If you are unsure about anything relating to your procedure call us. Our team is here to help. Some common questions are shown below.
What symptoms are common after the procedure?
- Fatigue: For the first two weeks after your procedure you are likely to feel tired and although we would encourage you to walk daily, don’t overdo things.
- Diarrhoea: Some people develop quite severe diarrhoea in the first few weeks. This can be due to changes in your medications, the change to a liquid diet or an increase in your milk consumption. Make sure that you drink even more fluid to replace what you are losing. If the diarrhoea is particularly troublesome get your GP to check that you do not have ‘overflow diarrhoea’ or an infection. The ESG/ERGB is unlikely to be the direct cause
- Constipation: More commonly, your bowel frequency will be much less than before the procedure because you are now taking much smaller quantities and there is very little fibre in your liquid diet. If you suspect that you are constipated, follow this advice:
- Make sure you are drinking at least 1.5 litres of fluid per day
- Include 1-2 cups of diluted fruit / vegetable juice per day or try syrup of figs or prune juice as a gentle bowel stimulant
- Make sure that you are active and not sitting or lying around too much
If it is still a problem, take a non-bulk forming laxative such as lactulose (Duphulac), or Senokot Syrup. Avoid taking bulking agents such as Fybogel which could cause a blockage in the smaller stomach.
Will I only be able to eat tiny amounts for the rest of my life? Will I be able to eat regular food?
At the beginning, you will likely only eat approximately two to four tablespoons of food. After around eight weeks you should be eating "regular" food, though still with very small portions. It is very unlikely that you will get back to normal meal sizes again – nor should you try. Your procedure works by limiting the volume of food that can be taken at any one time and if you return to your old ways of eating, there is a risk that you will stretch the stomach and begin to put back the weight which you have worked so hard to lose.
How do I get my protein in when I can eat such little amounts?
Following your procedure, it is important for healing, as well as to aid weight loss that you consume an adequate amount of protein. Since you are limited in your food intake, it is recommended that you follow a diet which is low in fat and sugar, and high in protein. The foods outlined in the nutrition section above are an excellent guide and you can supplement your protein intake if you wish, by using Weight to Go high protein shakes and porridge. Maintaining a high protein intake not only increases the sense of satiety (fullness) but also helps to preserve lean (muscle) mass.
Do I have to take vitamin and mineral supplements for the rest of my life? Will I lose all my hair? How do I keep it from falling out?
Yes. This procedureis designed to reduce calorie consumption, so it can also limit the absorption of essential vitamins and minerals. This is why daily vitamin and mineral supplementation is essential to your long-term health. We recommend Multivitamins and Calcium supplements.
Around 20% of patients may experience some hair loss. The reason has to do with weight loss and not your procedure. Anyone who experiences a rapid, sustained weight loss may also experience some temporary hair loss as well. This usually occurs between the fourth and the eighth month after the procedure. It is almost always temporary. You can help by maintaining a high protein diet, keeping well hydrated and taking your daily vitamin supplement (which contains lots of zinc). You may also find kelp (a seaweed extract available from health food shops) helpful. Almost all patients will experience natural hair re-growth after the initial period of loss. Can I get pregnant after?
When a woman of child-bearing age undergoes this procedure, one of the first things she will hear from the nay-sayers is that she cannot have a healthy pregnancy because of presumed nutritional deficiencies. The contrary is true. Morbid obesity results in a high rate of complicated pregnancies and a high rate of miscarriage. Women who become pregnant after achieving weight loss generally have lower risk pregnancies than morbidly obese women.
Can I still take all my medications?
Most medication can be taken normally. Occasionally, if the tablets are large, it may be easier to break or crush them. However, not all medication can be crushed (e.g. slow release capsules) and some are unpalatable in a crushed form. In such cases you should speak to your doctor or Healthier Weight about the possibility of taking a liquid form of the medication.
Are there any medications that I must avoid altogether?
Some medications are not to be used because they may cause ulcers or inflammation in your stomach. You should permanently avoid using any type of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs also known as “NSAIDs”, which include pain relievers such as aspirin, Ibuprofen, Diclofenac, Sulindac, Celecoxib, Diflunisal, Naproxen, Piroxicam etc. If you are unsure, ask the Healthier Weight Centre for advice.