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Woman standing in kitchen pouring our vitamins into hand

Will I Need to Take Supplements After Bariatric Surgery?

Obesity has become very common in the United States, with over 40% of Americans being overweight. Bariatric surgery has helped many people become healthier and cut down on their excess weight. Getting bariatric surgery is a lifetime commitment and will change your daily life, so it’s important to know all the information before making your final decision.

With all the benefits that bariatric surgery brings, there are also some side effects. These side effects may include vitamin or mineral deficiency, as well as some uncommon conditions, like metallic bone disease, osteoporosis, and/or anemia. For most bariatric surgeries, taking vitamins and supplements can help deter these side effects, but those supplement routines can get expensive quickly.

However, if you choose the Lap-Band® procedure, the risk of vitamin and nutritional deficiencies is greatly lessened.

Malabsorption and Supplements After Bariatric Surgery

Malabsorption occurs when your body is unable to properly absorb nutrients from food. Bariatric surgeries like the gastric bypass change the way your body absorbs nutrients, which can lead to deficiencies.

Whether or not you’ll require daily supplements depends entirely upon the bariatric surgery you decide to get. If you do not want to take a variety of  vitamins and supplements for the rest of your life, then the Lap-Band procedure is perfect for you. During the Lap-Band procedure there is no cutting, rerouting, or removal of your stomach or digestive tract, meaning malabsorption isn’t an issue.

The Lap-Band surgery limits the amount of food that patients consume by placing an adjustable band around the upper portion of the stomach. While malabsorption isn’t an issue, the amount of food your stomach can hold is reduced, meaning you have less opportunity to absorb the proper nutrients. This can be remedied by taking a complete daily multivitamin. Expensive supplements, like the ones recommended after other bariatric surgeries, are typically not needed after the Lap-Band procedure.

At Illinois Bariatrics, we provide the highest quality care to all of our bariatric patients. If you’re considering a surgical weight-loss procedure, learn more about why the Lap-Band may be right for you.

People at outdoor party serving food

Understanding Food Cues

When it comes to finding success with the Lap-Band®, regular exercise, proper hydration, good sleep, and a healthy diet are all part of the puzzle. Eating healthier isn’t just about portion control or getting the right nutrients—though that is an important part of it. Improving your diet also means working through unhealthy eating habits.

Without realizing it, you may be subconsciously influenced to eat certain things or at certain times, whether you’re hungry or not. These subconscious triggers are called food cues, and unmanaged, they can prevent your weight-loss success with the Lap-Band.

What are Food Cues?

Food cues are the subconscious associations we make with our food, usually formed through memory and habit. These triggers trip our body’s urge to eat, whether hungry or not, and they can lead to mindless or bored eating if not reigned in.

In some cases, these triggers are visual, like a commercial for food or a billboard advertising treats at a fast food restaurant . Food cues can also be auditory cues: the jingles of restaurants or the sound of food cooking. Our sense of smell is the strongest sense tied to memory, which is why it also creates the strongest food cues—think of the smell of fresh fries or a grilling burger. Even our memories can create food cues, like the meal of a first date or the traditional snacks you eat when hanging out with friends or family.

Understanding Food Cues

An important part of achieving healthy, lasting weight loss with the Lap-Band is understanding your personal food cues. Pay attention to your triggers. When you feel the urge to eat, ask yourself: “Do I really feel hungry?” If the answer is no, try to identify what the trigger was. Understanding and identifying your food cues will make them easier to recognize and resist, stopping mindless eating in its tracks.

Food Cues vs. Hunger Cues

It’s important to remember that food cues are external. When it comes to determining if you’re hungry, pay attention to the internal instead. Your body’s physical signs of hunger are the best way to tell if you’re hungry or being tricked by a food cue.

Many people who struggle with obesity find themselves out of touch with the physical signs of hunger. Reconnecting with your hunger cues can be a valuable tool during your weight-loss journey. Look for:

  • “Growling” stomach
  • Headache
  • Light-headedness
  • Irritability
  • Fatigue
  • Shakiness

For any weight-loss journey, examining unhealthy relationships with food is a must. The Lap-Band Program is more than just the procedure—we also aim to help our patients build healthy habits that will serve them during their weight-loss journey and beyond. To learn more about the Lap-Band Program and the qualifications for surgery, visit the Illinois Bariatric Center website.

