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It’s stuck!

Ouch, you’re in the middle of eating dinner and it happens.  That sharp pain just below your sternum, the knowledge that you cannot swallow another bite, even if it’s already in your mouth.  Yup, you’ve got something stuck.  Normally stuck food is a result of eating too fast and/or not chewing enough.  The connection between pouch and small intestine is small, and it’s easy for a food jam to occur.


So what to do when that happens?  Here’s a few ideas that help me when I get something stuck.

  • Stop eating immediately.  Don’t swallow another bite.
  • Get up from the table and walk.  And walk.  And walk.  Moving can help move whatever is stuck through. 
  • After 15 min or so, try very, very slowly sipping hot tea.  There is a great blend I found in the grocery store called “digestive tea” which has helped me in this situation.  Be cautious though.  If the tea seems to be making it worse, stop drinking and wait another 15 min before trying the tea again.
  • If you are in severe pain (food being stuck is VERY uncomfortable) or you don’t feel better after an hour or two, call your doc.  It’s always better to be safe than sorry!

Slowing down at the dinner table and remembering to chew, chew, chew, can prevent food from getting stuck most of the time, but it’s still an unfortunate occurrence that will happen to all of us once in a while.  Hopefully if it happens to you, these tips can help it dislodge in no time!



Hello, I'm Kate, and I'm a 10 year gastric bypass post-op. I started this blog, as well as my nutritional website, to help other bariatric surgery post-op's on their journey as well as pre-op's with their decision if bariatric surgery is right for them or not.

7 thoughts on “It’s stuck!

  1. Another good way to help digest the food better is to take some papaya enzyme. It helps create digestive juices to breakdown the food. The chewable form taste like candy. It is also available in capsules.


  2. I have this problem daily and my newest complaint is nausea when I eat, no matter what it is. Its hard to get in the required amount of foods due to the nausea feeling, then my blood sugars drop dangerously low and then starts the vicious cycle UGH


  3. I’m one month post-op and I have found so far that stretching your arms over your head helps. Bend your elbow and grab it with your opposite hand and arch your back very slightly. Be very gentle and alternate arms several times. Also, try big deep slow breaths. This seems to help the food slide through.


  4. I’m pre-op and find myself thinking about how it will be after WLS. I have begun taking smaller bites, chewing more thoroughly and (this is the hardest for me by far) not drinking during meals. However, this part of post-op life is still very intimidating to me when I dwell on it. I think perhaps one of the biggest advantages of this whole process for me may be to help cure/curb my worrywartness 🙂 maybe


    1. Some say the worst part of a roller coaster is that slow climb up to the first drop. Fear, anxiety, excitement, wonder. Just keep in mind that all fear and anxiety and bad feelings vanish the instant you go over that edge and take the plunge.

      An hour goes by fast, glance at the clock once you decided you’re done eating. Plus, it fills up your day when you eat and drink separately, so less time for cravings. You’ll be surprised how quickly you get used to things when you realize you are not the same and this is the way things are now.

      Best of luck.


  5. Its the worst feeling ever. 3 years later and can find nothing to help when this happens. But to vomit and expel that food stuck. I’m so disappointed in my band. I cannot eat hardly any meats, vegetables. And I am still over weight. Only comfort foods. So very disappointed.


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