Gastric bypass surgery is among the most popular bariatric surgery, with the number of those who are choosing to undergo the procedure doubling since 2018 to 2020. The American Society of Bariatric Surgery, estimates the number to be 140,000 annually. This procedure is primarily done to resolve issues of morbid obesity and the diseases associated with it. In gastric bypass surgery, a small pouch is created in the stomach. This small pouch is stapled and the small intestine’s upper portion is also attached to this small pouch. The middle section of the small intestine is attached to the rest of the stomach. Food will bypass the rest of the stomach and the rest of the small intestine. Te stomach will be in smaller size which would make it full faster. Less calories will be absorbed.
This procedure would require diet change. Since the digestive system is altered or shortened, every food intake would be valuable. Some common side effects brought by the surgery is nutritional deficiency like anemia and osteoporosis. This is why it is important for patients to follow a different diet and take mineral and vitamin supplements.
The special gastric bypass diet would make sure that weight loss will be maintained over time. It would normally involve high protein food. Foods high in protein would ensure that new tissues are being built and the wounds are healing properly. Ideal high protein foods will be low in fat like red meat, chicken or turkey without skin, fish, eggs and cottage cheese.
Sugar and fat is among the foods that are avoided. Gastric bypass diet would involve food low in sugar and fat. Sugary foods are high in calories and fat. Fat is difficult to digest. Consuming too much sugar could also result to the Dumping syndrome that has nausea, dizziness, vomiting, sweating, and diarrhea as symptoms. The body could also react the same way to too much fat. Foods with too much fat and sugar, anyway, do not have sufficient nutrients that would be essential to the body.
Foods high in fiber are also limited in gastric bypass diet. Fibers could block the stomach, small intestine and would require more gastric acid to digest it. A doctor’s approval is needed before ingesting any laxative or fiber pills.
This change is not done immediately. There are stages in a gastric bypass diet. Clear liquids would be the first stage. For the first two days, clear liquids like water, sugar-free juice, clear broth and no fizz soda are consumed in small amounts. Within the first two weeks, low-fat, high protein liquids are ingested. It is important to also take chewable multivitamins during this stage.
Doctors would determine when would be the suitable time for the patient to progress to soft or puree diet. Some would be able to eat after two weeks, while others would have to wait longer than that. Some people who are in this stage would sometimes resort to eating strained baby foods. While others would prefer eating soft foods like scrambled eggs, low-fat cheese, blenderized lean meats, etc.
Two months after the surgery, the patient could now start eating regular diet, starting with high-protein food. Food consumed should be in small amounts. Remember that the stomach is reduced in size. After the gastric bypass, the stomach could accommodate about an ounce of food. Eventually, it could stretch and hold about 4 to 8 ounces or a cup to half a cup of food.
One thing that people should be conscious of would be overeating. Gastric bypass surgery can make the stomach smaller, however this does not affect the overall attitude to eating. People could result to overeating because of genetics or emotions. Lifestyle change is important. Overeating could cause regaining the lost weight, expansion of the pouch, and in worst cases rupture of the stomach.
There are many support groups, education, and counselling available to help deal patients with these difficulties.