It’s no secret that gastric sleeve surgery promotes rapid weight loss. However, the ability to maintain weight loss in the long-run is going to be up to you. So, what happens if you experience weight regain after bariatric surgery?
There are different factors to take into consideration, but you healthcare provider may offer the option of diet pills.
How safe is it to consume diet pills after bariatric surgery? If it is safe, which products should you be looking for?
In this article, we will examine all the possible scenarios and explain how to safely incorporate diet pills into your post-gastric bypass or gastric sleeve health regimen.
We will also discuss diet pill alternatives to promote healthy weight loss during your post-surgery weight loss journey.
Is It Safe To Use Diet Pills After Gastric Sleeve Surgery?
Bariatric surgery will never be the easy way out, but instead a new beginning. That being said, if you do not maintain healthy habits and follow your 1000 calorie bariatric diet plan during your weight loss journey, it is very possible to experience weight regain.
After consulting with your healthcare provider, diet pills may be considered as an alternative to a bariatric surgery revision.
Many healthcare professionals will emphasize the importance of healthy eating and exercise. However, based on the situation, diet pills may be a resource after other traditional weight loss methods have failed.
After weight loss surgery, meal plans for gastric sleeve patients should be provided by your bariatric team and will explain the dietary restrictions of your new bariatric diet. If the after gastric bypass surgery diet plan is unsuccessful, the use of appetite suppressants can be considered.
With the assistance of a qualified healthcare professional, you may even be able to try a modified keto gastric bypass diet.
When you are eating 6 months after gastric bypass surgery or after gastric sleeve surgery, you should be following a healthy diet and lifestyle indefinitely. However, some people find they fall back into bad habits. In fact, it has been found that many patients report regaining a third of their lost weight.
Some patients may not be experiencing weight gain, but instead a bariatric weight plateau. This is when the number on the scale stalls following rapid weight loss.
It is common to see a stall around gastric sleeve diet week 3. Patients typically call this the "3 Week Stall" after bariatric surgery.
This process is completely normal for the body to go through as a safety mechanism after rapid weight loss. Continue following your week 3 gastric sleeve diet and avoid becoming discouraged. There are other ways to determine your progress, such as the way your clothes fit, energy levels, or even muscle.
If the weight stall continues for over a month, consult with your bariatric team about what other methods may be considered in order to break the bariatric weight plateau.
Types of Diet Pills To Be Used After Gastric Bypass Surgery
Below is a breakdown of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved weight loss medications available and how they promote weight loss.
Phentermine is a well known and widely used appetite suppressant. This FDA approved medication works to increase metabolism and reduce the feeling of hunger.
Typically, this medication is prescribed for about 12 weeks. However, there have been no documented withdrawal effects or concerns with long-term use. As with any medication, only take it as directed by your healthcare provider.
Common side effects while taking this medication would include dry mouth, insomnia, and anxiety.
The dosage varies based on the individual. Phentermine has been associated with successful weight loss in the short-term. However, with any weight loss medication, it is not a magic solution. Phentermine should be included in an overall lifestyle change and weight loss plan in order to see success.
This medication is not recommended for individuals with an overactive thyroid, history of substance abuse, high blood pressure, heart disease, or those who are pregnant or looking to become pregnant.
Qsymia is a combination of Phentermine and Topiramate controlled-release that acts as an appetite suppressant. This medication can decrease hunger and cravings.
Much like Phentermine, it can also lead to dry mouth, constipation, and insomnia. There have also been reports of numbness in the extremities, but is more commonly associated with taste change.
This drug is not recommended for people with cardiac issues and those on some blood pressure and diabetes medications. It is also not advised to take this medication if you are pregnant or looking to become pregnant. It has been associated with birth defects, so women taking the drug need to undergo consistent pregnancy tests.
At as early as 12 weeks, research has determined that patients lost an average of 15-19 pounds depending on the dosage of medication they were given.
Again, this product should be taken in conjunction with healthy diet and exercise.
Orlistat does not have an affect on appetite. Instead, this medication works to limit the absorption of fat by 30%. Due to the affects it has on fat absorption, this medication should be taken during or within an hour of eating a fat-containing meal.
This product is typically recommended for individuals with a BMI over 30 or those with a BMI over 27 with obesity-related conditions. However, this medication may not be suitable for those with duodenal switch considering fat is already being malabsorbed after this procedure. Orlistat can further affect the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins, putting patients at a higher risk of deficiency.
Even so, many patients use this as a weight-loss supplement after gastric bypass surgery.
It is also available over-the-counter under the name “Alli”, but the weight loss effects have been modest at most.
Weight loss has been seen as early as 2 weeks of Orlistat use. Research has shown that the most significant weight loss is seen after 2 months of continued use with lifestyle change.
Orlistat has been associated with side effects such as steatorrhea, diarrhea, and abdominal pain. It may also increase nutrient deficiencies in patients who already have nutritional deficiencies.
Maximum benefits will be seen when taken in conjunction with healthy diet and exercise.
