Boosting Energy After Bariatric Surgery

Have you undergone bariatric surgery and are experiencing little to no energy? You’ve come to the right place! 

Weight loss surgery is supposed to improve or resolve most health issues that have limited you from doing some activities. So, why would you experience fatigue after bariatric surgery?

In this article we talk about what could be affecting your energy levels after bariatric surgery, how to overcome this issue, and how to prevent it in the future.

 

What Causes Fatigue After Weight Loss Surgery?

There are a number of factors that come into play here. In general, you should expect to have more energy after losing weight. So, chronic fatigue is not normal after bariatric surgery. If this is an ongoing thing, you will want to consult with your healthcare provider. The source of the problem will have to be found and corrected. 

There are products out there that claim to promote daily energy. However, you should never take dietary supplements without the direction of your healthcare provider. Below are some of the factors that affect energy levels after gastric bypass and other bariatric procedures. 

Water Intake

It is very important to stay hydrated throughout the day. Bariatric surgery not only restricts food intake, but also fluid intake. That being said, bariatric patients are at a higher risk of dehydration after surgery. 

Even mild dehydration can promote fatigue. The idea is to reach a minimum of 64oz daily in order to minimize dehydration after weight loss surgery. Your choice of beverage should not include alcohol, carbonation, caffeine, or sugary drinks.

Small sips throughout the day can help. Remember to not drink and eat at the same time as you will see GI issues when doing so, such as vomiting, dumping syndrome and possible weight gain. 

If you find that you are having trouble keeping up with fluid intake, bariatric surgery apps can be beneficial. A water tracking app can remind you of daily fluid intake.

Protein Intake

Protein has a direct effect on your energy levels. If it is not consumed in high enough amounts after bariatric surgery, then the body will break down muscle to compensate. Therefore, it is important to replenish the body with high quality and adequate amounts of protein.

Not only does protein help with energy levels, it supports skeletal muscle, organs, hormones, healthy metabolism, promotes wound healing, muscle building, and curbs hunger. 

Typically, the recommended daily protein goal can be anywhere from 60g to 80g daily. However, this number may differ based on your individual needs. Your healthcare team will provide you with daily protein recommendations. 

Since you are on a full liquid diet initially following surgery, you will be required to get your protein intake through bariatric high protein meal replacement shakes. As you transition through your bariatric diet, more whole food protein sources should be included, like lean fish, chicken and eggs. Protein supplements can still be consumed at later phases in the bariatric diet if you need a little help in reaching daily protein requirements.

Vitamin and Mineral Levels

Most people believe that low energy levels are related to vitamin B12 or Iron

deficiency when this may not always be the case. You should always go for regular blood work to ensure vitamin and mineral deficiency is not the cause of your low energy levels. 

Each surgery center will have their own schedule of when your routine blood work should be done. It is very possible to get too many vitamins, so there is no reason to supplement a vitamin unless specific direction was provided by your doctor or dietitian. 

The main purpose of the bariatric multivitamin your healthcare provider recommends to you is for the prevention of common vitamin and mineral deficiencies that can cause those low energy levels and other adverse effects after surgery.

Sleep Schedule

The most obvious reason for low energy levels is lack of sleep. Typically, obesity is associated with inadequate sleep duration and weight loss can improve sleep quality. However, if you are not getting enough sleep because of stress, anxiety, pain, or lingering insomnia, it may be time to make some adjustments. Lack of sleep will not only affect your energy levels, but your mental health as well. 

Keep all screens away when it’s time for bed. That means no tv, phone, kindle, or iPad. This is the first step to fixing disrupted sleep schedules. Another idea might be to write down the things you need to do the next day, so that your sleep is not disrupted because you’re worried about forgetting something.

If you are experiencing lack of sleep due to more complicated issues, consider speaking to your healthcare provider or a specialist.

Exercise

Exercise can affect energy levels in different ways. Regular exercise can be an important factor in improving physical and mental energy levels. It can also improve sleep.

However, following any exercise, you should allow your body the time to recover. This allows for a balanced system of work out and recovery to increase stamina and energy. 

Exercise does wonders for the body, but if you are not fueling with the proper diet, you will feel tired and weak after working out. If the body is burning carbohydrates for fuel during a workout, but you are not consuming adequate carbohydrates throughout the day, you will not be nourishing properly. This will result in feeling tired and hungry after a workout. 

It is all about finding the right balance in your exercise routine and diet in order to maintain energy levels. This can be tricky, so it is recommended to consult with a dietitian on proper eating habits for intense exercise. 

 

Conclusion

Finding the cause behind your low energy levels is key to correcting the problem. Whether it be water intake, protein, vitamin and mineral levels, sleep or exercise, low energy levels are easily treated. 

There are always bariatric resources for you to utilize if you are having a hard time with energy, sleep, weight loss, bariatric weight plateaus, etc. after weight loss surgery. Asking for help is never a bad thing. 

 

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**This blog is for information and education purposes only. This information is not intended to substitute professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Please consult with your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions in regards to a medical condition. After bariatric surgery, food options will look different for everyone based on food stage and tolerance. Consult with your bariatric healthcare team about appropriate food options based on your individual needs.