Probiotic Supplements for Gut Health Post-Bariatric Surgery

Article By: Whittany Gibson, RDN

Whittany is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist who specializes in bariatric nutrition counseling, providing education and support prior to and following weight loss surgery.

After weight loss surgery, your body goes through a lot of changes — especially with digestion and gut health. One of the most important things you can do to make sure you’re getting the best nutrition is to take a good probiotic after bariatric surgery. But with so many options, how do you know which one is right for you? Let’s break it down!

1) What are probiotics?

First off, let's talk about what probiotics are. Probiotics are live bacteria and yeast that help your body stay healthy by fighting off harmful bacteria in the digestive tract. They are naturally found in many fermented foods like yogurt, kimchi, sauerkraut, pickles, miso soup, tempeh, and more. But when you have WLS, getting enough probiotics from food alone can be hard, so supplementing is usually necessary.

2) What are the benefits of probiotics?

Before we get into specifics, let’s discuss why probiotics are good for WLS patients. Probiotics contain beneficial bacteria that help maintain the balance of “good” bacteria in the digestive tract, improving immunity and digestion, reducing inflammation, and promoting overall health. After WLS, digestive issues and constipation can be a concern for patients, and probiotics can do the trick in many cases.

3) How do I choose the right probiotics? 

When looking at different brands of probiotic supplements, one of the most important things to consider is the live cell count on the label, which measures how many viable cells per capsule there are in each serving. The higher this number is (typically 5 billion cells or higher) the more likely it is that those cells will survive through the stomach acid and reach their destination in your gut, where they can do their work in supporting your digestion process!

**Did you know BariMelts designed a probiotic supplement specifically for bariatric patients and their digestive needs after surgery? Check it out here:

4) When is the right time to start taking probiotics? 

As your digestive system gradually adapts to its new normal after WLS, it's important to know when to introduce these gut-friendly heroes. It is generally advised to wait at least two weeks post-surgery to start incorporating probiotics into your diet or supplement routine. Remember that it's always best to consult with your doctor and dietitian before taking any new supplements to ensure you're on the right track to your wellness goals. This is especially important if you had preexisting gastrointestinal issues prior to surgery as taking a probiotic with particular conditions could worsen your symptoms.

Overall, when looking into the benefits of probiotics after WLS, there is no denying that they can be a great addition to your post-surgery routine. Not only will you be able to enhance your digestive system and hopefully reduce any adverse side effects associated with the surgery, but it also helps boost immunity which keeps your body healthy. In any case, using probiotics to facilitate a better recovery process is just one more step in getting and staying healthy after weight loss surgery!

BariMelts provides general recommendations, not to be construed as medical advice. Please consult your doctor.

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