Vegetarian & Weight Loss Surgery - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 11-28-2014, 11:24 AM
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Vegetarian & Weight Loss Surgery

I'm 5'4", 290 lbs, and have been overweight since my early 20's after onset PCOS (I was a slim fit child/teen). Are there any vegetarians here who have had WLS? My doctor is recommending gastric bypass surgery.

Last edited by Island Sneezer; 11-28-2014 at 09:00 PM. Reason: too wordy
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#2 Old 11-28-2014, 11:50 AM
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I think weight loss surgery is really drastic. I used to be about 250lbs at 5'3, and I lost the hundred pounds by tracking my foods and walking three hours a day.

I would suggest the same for you. It's not about "trying"diets, it's about change, permanent change.

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#3 Old 11-28-2014, 12:11 PM
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Have you had hormonal treatment for the PCOS? I would try everything before I had major surgery. And gastric bypass, I believe, is not reversable. The lap band type is reversible, so may be safer.
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#4 Old 11-28-2014, 12:56 PM
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Since I'm back to vegan I lost 8 pounds in 2 weeks eating hearty meals and snacking on healthy things during the day and evening (I'm a real mouse, nibbling all the time). Crazy what cutting down on eggs and cheese can do. I'm not exercising, just a walk a day for my grocery and stuff (I do plan on exercising more though this winter). I'm not hungry, I feel full of energy and I'm not going back to sleep after my kid is sent to school like before.

I said that because I think the bypass is way too extreme and there are other ways to loose weight to be healthier. I was over 200 also a few years back and never set foot in a gym or went on a diet. I went vegan and dropped gradually to 165 (then regained some when I switched to vegetarian XD). Now back to vegan and dropping the pounds again without a sweat or being hungry.

If I can do it, you can also and without surgery. As you will loose weight you will find yourself hurting less in your body, inflammation will reduce and you will realize you have more energy to walk or do exercises when before you had NONE before. Anyway that's what happened to me and I'm the average Jane with chips cravings and such lol.

Hang in there, make a chart of your eating habits, see what you can change without going hungry.

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#5 Old 11-28-2014, 12:59 PM
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I also had PCOS, but it went asymptomatic after I lost my excess body weight.

I was 180 lbs at 5'4, and I am now 118 lbs. It took about 9 months or so. I was on metformin to help at first.

I lost my weight by counting calories on myfitnesspal (a practice I will continue as long as the website is free) and counting dietary exchanges when I didnt have access to a computer.

I have made some major changes to the way I cook, eat, and approach food.

My aunt had weight loss surgery, and I really wouldnt recommend it for a variety of reasons. Its dangerous, your left with a sizeable amount of loose skin, and the weight loss results are not always impressive or long lasting.
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#6 Old 11-29-2014, 04:20 AM
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I haven't had the surgery and have never been remotely overweight, but I can empathize with hormone issues. I had severe endometriosis and eventually lost my uterus and ovaries at 33 years of age in 2005. Surgical menopause was and is hell and the complications from that surgery alone were something else. I had to go back in for a third surgery even after everything was out a year later for adhesions and scar tissue. Being in surgical menopause also made my hypothyroidism much worse and I developed severe osteoporosis.

Surgery is always a last resort. I am a medical coder and code infusion/injection therapy at work. One of the common reasons people receive iron therapy is a result of gastric bypass and the inability to absorb important nutrients, even B12. Almost daily I see complications from gastric bypass. On the otherhand, maybe you have already been through everything else and have done counseling and prep work. No judgments. Perhaps your health problems are already severe. IDK.

The people I have read about and a few people I know that had it are put on very strict low carb diets. It might be hard to do vegan but not as hard if you are a vegetarian if you went by doctor's rules. You might need to rely on smoothies and I believe you can only eat tiny amounts of food at a time spaced far apart. Vegans tend to eat high volume bulk foods so that might be a challenge. On the otherhand, meat is tough to digest as is dairy. Have you asked your medical team about this? Just curious about their responses. It would be great if you could find a veg friendly dietician to work with ahead of time so you know what to expect and how you can pull it off.

I wish I had gone vegan years ago when I had endometriosis. Had I cut out dairy especially, and meats, I am certain the inflammation and hormone issues would have lessened considerably. I could have saved my ovaries and uterus. When I did finally go vegan, my digestion improved considerably, and sinus issues vitrually disappeared. I am on less thyroid hormone now than when I was an omnivore. And my cholesterol is much lower. Even though I was considerably underweight as an omnivore, I was battling an uphill battle with thyroid and surgical menopause and also an eating disorder so cholesterol was always a risk factor.

