By | 30 March 2021

How to prevent metabolic complications that may occur after obesity surgeries?

One of the prominent treatment methods of obesity and excess weight is bariatric surgery. By this method, we mean the operations performed by removing a part of the stomach or changing the anatomy of the stomach together with the intestines.

As a result of these surgeries, the person’s stomach becomes smaller and the absorption capacity of the intestines decreases, so the consumption of foods is less absorbed and calorie intake is reduced. Thus, the weight loss process becomes faster and easier.

As a result of these operations, not only excess weight but also diabetes, cholesterol, and hypertension can be significantly improved. Moreover, especially in the case of diabetes, visible improvement can occur even before weight loss begins, and diabetes medications can be discontinued.

These surgeries for obesity and excess weight are not without risk. First of all, as with any surgery, surgical complications may develop. To prevent these, surgeons can prevent and treat surgical complications by closely monitoring their patients at regular intervals after surgery. However, besides surgical complications, metabolic complications may occur after these operations. In particular, vitamin and mineral deficiencies, hypoglycemia, and “dumping syndrome” are more common than one might think, and patients may exhibit a wide variety of symptoms or not easily notice them. Also, diabetes may reappear after years of surgery. It is extremely important to prevent these metabolic complications before they occur or to treat them as soon as they occur.

Generally, after obesity operations, patients are given vitamins, minerals, and iron supplements to prevent anemia. However, the doses in standard multivitamin tablets are often insufficient for patients who have undergone these operations; Dosages to be taken to prevent vitamin and mineral deficiency vary from patient to patient. Vitamin and mineral deficiencies are diagnosed by taking into account the symptoms shown by the patient and by measuring blood levels. For example, vitamin D deficiency can occur as fatigue, muscle and bone pain, while zinc deficiency can occur with skin rashes, weakened immune system, and fragile hair. In some cases, the vitamin or mineral that has been diagnosed with a deficiency may not improve even though high doses are taken because the absorption capacity is significantly reduced as a result of the surgery. In these cases, intravenous (intravenous) supplementation may be required.

In addition to vitamin and mineral deficiencies, hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) may develop after these surgeries. In addition to symptoms such as low blood sugar, weakness, dizziness, it can also cause adrenaline-induced symptoms such as palpitations, sweating, and tremors. Low blood sugar is treated by consuming some sugar immediately, but preventing hypoglycemia in the first place is far more important for both quality of life and overall health. This happens with the right nutritional choices.

“Dumping syndrome” is a metabolic complication that can occur in patients who have undergone gastric bypass surgery. As a result of this surgery, as the stomach is very small and is directly connected to the middle of the intestine if foods containing high and simple sugar are consumed (such as fruit juices, cola), disturbing symptoms may occur.

It may occur in the form of abdominal swelling, palpitations, weakness, and nausea half an hour after meals or as symptoms such as sweating, tremors, and hypoglycemia two to three hours after meals. To prevent this syndrome, foods with high fiber and protein, and complex carbohydrates should be preferred. Also, consuming small portions of meals instead of large meals and consuming solid and liquid foods at separate times will help.

As we have just mentioned, although diabetes can recover shortly after these surgeries, if the patient does not pay attention to his / her diet and general lifestyle, sugar levels may rise again after years of surgery. To prevent this, it is of great importance for the patient to stay away from bad eating habits for a lifetime.