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How to Help Yourself Heal Naturally After Surgery

No matter what kind of surgery you have, the healing and recovery process take time. This can be a very frustrating time of life, especially if you’re used to living an active lifestyle and eating certain types of foods on a daily basis. Fortunately, there are a lot of things you can do to help your body heal naturally after surgery that don’t have anything to do with prescription pain medications or keeping up with an antibiotic regimen. Here are a few ways that you can help you body recover from surgery in healthy and natural ways.

Photo credit: Spitalier Philippe via Flickr

Post-Surgery Foods to Eat

What you eat after having surgery has a profound impact on how you will feel in the days, weeks, and months after a procedure. For example, it’s important to get a good supply of protein in your body because protein is essential to wound healing. Chicken and eggs are good sources of protein if you eat meat, or protein shakes can help boost your daily protein supply if you’ve had dental surgery and are unable to chew solid foods for a few days.

Also, vitamin C and zinc assist with wound healing, so fruits and vegetables rich in vitamin C are also good post-surgery options. This includes guava, red and green peppers, kiwis, lemons, and oranges. Fish is a good source of vitamin B12 and iron, which are good nutrients to help bone marrow form new blood cells after a procedure. It’s also important to get fiber-rich foods and foods that contain probiotics into your diet after surgery, and an easy way to do this is to eat yogurt with granola mixed into it.

Post-Surgery Foods to Avoid

There are also some types of foods that are best to avoid after having surgery, including foods that are high in sodium and sugar. Many juice drinks, protein shakes, and soft foods are very high in sugar, which can make your blood sugar levels fluctuate dramatically and prevent you from sleeping well. Getting enough rest each night is crucial to helping your body heal after any kind of surgery. It’s also a good idea to avoid high-sodium soups and sports drinks because these can make your body retain water and increase swelling. Get the hydration your body needs from pure water as you recover and even after you’re fully healed.

Post-Surgery Herbs and Supplements

Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine practitioners offer some helpful advice for other ways to help the body heal naturally after surgery. For example, aloe vera can offer significant benefits to the digestive system and bladder, while liquid chlorophyll is known as a blood purifier, and aromatherapy can help to manage pain through the senses of smell and touch. Meanwhile, oregano oil is used to help prevent infections, ginger can ease nausea, and turmeric can reduce inflammation in the body.

Photo credit: Jeff VanLandingham via Flickr

Follow Post-Surgery Instructions

Following a set of written instructions may seem easy, but many post-surgical patients are given lengthy instructions that seem very overwhelming at first. Listen to your doctor if he or she advises you not to lift things over a certain weight, to avoid driving after taking certain medications, or to engage in physical activity until you’re really ready. Even if you feel good physically shortly after your procedure, stick to the instructions you were given because internal healing may still be in progress without you realizing it.

Go to Follow-Up Appointments

Finally, it is strongly advised to attend follow-up appointments even if you’re feeling well and don’t think you need them. You may not be able to decipher what’s going on internally with your body as well as an experienced physician or notice things like how an incision is closing or the presence of increasing risks factors for infection. These follow-up appointments are also great opportunities to figure out how to incorporate new changes into your diet, exercise routine, or make medication adjustments as necessary.

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