ice
- Clear hard candy like lemon drops
- Fruit-flavored gelatin or Jell-O
- Clear soups and broths like vegetable, beef and chicken broth or bouillon
- Plenty of water to stay hydrated
Once your body adjusts to clear liquids, you can start to eat soft meals, according to University of Utah Health. Mushy, bland and cooked products are all considered optimal soft foods to eat after surgery, per the U.S. National Library of Medicine (NLM).
According to the NLM, here’s a list of soft foods to eat after surgery:
- Low-fat dairy products like milk or yogurt
- Fruit and vegetable juice
- Cooked or canned fruit with the skin and seeds removed, like applesauce
- Cooked or canned vegetables
- Refined cooked cereals like oatmeal and cream of wheat
- Lean, tender meats like poultry or fish
- Creamy peanut butter
Foods to Avoid
What should you not do immediately after a hysterectomy? Don’t eat the following foods, according to the NLM, because they can strain your digestive system and cause unpleasant symptoms like gas in the days following your procedure.
- Raw fruits and vegetables
- Greasy or fried foods
- Spicy food
- In some cases, carbonated beverages, according to UCLA Health
Soft Food Recipes After Surgery
- Healthy Fruit & Yogurt Smoothie
- Sweet Green Juice
You can generally start to eat solid foods again a few days after surgery (though follow your doctor’s recommendations when it comes to the specifics of your diet), per UCLA Health.
As you start to transition from your surgical soft diet to a longer-term post-hysterectomy diet for your months of recovery and beyond, fiber is one nutrient to prioritize. That’s because a common side effect of a hysterectomy is difficulty with bowel movements, and fibrous foods can help ease the constipation and support overall gut health, according to the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.
The best high-fiber foods to eat after hysterectomy include:
- Fruits like pears, avocados and berries
- Vegetables like artichokes, kale and parsnips
- Starches like sweet potatoes and squash
- Legumes like lentils, peas and beans
- Whole grains like buckwheat and oatmeal
The Best Stool Softeners After a Hysterectomy
Your doctor might also recommend you take medicine to help ease constipation after surgery. Per the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, options may include:
- Milk of magnesia
3. Protein and Fat
It’s also important to include plenty of foods with protein and fat after a hysterectomy to help restore your energy, strength and overall nutrition, according to the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.
Solid sources of protein and beneficial fats include:
- Meat like chicken and turkey
- Fish like salmon and tuna
- Soy products like tofu and tempeh
- Legumes like lentils and beans
- Dairy products like milk, yogurt and cottage cheese
- Peanut butter
- Nuts and nut butters like pecans, walnuts and almond butter
Additional sources of fat include:
- Oils like flaxseed oil, avocado oil and sesame oil
Besides being high in fiber, fruits and vegetables pack an additional nutritional punch. Fresh produce — particularly plants with vivid colors — contain lots of phytonutrients, which are are natural plant compounds that help support immunity, per the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.
Sources of phytonutrients include:
- Vegetables like leafy greens, broccoli, carrots and asparagus
- Fruits like berries, kiwi, mango and peaches
- Starches like sweet potatoes and squash
- Herbs and spices like cilantro, parsley and turmeric
If you have a hysterectomy that removes your ovaries, you’ll experience a condition called surgical menopause, where the sudden lack of estrogen triggers menopause regardless of your age, according to the National Health Service. Symptoms may include:
- Hot flashes
- Night sweats
- Vaginal dryness
- Difficulty sleeping
Your doctor may prescribe hormone replacement therapy to help ease symptoms. You can also eat foods that contain phytoestrogens, which are natural plant compounds that may have weak estrogenic effects in the body, per the Mayo Clinic.
Foods high in phytoestrogen include:
- Soy products like soybeans, tofu and tempeh
- Dried fruits like apricots and prunes
- Seeds like flaxseeds and sunflower seeds
- Brussels sprouts
However, more research is needed to understand the effect — if any — that phytoestrogens have on menopausal symptoms, so speak to your doctor about whether these foods might help you.
If you have less of an appetite after your surgery, try eating small meals with snacks in between, per the NLM.