Bariatric surgery involves altering the digestive system which lead to a change in gut hormones. Any changes made to the digestive system can lead to digestive issues and food intolerance. Also, a decrease in stomach acid and a decreased availability of digestive enzymes may make it harder to tolerate certain foods as well. Often reported food intolerances are: (fresh) bread, pasta, rice, raw vegetables and red meat. Foods that are high in carbohydrates and sugars may be poorly tolerated as they may easily lead to dumping syndrome.
Keep in mind that food intolerance may be more likely in the first few weeks or months after surgery. As time passes and your body is adapting, you’ll probably start to tolerate more foods.
Recent studies show that up to 35% of bariatric patients who underwent a VSG procedure may experience (worsened) acid reflux. After a VSG procedure the stomach’s size is reduced and shape like a tube. The pyloris sphincter (muscle responsible for the passage of food from the pouch to the small intestine) is still intact. This means that there is more build-up pressure in the pouch after surgery than there was before.
Research shows that up to 37% of bariatric patients reported a decline in dental health after their bariatric procedure (Karlsson et al. 2018)
3 Reasons for poor dental health after bariatric surgery
- Bariatric surgery may cause nausea. Nausea can lead to vomiting. Which means lower pH levels – which in turn can lead to tooth decay and hypersensitivity.
- One of the nutritional guidelines after weight loss surgery is to eat small frequent meals. Eating frequently can lead to a decline in dental health.
- Bariatric surgery increases the likelihood of nutrient deficiencies, like a calcium deficiency. When there’s a lack of calcium – your body will absorb calcium from its own tissues, like bones and teeth.
Bariatric surgery increases the risk of hair shedding and nutritional hair loss.
Hair shedding is caused by stress of surgery itself and usually occurs within the first 6 months after surgery. Hair shedding usually doesn’t last longer than 3-4 months – but there’s not much you can do to prevent it.
Nutritional hair loss
Hair loss caused by malnourishment can occur at any given time after bariatric surgery and usually lasts longer. Vitamins that are associated with nutritional hair loss are:
- vitamin B12
Make sure to get your lab work done regularly to detect any nutrient deficiencies on time.