Frustrated girl standing on a scale at home

Weight-Loss Setbacks: Why They Happen & Tactics for Prevention

Weight loss is a journey. Even though the path to your goals may be clear, weight-loss setbacks can occur. With obstacles it’s crucial to know why they happen, how to deal with them, and how to get your weight loss back on track. With help from the Lap-Band®, you can overcome obstructions and live the healthy life you deserve.

Why Weight-Loss Setbacks Happen

Weight-loss setbacks are common for people trying to lose weight. According to research, most people will have one sometime after six months of continuous weight loss, and they can occur for multiple reasons:

  • Excessive fatigue from extended periods of weight loss
  • Increased stress and subsequent stress-eating
  • Inadequate sleep leading to hormonal imbalance
  • Failure to work out or vary your workouts
  • Refusing to monitor your progress and appreciate your achievements

Don’t worry if your reason wasn’t listed above. You can identify your own reasons by examining your lifestyle and mindset both before and after the setback occurred. After identifying the problem, you can implement a strategy to get back on track.

Getting Weight Loss Back on Track

Next, you’ll next need a strategy to overcome your triggers. There are many methods to continue towards your weight-loss goals, but these are some of the most effective:

  • Avoid food or motivation triggers
  • Take steps to work through your triggers and negate them
  • Recommit to your goals
  • Rely on support from a professional

Overcoming a weight-loss setback can seem daunting. To develop and implement a strategy, it can be helpful to rely on a team of professionals. The Lap-Band Program doesn’t leave you to fend for yourself; instead, you can depend on a group that helps you reintroduce healthy diet and exercise habits.

The Lap-Band Program not only provides expertise to help you get back on track but also avoids setbacks in the first place. The fully adjustable, removable gastric band is a sustainable method for losing weight.

Gradual and sustainable weight loss allows you to avoid the major setbacks of weight loss, but if they do occur, you can rely on support from weight loss experts with years of experience. To learn more about Lap-Band, and how Illinois Bariatric Center can assist you, visit our page.

top view of liver on red background, healthcare concept

Liver Diseases and Comorbidity Conditions in Obese Individuals

It is common knowledge that carrying extra weight can have adverse effects on your health. Some of the common health issues include diabetes and heart disease, but are you familiar with other obesity-related comorbidities?

One such common issue that those suffering from obesity can develop is Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease – or NAFLD.

What is NAFLD?

Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease can refer to many conditions of the liver. These conditions apply to people who drink little to no alcohol, but still see multiple symptoms associated with reduced liver function. The cause of NAFLD is too much fat stored in the liver. Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease is on the rise in the US and is also one of the most prevalent obesity comorbidities.

If left unchecked, NAFLD can progress to non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH)—a more aggressive form of liver disease. You’ll find both NAFLD and NASH among those with metabolic syndrome and other metabolic disorders, who can experience liver failure due to prolonged buildup of fat in the liver cells.

Common Liver Disease Symptoms

It can be difficult to tell if you have non-alcoholic fatty liver disease or to decide if you should seek the help of a professional. NAFLD does not usually cause symptoms, but when it does, patients often experience general fatigue and pain in the upper right abdomen.

When NAFLD advances to NASH, more symptoms will develop. People may experience abdominal swelling, enlarged blood vessels beneath the skin, red palms, or yellow skin resulting from jaundice.

If any of these symptoms develop, it is best to immediately seek the help of a doctor. Your doctor can recommend a variety of treatments to reduce your likelihood of liver failure.

How Bariatric Surgery Can Help

NAFLD is common among those with obesity. This metabolic disorder can be reversed if you act quickly and correct the amount of fat being stored in your liver. If you’re exploring ways to reduce your weight and avoid NASH, there’s no better bariatric solution than the Lap-Band® program, which can help you recover and lead a healthier lifestyle.

Our Lap-Band program relies on a minimally invasive, fully adjustable, and removable solution for obese individuals. Contact us to get started on your journey to weight-loss now.

Close up on a pair of feet standing on a scale with a white background, an orange bar lines the top of the images with the Illinois bariatric center logo in the top left corner

Overcoming the Weight Loss Plateau for Bariatric Patients

When undergoing a weight loss journey, many patients find that they eventually hit an abrupt period of slowing down or stopping altogether. This can be incredibly frustrating, especially if you are continuing to follow your diet plan, exercise routine, and consulting with your doctor. Weight loss plateaus are common, even for patients that undergo bariatric surgery.

