Doctors often give us information about pain management, but neglect to offer advice on true healing after an operation.
My husband just had a hernia surgery. And those of you how are familiar with this surgery may know that it has a fairly long recovery time. Expect to stop working and driving for 2 weeks, pain usually last 4 weeks, no strenuous exercise for 8 weeks, and no lifting for 3 months. And because the doctors know how painful this surgery is, they often prescribe hydrocodone which is an addictive narcotic with brand names like Norco, Vicodin, Lorcet and Lortab, and other pain medications like acetaminophen and NSAIDs like ibuprofen for inflammation control.
Beyond the pain, the main concern is often also constipation, so a stool softener and or laxative may also be suggested. This is because, for one, the anesthesia slows down your bowel function, two, the narcotics and NSAIDS have constipating properties, and they also don’t want the patient to strain and undo the surgery.
While these medications, may make the pain bearable or manage the side-effects that they cause, they really do little to actually help the body recover from the trauma of surgery.
For both loving and selfish reasons, I wanted my husband back on his feet as soon as possible, (we have a bouncy four-year-old that does not understand things like his dad needing to rest) so I proposed to him a protocol for speeding his healing.
And after just 1 day, he was not constipated, after 2 days he had stopped taking the Norco completely, and after 4 days was completely off of all painkillers. And on day five he was able to stroll around the park with us for over an hour. And after 1 week he is back to work.
Now in no way is he fully recovered, and he is paying close attention to his lifting and driving restrictions. But by adding a few powerful nutrients to his diet, he was able to reduce his pain and get back to work in half of the time that the doctors expected.
The basis of his healing protocol was bone broth. I always stock Kettle and Fire boxed bone broth in my pantry. So as soon as we got home, he began drinking ½ a cup 4 times a day. This gave me time to make a couple batches of my homemade bone broth which he is still continuing to drink daily. He’s basically been having a cup or two for the last couple of weeks.
Bone broth is an important part of a surgery healing protocol for several reasons.
- Bone broth contains collagen protein. There are a whopping 10 grams of protein in just one cup. And extra protein is essential when the body is under stress like from a surgery. This extra protein helps the body to regenerate cells and heal. And collagen protein is especially useful for wound healing because it contains the amino acid proline. I always recommend adding 25% more protein to your diet during times injury. And hey, as my son says, “Daddy’s got holes in him!”
- Bone broth contains glycine. This amino acid supports the liver and helps it detoxify. And between the anesthesia and the medications the liver needs all the help it can get to process and remove these substances. Glycine also promotes muscle repair.
- Bone broth boosts digestion. The gelatin in bone broth has a unique ability to draw stomach acid into your stomach. This helps you break down the food you are eating and helps to counteract the sluggishness that the anesthesia caused to your digestive tract.
I also had my husband take 2500mg of Vitamin C powder every day
- Vitamin C helps to stimulate the bowel preventing the dreaded constipation
- And it works synergistically with the amino acids in bone broth to facilitate the building of collagen to repair the wound.
I had my husband take 250mg of magnesium glycinate (other forms may cause loose stools) 2x per day.
- Magnesium attracts water. Increasing water in the colon softens stool making it easier to pass.
- Magnesium also works as a muscle relaxer and was helpful in helping him to rest and relax.
And after the second day, he added 750mg of high-quality fish oil 2x per day. (We waited to add the fish oil on the recommendation of the nurse, who said it can cause bleeding after surgery.)
- The Omega 3 fatty acids in fish oil act as an anti-inflammatory agent. Reducing inflammation speeds wound healing.
- Unlike the anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen, fish oil does not weaken your immune system.
Use the links below to see the exact products that I used to speed my husband’s recovery:
Get 25% off your first purchase at my e-store by using the code: FIRST25