Nutritional Complexities for People Who Had Weight Loss Surgery
This country is in the grips of the obesity epidemic, and it doesn’t seem to be getting any better. However, great strides are being made by offer people things such as lap band surgery, thereby preventing them from overeating. This can lead to significant weight loss. However, it also causes some nutritional complexities and complications that people have to be aware of if they want to achieve overall good health.
Bariatric surgery is now known to be the most effective way for obese people to not just achieve weight loss, but to also combat their associated medical problems. To be eligible for this type of surgery, people must:
- Have a BMI of at least 40, or 35 with an associated health problem.
- Be at least 100 pounds overweight.
- Have failed at losing weigh using conventional methods.
- Demonstrate that they are committed to real lifestyle changes.
One of the biggest problems with bariatric surgery is that people can develop nutritional deficiencies. This is as a result of a number of different issues, but most particularly:
- The fact that people can eat less, therefore consuming fewer vitamins, minerals, and more.
- The fact that people who are obese often have unhealthy eating habits and therefore do not know what a healthy diet looks like.
- The fact that, at least in the early stages after surgery, people can only eat a liquid or pureed diet.
How to Address Nutritional Complications
A number of systems have been put in place to ensure people do not start to suffer from nutritional deficiencies after surgery. This includes:
- Taking multivitamin supplements, which often has to be done for life. The focus is often on vitamins A, D, E, and K, iron, protein, vitamin B12, folate, and calcium.
- Consultation and follow up treatment with a nutritionist and dietician.
- Education on healthy eating, with a focus on nutritional needs.
The final point is perhaps the most important. People became obese because they had an unhealthy relationship with food, eating not just too much but the wrong things as well. It is vital, therefore, that people are educated properly on what they should and should not eat. It may be common sense for some people that vegetables are good, and fried foods are bad, but this can actually be confusing for some people. For example, they may understand that some potatoes should be included in someone’s diet, but they will choose French fries instead of boiled potatoes.
In order for people to avoid nutritional complications after bariatric surgery, they are provided with significant counseling and education in terms of nutritional needs and healthy eating. They will be provided with a very strict diet for the first few weeks after their surgery, but they must also continue their consultations with dieticians and nutritionists, who will not only give them hints and tips on what to eat, but who will also monitor whether or not deficiencies start to appear, thereby ensuring patients stay on track.
Guest Author: Lolita Di