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Your biggest wins after weight loss surgery

Lana Bandoim's picture

Sometimes taking down one of the most serious health issues in the country takes more than diet and exercise. Another tactic in the fight against obesity is weight loss surgery, which is also known as bariatric surgery. This is a viable option for those who have a high body mass index (BMI), weigh 100 pounds or more in excess of a healthy weight and have been unsuccessful in losing weight using exercise or diet.


The four common types of weight loss surgery are gastric bypass, laparoscopic gastric banding, gastric sleeve and duodenal switch. Each of these procedures aids in weight loss through restriction and malabsorption. In other words, these procedures spur weight loss by limiting how much the stomach can contain and by shortening or bypassing the small intestine, which reduces the amount of calories and nutrients absorbed in the body.

The decision to elect surgery should not be taken lightly. Qualifying for a procedure and the maintenance after the surgery requires commitment to a lifestyle change. Many bariatric surgery patients with successful weight loss have said they changed more than their habits, and they changed their lives. Individuals are set to gain big in their health if they follow the guidelines after weight loss surgery. Other than weight loss, bariatric surgery patients can look forward to other positive changes in their journey of taking back their health.

Gain a sense of community through support groups

Weight loss surgery is known to help obese patients keep weight off for the long term. However, the procedure is not a magic pill or a one-and-done event. Using weight loss surgery to fight obesity is part of the battle. Bariatric patients are often required to attend support groups as part of the weight loss process. The support groups play an important role in the weight loss. Patients receive guidance, motivation and encouragement from others who have completed the program.

Gain an active lifestyle

Weight loss surgery offers a new lease on life, and among the ways to extend the lease is through increased physical activity. Exercise is always part of the post-surgery care plan. Bariatric patients get to look forward to gaining more mobility and accomplishing physical activities that were once a challenge. Bariatric patients should start off with low-impact activities, such as walking, and then increase the intensity of the workout with resistance training. Eventually patients should be able to exercise six days a week for an hour a day.

Gain awareness of medications

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Medications take on a whole new meaning after weight loss surgery. Bariatric patients must learn and follow the medication guidelines. While pharmaceuticals like in the research of Dr. Bruce Eaton have been made to improve health, bariatric patients must be aware of the medications that are compatible with the digestive system and medications to avoid. For example, a physician may recommend that right after surgery, weight loss patients should take medications that are liquid or crushed. Taking large tablets or capsules increases the risk of them getting stuck.

Weight loss surgery generally affects the absorption of medications and other supplements. For example, among the common over-the-counter drugs that bariatric patients are to avoid are ibuprofen, Advil and aspirin. It is important to have a doctor who is aware of the differences of medication absorption between a bariatric and a non-bariatric patient.

Gain knowledge of helpful supplements

Bariatric patients have the opportunity to improve their health with supplements. Vitamins and other nutritional supplements have been known to help with weight loss and overall health. Supplements play a huge role in the health of post-surgery bariatric patients. This awareness can help fuel a greater desire for a healthy lifestyle. For example, calcium is one of the daily supplements recommended by many physicians. Studies have shown that bariatric patients are at risk for bone loss. Depending on the type of bariatric surgery, the recommended amount of calcium to take ranges from 1500 mg to 2400 mg.

Another supplement that is important for bariatric patients is vitamin B12. This vitamin is known as an energy vitamin and responsible for keeping the nerve and blood cells healthy. People usually get this nutrient through their diets. However, the ability to absorb vitamin B12 through food decreases in bariatric patients. It is important that patients continue to take a vitamin B12 supplement.

Gain a healthy diet

Many bariatric patients are required to lose weight before the surgery, and since their healthy habits are already forming, bariatric patients have the opportunity to keep the momentum going after the surgery. Post-surgery nutrition involves learning about the best foods that are nutritious and easy to digest. In fact, many of the guidelines for bariatric patients are healthy living tips that anyone should follow.

It is natural to think of weight loss as being restrictive. However, the steps toward a healthier lifestyle through weight loss surgery give people more in terms of support, active lifestyle, knowledge of medications and supplements, diet and an overall new lease on life.

Image from Pixabay.com and used with permission.