Essential Nutritional Guidance after Bariatric Surgery

nutritionSevere obesity numbers continue to rise in the U.S., and so do the amount of bariatric surgeries. Restrictive surgeries such as laparoscopic banding and malabsorptive procedures like the Roux-en-Y bypass have been found to be very successful for many people. Along with significant weight loss, bariatric patients often have reduction in symptoms associated with metabolic syndrome (a cluster of abnormalities including hypertension, high cholesterol, high blood glucose levels, and abdominal obesity). Bariatric surgery is not a magic potion, however; post-surgery, bariatric patients have to learn to eat in a new way in order to maintain weight loss and ensure that they take in the proper nutrients for good health.

All bariatric surgery patients, regardless of the procedure, should participate in nutrition education programs. They should be followed closely by a team including a primary care physician, endocrinologist, and gastroenterologist to prevent, detect, or treat nutritional deficiencies. This is especially important for those who’ve had malabsoptive procedures like gastric bypass.  Malabsorptive surgeries increase the risk for nutritional deficiencies because they block absorption of food nutrients. Such deficiencies can affect many aspects of one’s health, so these patients must be given supplements.

Post-bariatric follow-up care can also help troubleshoot vomiting and dumping syndrome (intense nausea and cramping when the contents of your stomach are “dumped” into your small intestine too quickly). These unpleasant side effects tend to occur after bariatric surgery as your body gets used to its new, smaller stomach. Your doctor can teach you about trigger foods to avoid, and provide other helpful tips such as not drinking within a half-hour of eating.

Bariatric surgery is not a guarantee for successful weight loss and maintenance. Eating habits and lifestyles must be changed in order to have a healthy recovery and to reach your goal of a healthier, happier life.

If you are considering bariatric surgery, contact Dr. Shawn Tsuda for a consultation.

Read more online at:

Pregnancy after Bariatric Surgery: Proper Nutrition is Key

prengnancyStatistics show that nearly 80% of women who undergo bariatric surgery are of childbearing age. We also know that these surgeries work by either restricting calories or malabsorption. Restrictive surgery reduces the stomach size and physically limits the amount of food the stomach can hold, which limits the number of calories one can eat. An example of this type of procedure is adjustable banding. Malabsorptive surgery combines stomach restriction with a partial bypass of the small intestine. In these procedures, a direct connection is created from the stomach to the lower segment of the small intestine, bypassing portions of the digestive tract that absorb calories and nutrients.

While women should always be concerned with getting proper nutrition, it is never more important than when pregnant. Expectant mothers should try to avoid ingesting things that could harm the fetus, and they should also be diligent about trying to consume enough of the nutrients that a healthy, developing embryo needs. Nutritional needs do differ based on many factors, including what type of bariatric surgery you have. For example, gastric banding or gastric bypass pose minimal, if any, risks for nutrient problems if the mom-to-be adheres to her surgeon’s advice; however, about 20 percent of pregnant women who undergo biliopancreatic diversion may need to be feed intravenously while pregnant to make sure they receive the proper nutrition.

Generally, all pregnant women need the same nutrients to sustain a healthy pregnancy. If you become pregnant after weight-loss surgery, let your ob/gyn know what kind of surgery you had, and keep your bariatric surgeon in the loop as well.

Dr. Shawn Tsuda and his experienced team can help you understand your specific nutritional needs after whatever bariatric procedure you have if you become pregnant or are planning to become pregnant.

Read more online at:

Bariatric Surgery: Studies Show Link to Improved Lower Urinary Tract Symptoms

lutsLower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS) such as urinary frequency and urgency, bladder leakage, the need to urinate at night, and incomplete emptying of the bladder have long been associated with obesity; metabolic syndrome (a cluster of abnormalities including hypertension, high cholesterol, high blood glucose levels, and abdominal obesity) shows significant links to obesity as well. Two recent studies show that not only can weight loss improve metabolic syndrome and LUTS as expected, but that after bariatric surgery, before significant weight loss, they found a decrease in LUTS. Researchers attribute this to improved insulin resistance which is known to begin almost immediately after weight-loss surgery.

Research shows that weight-loss surgery leads to improvement or even resolution of a growing list of health problems commonly associated with obesity such as type 2 diabetes, hypertension, and sleep apnea. One study found that at six weeks, a significant reduction in overall LUTS was noted, and this improvement was sustained at one year. Also, insulin sensitivity improved, indicating a lessening of patients’ risk for developing type II diabetes.

The investigators noted that they weren’t surprised that many symptoms and medical problems associated with obesity improved when weight loss occurred; they were surprised, however, that so many problems, including issues related to urinary function, improved so quickly after bariatric surgery, even before great weight loss had occurred.

Only you and your doctors can decide if bariatric surgery is right for you. If you have LUTS and/or metabolic syndrome, consider contacting Dr. Shawn Tsuda for a consultation. This could be your first step to a healthier you. Imagine feeling and looking better, improving lower urinary tract symptoms, being better able to have restful sleep, and vastly reducing your risks for heart disease and certain cancers among many other life-threatening conditions associated with obesity and metabolic syndrome.

Read more about these recent studies at:

Bariatric Surgery and Food Addiction

food addictionMillions of Americans have addictions – drugs, alcohol, gambling, cigarettes – and they feel powerless to stop abusing whatever it is. Food addiction is no different. As a matter of fact, some studies show that food addiction is one of the most common in our country. Turning to food to cope with feelings of low self-worth, which in turn causes guilt, shame, depression, anxiety, and myriad of other problems, the food addict seeks to soothe unpleasant feelings by eating, and there are bio-chemical reasons along with psychological reasons why food does help allay the feelings temporarily. The body naturally releases certain hormones when faced with stress, and eating certain things can mimic and/or increase mood enhancing serotonin among other substances, but this vicious cycle cannot only be devastating to the mind and soul, but also to the body as the food addict gains more weight and continues to feel like a failure when they can’t lose.

Bariatric surgery has become one of the most effective means of weight loss for the morbidly obese, and the benefits obtained by successful surgery have been shown to outweigh any risks associated with the surgery. However, although the surgery can physically help by restricting food intake, does it help with food addictions and the cravings of an addict?

Recent studies suggest that bariatric surgery can do just that. Weight-loss surgery is widely known to decrease patient’s desire to eat, but it is unknown how it might affect patients who meet the criteria of food addict before surgery. (Some studies show that up to 80-90% of bariatric patients are food addicts before surgery.) One study by the Center for Human Nutrition and Atkins Center of Excellence in Obesity Medicine, Washington University School of Medicine, St Louis, MO, found that surgery decreased food cravings in both food addicts and non-addicts, but the decrease was greater in patients addicted to food. Addicted patients craved foods more frequently before, but not after surgery. “Our findings demonstrate that weight loss can induce remission of food addiction, even though subjects are still obese,” the authors write. “These data suggest that obesity itself does not cause food addiction, but that food addiction is a contributing, but modifiable, risk factor for obesity…”

Learn more online at: