4 Common Food-Related Side Effects After Bariatric Surgery

Bariatric surgery is a big step, and no doctor would recommend it to you if he or she did not believe that its potential health benefits would outweigh risks and negative effects. In this article, we’ll look at some of the downsides and how to cope with them. However, you should never be slow in contacting your doctor if you are experiencing discomfort. Like any surgery, there are complications that can follow surgery, and reporting them promptly will help your doctor to take appropriate action.

1. Nausea and Vomiting

Nausea after anaesthesia is fairly common, but some people continue to experience nausea for months after gastric bypass surgery. You can combat this by sticking to your post-operative diet plan and portion sizes and being careful not to transition to solid foods too soon. Take your supplements with a meal, be careful to drink water only a little at a time, and eat very slowly, carefully chewing each mouthful. If you’re not keeping food down and are experiencing pain, visit a doctor.

2. Acid Reflux

Acid reflux is an uncomfortable phenomenon in which you almost (but not quite) bring up food. Once again, avoiding foods and beverages your doctor has told you to abstain from will help you to limit the chances of acid reflux affecting you. Oily or fatty foods, sugar, highly-spiced foods, coffee and acidic foods should be off your menu. If you “cheat,” you will experience discomfort.  You can also reduce your chances of experiencing acid reflux by not lying down too soon after meals. If acid reflux is a frequent issue, consult your doctor. Medications can often help, but you must be careful to only take meds that are recommended by doctors.

3. Food Allergies and Food Intolerances

With your digestive system radically altered, there are a lot of foods you previously ate but will struggle to eat now. Most of them will be on your list of foods to avoid after weight-loss surgery, but some of them may come as a surprise. Keep a thorough food diary so that you can identify and learn to avoid foods that leave you feeling unwell, but do remember that eating too fast, or failing to chew properly will also cause unpleasant reactions.

Lactose intolerance is quite common after bariatric surgery. If you have to cut out dairy, check how that affects your nutrition. You may need higher doses of Calcium to remain healthy.

4. Nutritional Deficiencies

With the range and amount of foods you can eat severely curtailed, plus a lower ability to absorb food, you will have to work to avoid  the problems associated with nutrient deficiencies. Use specially-formulated bariatric supplements to avoid becoming malnourished, go for regular blood tests, and talk to your doctor about any unusual symptoms you may be experiencing.

Know That it’s a Journey

Realistically, you can expect to feel very unwell during your recovery from bariatric surgery, and you will always have to be careful about what you eat, how often you eat, how much you consume, and how you consume it. Supplementation goes with the territory and will be a lifelong need. As time goes on, you’ll feel better and you will have formed new eating habits. You will still have bad days, but they’ll be less frequent. In the longer term, you will be healthier, and you can expect to enjoy a longer life-span, so take it day by day and become a stronger and healthier version of “you.” Your patience and perseverance will be rewarded!