You’ve had metabolic (bariatric) surgery, and your diabetes is gone. Now what?
For people who have struggled with unhealthy weight for much of their lives, surgery provides a new starting point. It’s not an end to the challenge. Kim Slominsky, a registered dietician and certified diabetes educator with Gulf Coast Medical Group in Venice, offers the following tips for life after metabolic surgery.
1. Regardless of the procedure you undergo (pouch or sleeve), you will need to learn how to live with your “new stomach.” Diligently follow guidance from your medical team.
2. Carefully follow the surgeon’s guidance on diet progression. In the first four months after surgery, patients progress from liquids to pureed food to regular food. Take the time to heal; don’t accelerate the diet on your own.
3. Avoid drinking beverages with meals. Liquids can wash food through the stomach pouch or sleeve, flushing the nutritional benefit of your food too quickly.
4. Chew 20 to 40 times per bite. You’ll improve the nutritional uptake of the food you eat and achieve a sense of fullness sooner, causing you to eat less.
5. Avoid distractions – watching TV, reading, texting – that can keep you from chewing properly.
6. Exercise five days a week for 30 minutes at a time, doing an activity you enjoy. Walking, swimming, bike riding, paddle-boarding, rollerblading – the sky’s the limit!
7. Engage in social activities that are not centered around food. Catch up with a friend during a walk on the beach or over a cup of tea.
8. Develop a support network of friends or family who will help you keep on track.
9. Seek out others who are facing the same challenges. Venice Regional Bayfront Health offers a support group for bariatric patients. Call (941) 209-4646 for information.
Metabolic surgery can be life-changing, but it’s not a free pass to easy street. Being mindful and following the guidance of your medical advisors will help you live a healthier life with your new stomach.
Call 941.209.4646 or visit VeniceRegional.com