Intolerance towards heavy meals is commonly observed in people after undergoing a whipple procedure. The following HealthHearty article suggests some dietary changes that may help to improve digestion while recovering this surgery.
Did You Know?
A low fat diet is often recommended post a whipple procedure.
A whipple procedure is a type of surgery recommended for people affected with pancreatic cancer. The procedure involves taking out cancerous tumors located in the pancreas. As the pancreas is connected to a wide range of organs, the surgery involves removing the gallbladder, the first section of the small intestine, and a part of the stomach to prevent the spread of cancer.
Following a proper diet post a whipple procedure is extremely important to ease digestion and improve the survival rate. Eating the right food helps to recover from the procedure faster and keeps digestion problems at bay.
Post Whipple Procedure Diet
✘ Sugary Foods
As we all know, the pancreas produce insulin, a hormone that regulates blood sugar. However, as a major part of the pancreas is removed, controlling blood sugar levels can be quite difficult. Hence, it is advised to avoid foods that contain excess sugar, such as pastries, cakes, dried fruits, candies, and jams.
✘ Fatty Foods
The pancreas secretes certain enzymes that play a key role in the breakdown and digestion of fats. However, after surgery, the pancreas fails to produce enzymes, such as lipase and amylase in adequate amounts. Hence, eating fatty foods after surgery can be hard to digest. So, it is advised to stay away from fried foods, junk food, fatty meat (red meat), cheese, and butter, as they contain high amounts of fat.
Alcohol needs to be strictly excluded from the diet after a whipple procedure. Pancreatic damage has been associated with consumption of alcohol. With pancreatic function below normal after surgery, alcohol intake is certainly not advisable.
One simply cannot ignore fruits when it comes to the best diet post a whipple procedure. However, hard-skinned fruits, such as apples, avocados, peaches, and pears can be problematic as far as digestion is concerned. Soft fruits, such as watermelons, bananas, grapes, cherries, and oranges can be included in the diet after undergoing this procedure.
No doubt, vegetables are high in nutrition, but eating them raw is not recommended, at least for the first few months after a whipple procedure. Raw foods are difficult to digest, and hence, need to be avoided for some time. So, ensure that vegetables are well-cooked when preparing meals for patients who have undergone this surgery.
Diarrhea is one of the most common side effects of undergoing a whipple procedure. Consuming soluble fiber foods, such as oatmeal, can help to ease the symptoms of diarrhea. Fiber foods tend to move slowly through the digestive tract, and delay emptying of the stomach, which may contribute in alleviating diarrhea.
✔ Eggs and Fish
Inclusion of protein sources in the diet is also necessary for healing. Eggs and fish are high in proteins, and moreover, deliver a substantial amount of vitamins and omega-3 essential fatty acids. The egg white is especially a good source of protein that can be easily digested.
Besides drinking water in adequate amounts, having nutrient-dense beverages can also contribute to improve health and speed up recovery. So, to up nutrition intake, one can have fresh fruit juices and green smoothies.
Increase Meal Frequency
Eating elaborate meals is something that cannot be tolerated by people after undergoing a whipple procedure. Large meals tend to cause stomach discomfort and indigestion in these patients. So, with sub-optimal digestive health after surgery, it is advised to avoid heavy meals. Instead, one should have 5 – 6 light meals throughout the day to improve digestion.
Apart from following a healthy diet, doctors may advise patients to take vitamin supplements. Also, quite a few patients tend to suffer from anemia post surgery. In such circumstances, taking iron or vitamin B12 supplements may be recommended to treat anemia.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is solely for educating the reader. It is not intended to be a substitute for the advice of a medical professional.