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Diet for people with abdominal adhesions

Updated April 17, 2017

According to information from the National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse, abdominal adhesions are tissues that form in the abdominal cavity that connect the intestines to the organs, causing them to adhere to one another. Surgery is the most common cause of adhesions, with operations on the hips and abdomen increasing the risk of their development. As adhesions can cause the intestines to twist into unnatural positions, they can result in bowel obstruction, necessitating a specialised diet to avoid digestive complications until the problem can be surgically corrected.

Abdominal Adhesion Diet Theory

Knowing the basics behind the abdominal adhesion diet can help you better understand why such a diet is necessary. Where the intestinal tract becomes partially blocked through the influence of adhesions, adherence to a low-residue diet can help circumvent the intestinal obstruction by allowing food to still pass through the narrowed opening. While an abdominal adhesion diet cannot correct the condition, it can help allow a patient to subsist more comfortably until surgery can be performed.

Abdominal Adhesion Diet

Consume a diet low in both fibre and "residue" of all kinds to cope with abdominal adhesions. According to information from the Mayo Clinic, a low-residue diet is a short-term solution to the problem of abdominal adhesions, as the diet itself cannot provide a sufficient level of vitamins and nutrients for long-term subsistence. Therefore, a low-reside diet is just a stopgap measure, which is useful in the period from when adhesions result in bowel obstruction until surgery is possible. Foods on a low-residue diet include the following: rice, white flour items (breads, pastas, crackers, and chips), fruit and vegetable juice, tender protein items (seafood, poultry, and meat), oils (olive, canola, palm, fish, flax, etc), condiments such as butter, syrup, jelly, honey, and mayonnaise, salad dressing free from solid ingredients, and strained soup. These foods will likely pass the bowel obstruction caused by abdominal adhesions without issue, allowing you to minimise symptoms and affording you some level of nutritional support until the issue can be fully addressed.

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About the Author

TS Jordan is an Ohio licensed attorney living and practicing out of the Cleveland area. In addition to his Juris Doctorate, he holds a Bachelors' Degree in Information Systems. He has been writing professionally for less than a year.