Post-Operative Reactions To Dietary Changes
You will be experiencing many changes after surgery. Everyone is unique and adapts differently to change. Listed below are some physical and psychological reactions that you may experience following your surgery. You probably will not experience all of these, but be aware that they can occur. Make note of any reactions you experience. Keep track of them in a journal and bring it with you to your follow-up appointments for review.
Potential reactions can include:
Potential reactions can include:
- Fatigue: You are consuming fewer calories that your body is accustomed to. You may feel more tired, weak, or have a lack of energy. Make sure you are sleeping at least eight hours a night. Do not skip meals. Inadequate hydration will affect energy levels. Make certain that you are getting 50 minutes of exercise at least five times a week. Exercise restores energy in most individuals.
- Dizziness: This occurs because the body eliminates large amounts of water and salt during weight loss. One benefit of weight loss is that it lowers blood pressure, but it can become a problem if light headedness develops. To avoid this problem, increase your fluid intake. Sip water frequently throughout the day. Carry a water bottle with you.
- Food Cravings, Fantasies, and Revulsions: After surgery many patients report that the smell of some foods, such as cooked meat etc… causes nausea. Others fantasize and even dream of consuming foods that aren't on the food plan. Some may experience a grieving process for old eating patterns. Know that this is a normal and will pass. Distract yourself by taking up a new craft, sport, exercising, chatting with a friend or other activity.
- Bad Breath: Bad breath occurs with rapid weight loss. Though, unpleasant, it is a sign that you are shedding unwanted pounds. Pay extra attention to your dental hygiene by brushing more frequently, flossing, using mouth wash, or a sugar free mint. Be cautious when chewing sugar free gum. Inadvertently swallowing gum may cause discomfort.
- Dry Mouth: If you become dehydrated, your mouth could feel dry. Increase your intake of water.
- Hair Loss or Brittle Nails: Every Gastric Bypass patient will experience some hair loss or thinning. This is a temporary situation and it WILL reverse itself. Taking a daily magnesium supplement may help control this situation in some cases. If it does not, know that your hair will come back. It is just a matter of time.
Sugar free Knox Gelatin and even Sugar Free Jell-O have been reported to help with thinning fingernails. If your fingernails become very thin avoid false fingernails until they return to normal. Thin fingernails do not endure the stresses of filing and adhesive glue well. Potentially the underlying nail bed can be harmed and subsequent infections may develop.
- Muscle Cramp: Muscle cramps in the legs and feet may be due to changes in your electrolyte balance or to an increase in physical activity. When this occurs, increase you liquid intake, take a magnesium supplement daily and perform stretching exercises frequently.
- Vomiting: If you vomit after eating, do not eat or drink anything further. Contact the office and advise them of your situation. You will be instructed on what to do next.
- Constipation: Adequate hydration is an essential component of bowel health. You must consume at least 64 ounces of non-caffeinated fluids each day. Beverages that contain caffeine do not count towards you fluid intake. Remember that caffeine is a diuretic as well as an appetite stimulant. Drinking frequently will assist you in the avoidance of constipation. If you are constipated, you must assess your fluid intake. You may also try a stool softener such as Metamucil, Naturacil, or even a Fleets enema if a problem develops. Refrain from using laxatives such as Ex-lax or other brands.If problems persist please contact the office.
- Depression: You may experience some depression following surgery. This is caused by the anesthesia that was administered at the time of your operation. Depression should pass over a period time. One of the benefits of exercise is that it increases one's sense of well being. Try going for a walk, swim or other physical activity if you are experiencing the blues.
If you continue to experience depression please mention it at your follow-up appointment. You and your physician can assess what steps can be taken to assist you.