It might be surprising to know, but weight loss plateaus sometimes have nothing to do with your activities and eating habits. The delay on your weight loss journey might even be necessary to lasting, healthy weight loss success.

Why do we plateau during weight loss?

A weight-loss plateau is a period of stalling or even weight gain after you begin your weight loss journey. Sometimes, weight loss patients will plateau because they give up on healthy habits. It’s is very important to keep up with your new routine. You’ll only continue to lose weight if you stick to your plan.

Our body’s natural response

As your body adapts to dramatic weight loss, it may feel the need to defend itself against losing any more weight. After you undergo gastric weight loss surgery, the body’s natural defense system will work to maintain steady health when it is put under stress. The dramatic weight loss that’s involved in Laparoscopic weight loss surgery may result in the body working to maintain fat and energy stores.

The set point theory

No weight loss journey is completely linear. Some scientists believe that a temporary plateau is necessary for lasting, healthy weight loss. This might be best understood with a process called “set point”. Our bodies naturally want to remain around what it determines is a healthy weight. We may fluctuate by a few pounds more or less, but our bodies naturally seek to return to what it determines is our ideal weight. This set point, however, can change over time. If you gradually gain weight over time, your body goes from thinking your set point is much higher than it should be.

It’s estimated that the average person has a set point of 5-10% of our body weight can be gained or lost without much resistance. Beyond that. Our body naturally seeks to return to its perceived natural state. This is why after significant weight loss your body seems to hit a wall. It’s also why it’s important to make lasting, lifestyle changes like the Lap-Band Program instead of short-term weight loss fads that don’t provide lasting results.

How to get past the plateau

Each weight loss journey is different. On average, a plateau might last a couple of weeks to up to a few months, but it does not always mean that your new lifestyle changes stopped working. It’s important to give your body time to rest, relax, and get used to its new normal without stopping any of your new habits. Stay patient, keep up your new healthy diet, and talk to your doctor.

Your weight loss journey might not always be a straight path. For more tips on staying motivated and keeping on track, visit our Living Banded blog page.

Bariatric Surgery Myths Debunked

It should come as no surprise that there are many myths about bariatric surgery. Medical procedures can often incite fear from people even if they’ve never experienced them. With enough misinformation, you can even render a very safe procedure like bariatric surgery into something completely different. In this blog, we’d like to explore some of these bariatric surgery myths and debunk them.  

Bariatric Surgery Myth: Pregnancy

One of the common myths about bariatric surgery is that you will be unable to get pregnant after bariatric surgery. This stems from a common misunderstanding. For the first two years after surgery, patients are cautioned to avoid getting pregnant. This is because patients need to be focused on weight loss. During pregnancy, the opposite is true. Expecting mothers need a higher caloric intake to maintain a healthy pregnancy. But this does not affect your ability to get pregnant. In fact, losing weight is very beneficial for fertility in both men and women.

Bariatric Surgery Myth: Skin Removal

Another myth about bariatric surgery has surfaced regarding skin removal surgery. The myth states that skin removal is required after weight loss surgery. This is in fact a myth. The real answer is much less satisfying. 

The reality is that it depends heavily on your circumstances. Some people do not require skin removal. The amount of weight lost, the age of the patient, level of abdominal exercise, and genetics all play a part in skin elasticity. But because of how often patients have the procedure, a myth has developed surrounding skin removal. 

Bariatric Surgery Myth: Safety and Side Effects

The most common myth we hear from concerned patients regards their own safety. Even though bariatric surgery is one of the safest procedures, one of the common bariatric surgery myths is that the process is dangerous and leads to many side effects. 

This isn’t true. Bariatric surgery, especially with recent advancements in technology is one of the safest procedures a person can have. There can be some side effects after the procedure, but they are rare and vary depending on a person’s circumstances. 

Separating Fact and Fiction

It’s easy to believe myths. They are often frightening, especially for people considering bariatric surgery. But the reality is that many of these are not true. We encourage you to talk to a doctor about any concerns you have so your worries can be addressed. Even if you have special circumstances, a talented team of medical professionals can work with you to accomplish your goals. For any questions, feel free to contact us now.