Weight Loss Surgery - GI problems BEFORE WLS - advice?(and a bit of history)

06-04-2013, 09:25 PM
I would like to get WLS. But I have bad stomach/gut issues - not recognized by my docs. Anyone else have stomach pain and stuff? Did it make WLS impossible or too much worse then it already is? Also - did anyone have (childhood) food trauma that may have caused gut problems or eating disorders?
And here is my food story.

So - thanks to having health insurance for the FIRST time in my life (starting at age 29!) I have been to the doctors sooo much - and finally got allergy tested and seen by a propper GI doc. Turns out I have LOTS of food allergies (though the allergist says they are minor) and the GI doc has examined me inside and out and cannot find a reason for my chronic nausea and gas cramps and constipation. So - I have cut out almost all my allergy food (wheat, eggs, beef, raw garlic,raw onion, tomatoes, nuts, stone fruit,citrus,strawberries, avacado,rice, legumes, squash, carrots,peppers (capsicum allergy- so ALL peppers),ginger,peppermint, most herb teas,honey and soy)
I mostly eat cheese - though I cannot eat un-cultured cow milk or any sort of yogurt. And I eat green and dark green vegetabes,pickled vegetables, corn, potatoes and grass fed meat (cuz - soy) Most vitamins and supplements cause opposite or painful problems - b 12 makes me sleepy, CLO wont digest and muiltis just make me nauseous. Since cutting out my allergy foods - I only deal with nausea. And usually only when I am ovulating (weird right?)
I was raised very poor and very neglected. I rarely had food during monday through friday while with my maternal guardian and on my weekend visits with my father he was very very poor so I typically only had old fookbank roman noodle with weevels in it - or cheese sandwiches. I was always sooo hungry at his house and him being scottish wouldn't ration my food for fear of me becoming fat.I was homeless in my teens and very rarely ate - for fear of wieght gain - and lack of access. When I finally found good work and a steady income in my 20's I had endless access to food!I went from 120 to 150. After my daughter was born I was 210. I was terrified!!! So I exercised every day burning 900 calories a day. I studied nutrition and was vegan/macrobiotic for a year and then Raw for 6 months(I still only got my weight down to 149 and I was always DESPERATELY hungry.) then I was sooo sick and discovered I had developed endomitriosis, I started weston a price diet and ate nothing but fermented veg and cow brains (slight exaggeration :P but if you've done it - you'll get it) then after my son was born - I was again in the 200s and started GAPS in hope of "healing my gut" it only made things way way worse and I still didn't loose weight. Then I just gave up. I started eat whatever I wanted when ever. I ate sooo much everyday mostly sugar cereals and cheese quesodillas.And I was up to 240 and 5' 1''. Last april - I started smoking cigarettes again. I lost 30 lbs. I think because I had something to suppress my appetite that I am apparently not allergic too - unlike every "natural" diet supplement - hydroxicut and so on.I quit over the winter -gained the weight back. I started again in spring - and have only lost 10 lbs. :(. I want to get WLS - I am thinking a sleeve. My insurance will cover it - the surgery clinic says I qualify. Sooo yeah! Should I risk it? I think my biggest diet problem is - my stomach feels huge - so I have to fill it with potato and corn flour to feel full after eating reasonable vegetable and meat portions. And went I am not smoking - I eat whenever I am stressed. Which is A LOT ! If I have the surgery - I won't smoke - and hopefully wont over eat - so I will go through therapy for stress relief - but still. :o

06-05-2013, 10:31 AM
Hi tuvalu -

i've had to give my response some serious thought - and i'm still not quite sure what to say. In general, most surgeons will VERY VERY VERY carefully evaluate someone with a history like yours. I knew a man who had gastric bypass, and he wanted it so badly that he didn't tell the surgeon about his digestive tract symptoms. Turned out that he had Crohn's disease and he had very very serious problems after the surgery.

Now, he blamed the doctor for not checking him out well enouhg. But frankly, i blame the patient - i knew both of them pretty well and knew that the surgeon had asked all the right Qs to get to the history, and the patient had told me that he simply didn't tell the doc what was going on.

All this to suggest that, if you're VERY serious about looking into the surgery, get thee to a major academic medical center for evaluation. there are always issues after a childhood of starvation - unfortunately, most of the literature dates from WWII!!!

Bottom line, though, surgery works best in people who have a really good grip on their food and eating issues. Doesn't mean you have to have them ALL solved, but there has to be enough self-awareness so that you can recognize why you're eating and make some changes. it's not a light switch by any means. Still, more than 10 years after my surgery, I get slapped in the face by some issue or other.

i wish i had better answers for you - i'll keep thinking about it, though.

06-05-2013, 04:36 PM
Thank you! ... I never thought to look into ww11!!!! Damn!That is some gooood advice! I have a theory - 'bout maybe less stomach might help with the fact that I get most nauseous when I very SUDDENLY discover I am hungry! For a long time I would eat so much just to make sure I would never get hungry - but having Zofran makes it so I a pace myself and know its okay to get hungry - like when i am out and about like. I always feel like my metabolism is shot. And so even when I eat very little (and by most standards - quite healthy) I still will gain weight ... and it really takes starvation to loose weight. Like I was physically conditioned to live on so few calories - and still do hard manual labor (not looking for pity - just saying) at about the age 9 I was doing construction with my dad when he was working under the table. Pouring concrete and digging ditches and pounding ground rods with sledge hammers for hours and all this on about a bowl of cereal, one cheese sandwich and a half can of soup a day and eating maybe a few times during the week when I wasn't with him.
I know people who had parents who put them on crash diets as children and forced juice and master cleanse fast - so I was wondering if anyone here had these experiences and knew how to medically overcome them or if I could get some medical jargon to throw at my doctors so they would be able to work with me. Most of the time - the docs just act like I am exaggerating >_< ! Meh.

06-05-2013, 06:09 PM
I can't speak for the sleeve; maybe some of those folks will jump in. But it does seem like many people have MORE challenges with food after surgery, not less. I could eat anything and everything before surgery. Now, there are foods I can not tolerate and I get nauseous on a regular basis for food that just doesn't "sit well." I would be very concerned going into surgery with your current issues. It could very well make things much worse.

Plus, your assertion that you can't take vitamins also concerns me. I know that sleeve folks don't need as much supplementation as RNY folks, but I'm pretty sure they still need to take some vitamins.

I think you may need some time to figure out what the underlying problem is. I fear that if you have WLS without figuring out what is wrong, you will end up with further or worsening problems.