Other Weight Loss Methods Following Gastric Bypass Surgery
Before considering diet pills and alternative weight loss methods, your bariatric team should evaluate your health. Sometimes, weight gain can be related to surgical complications, like a gastric fistula.
After you have been evaluated for surgical complications and nutrition-related complications, alternative diet methods can be considered.
Medical Nutrition Therapy
If you are experiencing long-term weight plateaus and consistent weight regain, this is a medical approach in order to treat chronic conditions, like obesity.
A majority of the time, weight regain is related to lack of a healthy lifestyle. By utilizing evidence-based research, an individual-tailored nutrition plan would be created for you with this method.
A registered dietitian would be involved in this process in order to construct a low-calorie meal plan to facilitate weight loss.
Probiotics refer to the “good bacteria” that reside in your gut and have recently gained popularity as a health and dietary supplement.
Recent research suggests that some probiotic strains are an effective supplement for increasing weight loss in patients who underwent gastric bypass surgery and for increasing Vitamin B12 levels.
For this reason, some medical professionals have resorted to prescribing probiotics to their patients following surgery.
Probiotics present with very limited side effects and are considered a more natural remedy than over-the-counter drugs.
They are usually prescribed in small doses at first before increasing the dose. In order to avoid mild side effects such as constipation, flatulence, and bloating.
The most important part of your bariatric diet is to ensure that you are receiving enough protein daily.
Rapid weight loss can diminish your body's source of water, fat and muscle. When muscle is broken down for energy, this can directly affect your metabolism. Muscle is actually more metabolically active than fat tissue, even at rest.
The recommended amount of protein after bariatric surgery in order to preserve muscle and promote healing is 60-80g daily. This might be higher depending on your individual needs.
This will support your weight loss goals during and after your gastric bypass recovery.
There are many high protein foods for gastric sleeve patients that are often incorporated into a specific post-surgery diet plan.
Most patients also opt to enhance their protein intake by consuming protein drinks for bariatric patients, especially because these are safe to drink during the full liquid phase after surgery.
The bariatric food pyramid emphasizes the importance of getting enough dietary protein, but also enhancing daily intake with bariatric protein powder shakes if needed.
If you are wondering which protein shakes bariatric surgery diets allow, consult with your dietitian or a qualified medical professional. Most options are suitable to consume after surgery. However, this will also depend on where you are in the recovery process.
There are also many gastric sleeve protein shake recipes, which include ingredients from the gastric bypass foods list to ensure that patients enjoy variations of their protein shakes.
The most important factor affecting your weight loss post-surgery is how well you follow the meal plans for gastric sleeve patients and whether you are committing to the permanent lifestyle changes of eating healthy and exercising regularly.
Some patients use bariatric portion control plates to regulate how much they eat, while others may implement online recipes for after gastric bypass surgery.
Bariatric cookbooks sometimes include simple and delicious eating after gastric bypass surgery recipes, including those for bariatric cheeseburger pie or bariatric pancakes.
Be weary about eating out after gastric bypass surgery because it can be hard to find suitable bariatric restaurants. It's best to limit eating out as it may resurface old eating habits and compromise your weight loss success.
The best restaurants for bariatric patients have healthy alternatives and portioned entrees. There may even be options for those experiencing low blood sugar after gastric bypass surgery.
Another aspect to keep an eye on would be nutritional content in the foods you eat. It's recommended to limit high fat, sugar, and refined carbohydrates. These limitations will also include drinking alcohol after gastric sleeve surgery. Drinking alcohol will hamper the positive lifestyle changes that the after gastric bypass surgery diet plan promotes.
Lifestyle change also includes adhering to the restrictions of no caffeine, alcohol, or carbonated beverage intake until directed to do so.
If you are thinking “why no caffeine after gastric bypass surgery” or “Why can't I just have one carbonated beverage?”, think again. Caffeine and carbonation after gastric sleeve surgery may irritate your newly altered digestive tract and compromise the healing and weight loss process.
There are many factors to healthy lifestyle change, but supplementing the diet with bariatric specific vitamins and minerals for life is at the core of your lifestyle change. This will include the correct vitamins for bariatric patients, which will contribute to overall health and weight loss.
Depending on the individual situation, diet pills can be safe to use after gastric sleeve surgery or other bariatric procedures under the direction of a qualified healthcare provider.
If you reach a weight loss plateau or start regaining the weight you have lost after gastric bypass surgery, you might want to consider alternative options.
It is highly recommended that you only resort to diet pills when other alternatives, such as permanent lifestyle changes, diet, and exercise, have been exhausted. Diet pills can promote side effects, can be hard to come by, and some have not been approved for long-term use.
The core lifestyle habits that will affect your overall weight loss journey will prioritizing protein intake and adhering to bariatric multivitamins for life. Protein meal replacement shakes and other meal prep products can also assist you in making healthier food choices post-surgery.
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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. A qualified healthcare professional can best assist you in deciding whether a dietary supplement is suitable based on your individual needs.