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: http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/patientinstructions/000173.htm

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