Your Brain: Less Hungry, Careful About Food Addiction, New Mentality Will Change Behavior & Relationships
Ghrelin Hormone & Hunger
You may feel less hungry following surgery.
When your stomach is empty, it secretes a hormone called ghrelin into your bloodstream. This causes your brain to generate hunger impulses.
After you eat, the amount of secreted ghrelin drops then slowly rises until your next meal. Since your stomach will be so much smaller after Duodenal Switch, the amount of ghrelin it secretes may also go down.
Less ghrelin in your system means you will feel less hungry than you did before surgery.
See our page about Obesity & Genetics for more information.
Our bodies secrete certain hormones (like ghrelin) that tell us when we’re hungry. Junk food may override those hormone signals by overstimulating our reward centers. This is just like the way our bodies and brains react to an addictive drug.
You may have food addiction if your desire for food takes priority over other important parts of your life, such as:
- Personal health
- Your appearance
- Avoiding obesity related health issues like hypertension, sleep apnea, or diabetes
If left unchecked, food addiction can lead to obesity. If not addressed before surgery, it can also lead to weight regain.
To find out if you may be suffering from food addiction, take our Food Addiction Quiz.
Relationships After Weight Loss
Being thin again, or being thin for the first time, may be a shocking experience. Many patients express amazement at:
- No more obesity discrimination. For example, strangers tend to be nicer to thin people.
- Being treated with more respect
- Getting more romantic interest from others
- Building deeper relationships by being able to physically keep up with kids and more physically fit friends
- Getting more compliments from others
- Increased self-confidence and the effect that has on others
But there may be negatives to being thin as well.
People who you’ve known for a long time will not be used to the way you look and may not know how to act around you. For example:
- How will overweight friends or family members feel when you’re losing weight but they are not?
- Will your new healthier diet and smaller portion sizes make meals with others awkward?
- Could intimacy with your spouse or partner be affected?
- Could your spouse or partner become jealous now that others are noticing you more?
- How will your coworkers react? Should you even tell them you are having surgery?
- Will your friends or family make it difficult for you to stay on track by making bad diet choices?
- Could your new self-confidence create conflict with people who are used the “old” you?
And what about the new “skinny lens” you see the world through? For example:
- Would this person be treating me the same way if I hadn’t lost all this weight?
- How do I handle obesity discrimination now that I’m on the “other side”?
Be prepared for both the good and the challenging “shocks” of dramatic weight loss following surgery.
For real life experiences and advice from other patients, see our Relationships After Weight Loss surgery page.