Gastric Bypass Side Effects

August 12, 2008 by admin in Gastric, Methods with 3 Comments

To get our chuckles out of the way right up front, one of the most common gastric bypass side effects is flatulence. This side effect isn’t discussed much because, well, most people who have undergone gastric bypass surgery are a little embarrassed to talk about their problem with excessive farting. So then, let’s get it out in the open: After gastric bypass surgery, you are likely to have excessive and malodorous gas.

The reason this happens: After gastric bypass surgery, your system doesn’t digest food quite as well as it used to. This is called malabsorptive syndrome. In fact, the word “bypass” in the term “gastric bypass” refers to the fact that the food “bypasses” much of the normal digestion process. The result of this is that, once the food reaches your colon, the enzymes and bacteria will be doing double time to break the food down. The primary by-product of an overactive colon is, of course, gas. Okay, so it’s not that big a deal, really. The average adult is said to fart around fourteen times each day, and as many as 20 to 40 times throughout the night, when the body is more relaxed… What’s a few more farts on top of that?

After gastric bypass surgery, you will be on a much healthier diet than the average person sticks to. One might think this could reduce the frequency of gaseous interruptions, but unfortunately, and surprisingly, the opposite holds true. The healthiest foods include beans, fruit, oatmeal, and vegetables, and these are also the foods that tend to create the most flatulent gas. You do have a few options, however, to help deal with the extra flatulence that occurs as a result of gastric bypass surgery: Coughing while passing wind, blaming it on the dog, or playing constant games of “pull my finger”. Okay but seriously! You do have options to help avoid the embarrassment of excessive flatulence:

Spices and garnishes

Spicy foods are often seen as the most malodorous offenders, but some spices and foods can actually help reduce flatulence. These include curry, peppers, flax seed, and kelp.

Flatulence Deodorizer

A more extreme measure, but an effective one to help avoid embarrassment, a company called Flat-D Innovations produces a product called the Flatulence Deodorizer. It is a charcoal cloth pad which is placed in the underwear. The purpose of the cloth is to deodorize and neutralize gasses that pass through it.

Anti-Flatulence Medicine

Products like Beano and Gas-X have been shown to help reduce flatulence considerably. Just check the local drug store for over the counter anti-flatulence medicine.

Other side effects

Excessive flatulence may be the most common of gastric bypass problems, but it’s far from the only side effect.

Other gastric bypass side effects from gastric bypass band or other gastric bypass procedures may include:

Nausea and vomiting

This usually occurs if you’re not following your new diet as closely as you should. Eating too much, or eating poorly, can result in your stomach being intolerant of its contents.


Because your stomach will be smaller, you may not be drinking as much fluids as you once were. In fact, it’s recommended that you do not take much in the way of liquids with each meal. Rather, you should drink between six and eight cups per day, but between meals, not during.

Cold Intolerance

Human beings are warm blooded, this means our bodies are heated from the inside. However, when you are eating less, you may find yourself becoming sensitive to temperature (think of your body as a furnace with food as the fuel). To remedy this, make sure you are eating enough and taking your recommended supplemental nutrients, and throw on a sweater if you feel a chill.


  1. MarilynAugust 2, 2012 at 6:53 pmReply

    I had a lot of requirements to fulfill before being cleared to have this surgical procedure. Not one of the professionals (two nutritionists, the surgeon doing the surgery, the surgeon holding the required lecture on weight loss surgical procedures, etc.) either knew of this side effect or decided just not to discuss it with me.
    Although it’s reassuring to know this side effect is “normal”, I really appreciate reading about how to deal with it.

  2. ChassieApril 4, 2013 at 2:05 pmReply

    Thanks for the information, now I can cope better with all the aformentioned problems better. I had the surgery for other reason than obesity in 2006; and I am smaller and had to undergo change of life style. But the side effects tend to be overwhelming, so I turned to the Web; now I follow all the recommendations given to reduce these side effects.

  3. Jessica MuellerJune 27, 2014 at 3:13 amReply

    It’s been a year ago as of June 6 I had gastric bypass. I’m 36 with what the doctor calls a brain injury and Wernikies. My esophagus closed and my body was depleted of vitamins for over 30 days because no one could figure out what was wrong. My roommates called 911 because I wasn’t responding, I almost died. After being in the hospital I was moved to a rehabilitation hospital and then I was moved to a Neuro recovery home. I’m home now still trying to learn balance and my memory is slowly coming back,I keep a notebook to write my daily events in. Just wanted to share

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