This is the second of three articles about the less starry-eyed side of having a gastric band. It’s a wonderful tool, but you should not be blind to the ifs and buts. In the first article I covered the issues you encounter from the beginning. This one is about the problems which emerge as you think you’re getting used to it.
(6) Constipation. However much you love vegetables, it’s an irritating fact that fresh vegetables and fruit are now much harder to consume. Yes you can chop them to within an inch of their lives, consume soup and smoothies till they’re pouring out of your ears, but it’s not the same, is it? There’s no replacement for crunchy vegetables and fruit, where skin never used to be a problem. As you start to shrink you accept that you will have to come to terms with this. You have to become proactive here. Perhaps by consuming fiber in some other way, or by having soup and smoothies more often than you would like.
(7) The importance of hydration. If restriction stops you from eating much, you console yourself that losing a few more pounds will make up for it. But if you can’t keep down water, then – pay attention here ladies and gents YOU DO NOT DELAY IN DOING SOMETHING ABOUT IT! Dehydration sets in very quickly and causes all sorts of dramas try Googling it. You don’t tell yourself you’ll wait a day or two because it’s expensive to have an unfill. Ultimately your health comes first you bite the bullet and pay up, and learn for the next time that getting stuck (and then unstuck the wrong way) can cause inflammation that could over-restrict you and stop you from consuming fluid.
(8) For diabetic people. Sorry, you get it both ways, and I speak from personal experience. In addition to staying hydrated, it’s equally important to have the right sugar levels in your blood. If you can’t have regular foods because they get stuck, you’ll be tempted to have chocolate bars and ice cream because you’re hungry. That sends your blood sugar sky high. Conversely, if you have a stuck episode and you can’t get much drink down afterwords, the danger exists that your blood sugar will go too low and you’ll suffer from hypoglycemia, which is dangerous. I found that runny honey helped to get my blood sugar up from the danger zone, but it’s better not to have reached that point in the first place.
(9) Poor old Superman couldn’t cope with Kryptonite, could he? He’d go all funny and bendy when his enemies put him near this mineral. Well the gastric band has its Kryptonite too. It’ll work hard for you and help you lose weight, but as soon as you give in to chocolates, biscuits and ice cream as an easy way to keep you from feeling hungry, the band holds up its hands in surrender and lets you get on with it. Up goes your weight, and you think the band is rubbish. It isn’t, it’s your choices that are rubbish. Of course there are other Kryptonites for the band some analgesics (medications that reduce or eliminate pain) can attack the band material over time, and you should seek advice before taking them.
(10) Eating out – You can enjoy it the same as always from the social point of view, but along with GULPING, there is also no such thing as TUCKING IN any more. You have to concentrate on eating slowly and you’ll often find you’ve left a lot behind on your plate (and marvel inwardly that these days you can actual bear to see your meal unfinished!). This also means you may not be able to join in the conversation as much, because eating and talking at the same time is bad news. People naturally interrupt each other as they speak, and if you try to compete you’ll find yourself chewing a bit and then swallowing in a hurry so you can get your point across. Nope.
(11) Heartburn and reflux. An occupational hazard with the gastric band, and you need to learn what brings it on. The classics are fried foods, eating too late, drinking alcohol of any description, and some fruit juices.
That’s the end of my second article. In the next and last – I’ll deal with some of the long term problems.
Lonicera The Bandit
– Bariatric Diet (What you eat)
– Bariatric Eating (How you eat)
– Analysis & Cost of Lap Band Surgery (Laparoscopic Adjustable Gastric Band) & Whether It’s Right for You
– Lap Band Problems & Lap Band Complications