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Nausea after Bariatric Surgery – What to do?

Nausea after Weight Loss Surgery
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Vitals and Vitamins to Overcome Nausea

If you have chronic nausea, one thing to do is go to your primary health care physician and have your labs drawn. They will check your B Vitamins as well as B12, folic acid and your iron levels just to make sure that everything is as it should be; that’s a good place to start. Anytime you are having a chronic issue; whether it’s nausea or tiredness or some tingling sensations or if something doesn’t feel right, it is wise to start with getting your labs checked. After most patients are 12 months or more out from surgery and have had normal labs, going to have your labs drawn once a year is acceptable. However, if you are questioning how you’re feeling or symptoms that you may be experiencing, it is wise to go and have your labs checked.

Nausea Guide - Bariatric Surgery FAQUnderstanding Your New Body

After surgery, your body can go through different hormonal changes. Various gastrointestinal enzymes and hormones are normally released in different quantities than prior to surgery and this adjustment can lead some individuals to have increased nausea or sensitivity to certain foods or smells in the initial post op period.

Make sure that you are taking the recommended vitamins and minerals regularly to help prevent some of the nausea.

Other tips to prevent or reduce nausea include having small portions. Start with 1/4- 1/3 cup at meals. Be cautious and eat slowly, having no more than 1-2 bites per minute. It can be helpful to get a clock with a second hand or use the stopwatch on your smart phone to help with this initially. Remember to have small bites of food or sips of liquids. Using the visual of a dime for solid food and a teaspoon for liquids can help to gauge how much to put in your mouth at one time. Choose soft, moist foods at meals for increased tolerance.

Check this video on additional measures to take to avoid nausea after bariatric surgery. 

“Hey everybody! I wanted to go ahead and do a visual today because I have been getting a lot of questions on when you can have raw fruits and vegetables and how to handle some nausea and some issues with early post-op intolerance. So, I have a bunch of visuals.

I am actually making my one year old’s lunch and thought this would a perfect time to show you what is, are some appropriate sizes to have and what you should be aiming for at certain stages.

Raw Fruits and Vegetables in Post-Op Bariatric Diet

  • After surgery, when you are about 8 weeks along is where we can start to incorporate more raw vegetables and some fruits.
  • So, literally I have a Clementine here, as you can see it is about the size of my palm. I peeled it and then cut each of these in to at least four small pieces.
  • Here is my dime; you can literally see how big it is compared to my dime.
  • Same thing with the cucumber, this is a great vegetable to start with when you are ready to incorporate raw foods back in. This is pretty mild but you may want to peel it initially and cut the seeds out. Now, this is an English cucumber and so these seeds are pretty small, very well tolerated and very mild. But for a regular cucumber you will want to take these seeds out.

Avoid Nausea After Bariatric Surgery

Appropriate Size for Chopped Vegetables and Fruits

  • So, again you can see it is about the size of a dime maybe even smaller.
  • Thickness wise, it is probably maybe two dimes thick so you can see it is still pretty small.
  • Now, oranges, clementines, I do not know if I would start off with that, I would probably do more like a banana, peaches, pear, those are all pretty well tolerated.
  • Then the peppers, this is another one that is pretty well tolerated initially. Again, as you can see pretty small compared to my dime!
  • I would even put this dime on the counter so you can use it as a visual. I mean it is always good to just compare quick before you put a bite in your mouth to see how big something is.

Importance of Baby Spoons

Also, spoons, you may, if you do not have a young child in your life, want to go out and invest in some baby spoons. They are pretty cheap! So, you can see they are about a half or a quarter of a teaspoon; this is compared to a regular spoon which is about a teaspoon full of liquid that you could fit on there. So, I would stick with these sizes. You could also just pick up the measuring spoons and use these if you want.

This first one, small one is quarter teaspoon and this is half a teaspoon and this one is a full teaspoon. So, as far as sipping fluids, I would probably stick to the half teaspoon to a full teaspoon at most. If you are really early post-op, you might want to stick to a quarter teaspoon sips. So, anyways, I hope this helps give you an idea for how small you really want things to be.

Portion Control Cutlery Guide After Weight Loss Surgery

How to Be Sure About the Sizes

Again, keep these dimes on the counter, just to kind of help as a visual and if you want to keep using your own spoons and do not want to buy any, that is fine. Get some measuring spoons out, again, just to have them on the counter as a visual and a constant reminder for the sizes of sips you want to be aiming for!”

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US-registered Bariatric Dietitian

US-registered Bariatric Dietitian
Katelyn Mock is a US-registered Bariatric Dietitian certified by the American Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. With more than 8 years of experience in formulating and reviewing diet programs across various hospital settings, Katelyn has also served as the Lead Bariatric Dietitian for the Ohio State University Medical Center.

On-site Bariatric Nutritionist in Tijuana