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A Girl Eating a Chewing Gum

Is It Okay To Chew Gum After Bariatric Surgery?


You have likely heard that chewing gum is one way to help lose weight because it keeps your mouth occupied, reducing your calorie intake. You can’t help but wonder, can you chew gum after bariatric surgery? Read on to find out.

What Happens When You Chew Gum After Weight Loss Surgery?

Chewing gum, especially after a bariatric procedure, is not recommended. Here’s why:

It Contains High Sugar Levels

Reducing the amount of calories is a plus for weight loss, but gum is not a healthy choice. Most products contain too much sugar, sometimes more than 2g in a single stick. Eating more gum a day means consuming more sugar, which is the last thing you want to do when trying to lose weight. 

It Causes Bloating

To avoid consuming a lot of sugar through chewing gum, you may opt for calorie-free alternatives, but those, too, are not recommended. When you keep chewing and not eating, chances are high that you take in a lot of air in the process.

The air goes into the digestive system, which is terrible if you have recently had bariatric surgery. For one, the pressure in the stomach increases, which interferes with the recovery process. Secondly, gas builds up, causing pain.

It Irritates the Digestive System

You already know that your digestive tract undergoes several changes post-surgery, and chewing doesn’t help the body adjust. It causes enzyme secretion, which stimulates the bowels and, in turn, causes side effects like diarrhea.

Read More: Causes of Diarrhea After Gastric Sleeve Surgery

It Stimulates Appetite

The goal of bariatric surgery is to reduce your craving for food and lower your appetite. However, you notice that chewing on an empty stomach only worsens it because it stimulates your appetite, making you hungry, meaning more food intake.

It May Cause Blockage

This may not be a serious concern for many because not everyone intentionally swallows up gum, but if that happens, then it becomes a problem. As a patient who has recently had alterations to their digestive system, doctors recommend that you properly chew your food. Since gum doesn’t digest like other food particles, swallowing it can block your bowels and, in severe cases, mean a trip back to the doctor to remove it.

Talk To Your Doctor About What You Eat After Gastric Sleeve Procedure

You can chew gum weeks after gastric sleeve, as long as it is sugar-free, but you have to be cautious because of the potential risks. Surgeons advise that you not do it, and as a patient, you would rather not risk it. Chewing gum is not worth it if you want your bariatric surgery in New York to be successful. Contact us at Lenox Hill Hospital for advice about bariatric surgery recovery.