Fat and Protein after weight loss surgery…. This is a subject that seems to come up all the time.
What I recommend is “…Water, protein, vitamins, supplements and every thing else….”
Dehydration can cause a lot of problems, stay hydrated.
Weight Loss Surgery (WLS) is a surgically imposed catabolic state (surgical induced starvation). The weight is lost by not allowing enough caloric intake/absorption and forcing the body rely on stored sources of energy, mostly fat mass. The rationale for the high protein intake is to minimize net muscle mass loss during the catabolic state. Low carbs and low fat further push the body into catabolizing the fat mass, and reducing the net loss of protein content. As the fat mass is broken down it will release hormones and other byproducts that the body will eliminate. Hydration is crucial to every bodily function and even more so in the weight loss phase to allow for elimination of some of these byproducts.
The mechanism by which Duodenal Switch works during the weight loss phase is by limiting the caloric intake. Long term Duodenal Switch keeps the weight off due to the malabsorptive component as the caloric intake increases. Protein intake, Vitamin/Mineral supplementation and diligence in surveillance of vitamin/mineral levels is imperative and a life long commitment after WLS.
There are a number of different types of Fatty Acids. Our bodies naturally produce, from other components, all but 2 essential fatty acids: Omega 3 and Omega 6. Most fatty acids require bile salts to be absorbed within the small intestines. Those are the fatty acids that are absorbed to a lesser degree after Duodenal Switch. Medium chained fatty acids do not require bile salts and can be absorbed into the blood stream from the small intestines. Medium chained fatty acids are used for energy as they are processed in the liver. Medium chained fatty acids are actually given to patients with Short Bowel Syndrome to decrease fatty stool and increase their body weight. This is also a possible reason some fats cause DS patients more loose stools and others do not (medium chained fatty acids). Adding fats is a purely individualized process. Each person has a different length of small bowel, alimentary limb, common channel, percentage of excess weight to lose and metabolism. Patient’s tolerance for fat in regards to vitamin/mineral levels, stool consistency and frequency is completely individualized.
Fats and Fatty acids can be divided according to their structure in groups:
A) Saturated Fat (animal fats, butter, lard- solid in room temperature)
B) Unsaturated Fat (liquid in room temperature)
The main focus in the weight loss phase should be hydration, hydration, hydration, protein, low carb, low fat and vitamin/mineral supplementation (page 22). Rest is key in the early post op phase but gradually adding exercise is also important in ensuring the body does not breakdown muscle mass. Adequate intake of protein and use of muscles diminishes the bodies natural response of breaking down muscle mass in a low caloric intake state.
Post Surgical Needs for the first 90 days in order of importance:
This is to allow healing to take place before adding additional stress on the body and surgical sites.
Minimum of 64 ounces of fluids daily
Minimum 80-100 grams of protein daily (protein requirements are based on ideal body weight)
30 gms by 30 days post-op
60 gms by 60 days post-op
90 gms by 90 days post-op
Rest (early Post-op)
Proteins are important, not only for structure (muscle) but for functions. We know that proteins and amino acids are involved in all aspects of our body’s function. This is even more critical during the rapid weight loss phase. Protein needs may increase and change based on health status, pregnancy, surgeries, healing, etc.
When it comes to fat, I do not recommend patients consuming excessive amounts of fat- At the same time I do not recommend patients go on a low fat diet. There is this misconception that since DS is causing fat and fat soluble vitamin malabsorption, then taking more fat (in excessive amounts) can solve the problem of vitamin deficiency. How about the possibility that some patients are causing their own vitamin deficiency by taking large volumes of fat which may results in more frequent bowel movements and decreased vitamin absorption.
It is not to be forgotten that each patient will respond differently with dietary changes after duodenal switch. Some patients may tolerate more and some less fat in their diet. After the initial 90 day post op phase I recommend that patients go slowly in adding new food items by giving it several days before adding another food item. i.e.; add carrots for 3-5 days to see how your body handles it before attempting to add another new item. The above is not the entire weight loss process or education and is only a small portion of the education needed before undergoing any WLS procedure. These recommendation are my recommendations for my patients with the Hess technique for Duodenal Switch.
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