Weight Loss Surgery - WLS - can I do the diet w/out the surgery?

06-26-2009, 02:33 PM
I've been contemplating WLS. Insurance is going to be an issue, because im 5'5" and 238, I have undocumented back problems but documented arthiritis in my knees (im 35)..no other problems other than hypothyroid.

Ive done all the diets, including a doctor supervised liquid diet in which i was somewhat successful on in 2007, but I gain back 60 pounds fairly quickly. It was easy but not successful in the long term.

I am also Hypothyroid which may or may not pose a problem w/ insurance. The hypothyroid is driving me nuts- my primary care doctor thinks a higher TSH number is better, meanwhile - I have all the ridiculous symptoms of not even having any synthroid for this.

Meanwhile Ive gone back on the liquid diet and havent lost any weight. I guess my metabolism is so screwed after 20 years of dieting - it doesnt know what to do with me.

The big question is, will the gastric bypass work for me? Im already doing the very low liquid diet and it isnt working. Im not a depressed person, but this is taking it's toll on me. I hate talking w/ my primary doctor because he tells me I just need to eat less and excersize more...(ok - 800 calories, liquid diet and 1 hour walk on treadmill plus 20 minutes weight training and 10 minutes in sauna 5-6 days a week isnt enough?) I tell him this and he rolls his eyes and says I need to be honest with myself....Its really annoying...

I do have an appointment with an endorcrinologist hoping that might help, just dont know if WLS will work for me...Any suggestions or similar stories?

Lori Bell
06-26-2009, 05:03 PM
So how long have you been on an 800 calorie diet with 5-6 days of fairly intense exercise without a loss? (days or weeks?) If you have been doing this for more than a few days w/o any loss at all, something is seriously wrong, and I would definitely keep your appointment with the other Dr. If you arn't losing on 800 calories, I wouldn't waste your money on a surgery that restricts what you can eat until you can find out what is going on.

(PS: I haven' had WLS, so I'm no expert...but I have counted calories for months and months, and have kind of figured out how that all works)

06-26-2009, 05:21 PM
800 calories for any length of time will impact your thyroid big time. It's definitely a starvation diet. The WLS diet is not exactly healthy for someone who hasn't had the surgery.

06-27-2009, 03:29 AM
Firstly, I agree that you should see your doctor becuz you do have medical issues that need to be monitored ...

Besides that, I would suggest that you INCREASE your calorie intake to a more healthy 1200-1500 level (some would even say 1400-1600 for your height and weight) and cycle between them over the week. Your body may recognize this low-cal mode you are in, and very likely is refusing to let you lose any weight. It appears that your PD thinks that you are eating more than you think, but he may just be unfamiliar with what happens to the body after years of yo-yoing on severely restricted diets.

I think you just need to eat healthy every day (lean & clean) and a combo of lean meats, fruit, whole grains (albeit limited), low-fat dairy, and lots of veggies. Even if you use your liquid protein shakes for the odd meal or snack, eating healthy food (at least dinner) is important and taking a multi-vitamin & mineral daily too, so your body is getting some good nutrition like it needs and requires for good health.

I have a friend who is doing similar to this and she is losing but she eats at least 6 smaller meals a day. She walks every day and is getting healthier. Her doctors wanted her to get WLS but her insurance wouldn't pay for the one she wanted to do, so she is using her own method. She had me do some research for her, but many people were reluctant to share anything here, good or bad (I started a thread but no-one responded).

WLS is not a panacea but a temporary tool to help someone get started -- you have to eat healthy before, during, and after. If you aren't losing now, WLS won't likely help you either. I have friends that have had WLS and all but two regained all the weight back (and more): sorry to say, that one friend passed away from complications; and the other lost & gained thru the years, still has to diligently watch what she eats, and she says she has been ill most of her life (her words, not mine).

Anyways, someone recently said that when we make health or something else our goal, (anything besides #'s) that the weight will eventually start coming off slowly as we combine healthy eating with regular exercise, and get more engaged in just living our life. Have you tried going to a dietician or a nutritionist? Many hospitals have them and they can be very helpful.

Again, I agree that you should definitely see a doctor to get medical advice as well ...

07-02-2009, 11:38 AM
Ashlee: Somewhere in all of my reading, I remember a formula on how many calories you should be eating to reduce/maintain your weight. Less say your goal is 150 pounds...so you multiply the 150 pounds by 11 or 12 (can't remember which) that is 1650 to 1800 cal reach and maintain that 150 pounds. 800 calories!!!! From personal experience with liquid and really low cal diets. They are temporary losses and when you resume normal life...wham right back at being overweight. Now throw a thyroid problem into the mix, YIKES. See your endo. doc. and set up an appointment with a nutritionist. The problem with low cal diets are your body thinks you are starving it and it goes into damage control mode and it will slow your body down and with it weight loss. I've had WLS surgery and I'm maintaining on about 1500 to 1700 cal a day. I know the angst you are feeling about being obese and unhealthy, good luck my dear.

07-03-2009, 01:46 PM
Wow, Ashlee I can't imagine how frustrated you are with trying so many methods of dieting. I agree with the others, it sounds like you really need to get a handle on your thyroid first before considering surgery. WLS is a great tool, but it still requires work. It sounds like naturally your body would work against the WLS and that would frustrate you more not to mention add to already existing complications. I do hope that your Dr. is able to help you find a healthy median to get your thyroid and weight under control. Have you spoken with WLS Doc? I don't think they would allow you to have surgery at this time, due to your health issues. Keep us posted.