Best wishes whatever you decide and I really hope you can make a vegetarian diet work for you (if you aren't already vegetarian).

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#7 Old 11-29-2014, 06:26 AM
 
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If doc recommends it maybe the benefits outweigh the risks. If you don't have self control now though, and you get the surgery, you can kill yourself.
After surgery you have to follow a drastically reduced calorie diet, you can't eat sugary/acidic foods or carbonated beverages, alcohol, ect.
My advice is to try a whole foods vegan diet at first, such as health starts here whole foods recipes. You can easily lose 10-15 pds a month, esp if you couple it with exercise. Take a good multi like Nature's Way Alive! to protect against any deficiencies. Although I"m assuming that your diet isn't the best atm anyway. I've lost 30 pds in a year just being vegetarian and not vegan; but you have to watch the cheese and carbs! Just bc it's vegan or vegetarian doesn't make it healthy! Good luck.
Oh and I wasn't diagnosed with PCOS, but I've been hospitalized for multiple cysts on my ovaries when I was overweight; they have vanished now that I've lost the weight. You prob won't have a problem if you lose weight; it's like diabetes from what my gyn explained, your body can only handle so much extra weight before it starts to break down.
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#8 Old 11-29-2014, 04:27 PM
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I appreciate the input. I really do. Any questions I answer will sound like I'm just defending my decision to go forward with pursuing WLS, and since none of you know my full health or weight loss history, and I don't have the energy to get into it right now, I'll just say my appointment went extremely well yesterday.

My MD used to do WLS before becoming a family MD, so he has had a lot of knowledgeable and informative input over the last few years that we've discussed this as an option. He has been my doctor for many years and knows my history better than anyone else, he acknowledges how much hard work I've put into weight loss and health, and he feels it's my best option. And like so many have said here, yes, it's a last resort.

He put in the referral for me yesterday with a bariatric surgeon, and recommended the vertical sleeve gastrectomy. He feels it has a lot less complications than RN-Y or lap band, and I trust his judgement. I'll know more once I go for a consult with the surgeon and find out what his recommendations are, and what I need to do to prep. There's likely a long waiting list (it's covered by gov't provincial insurance so it can take years to get a surgery date), and in the meantime I'll continue eating a balanced vegetarian organic whole food diet, and stay physically active.

I got some good news regarding plastic surgery for saggy skin after weight loss too, it's also covered by provincial insurance, so that was reassuring.
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#9 Old 12-01-2014, 04:40 AM
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In the meantime, have you looked at Dr Mcdougall's starch-based way of eating?
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#10 Old 12-02-2014, 02:04 AM
 
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First of all I suggest you to try with diet control. I don't understand why Doctor suggest you for bypass surgery. I think if you can reduce your weight 50-70lbs that would be enough. You can do it by following food diet. It won't be too difficult for you to lose 50-70 lbs within 6 months. But if you really thinking about surgery than I suggest you to have health insurance. To get more information about helath insurance you may visit http://www.covomo.com.
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#11 Old 06-09-2015, 09:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Island Sneezer View Post
I appreciate the input. I really do. Any questions I answer will sound like I'm just defending my decision to go forward with pursuing WLS, and since none of you know my full health or weight loss history, and I don't have the energy to get into it right now, I'll just say my appointment went extremely well yesterday.

My MD used to do WLS before becoming a family MD, so he has had a lot of knowledgeable and informative input over the last few years that we've discussed this as an option. He has been my doctor for many years and knows my history better than anyone else, he acknowledges how much hard work I've put into weight loss and health, and he feels it's my best option. And like so many have said here, yes, it's a last resort.

He put in the referral for me yesterday with a bariatric surgeon, and recommended the vertical sleeve gastrectomy. He feels it has a lot less complications than RN-Y or lap band, and I trust his judgement. I'll know more once I go for a consult with the surgeon and find out what his recommendations are, and what I need to do to prep. There's likely a long waiting list (it's covered by gov't provincial insurance so it can take years to get a surgery date), and in the meantime I'll continue eating a balanced vegetarian organic whole food diet, and stay physically active.

I got some good news regarding plastic surgery for saggy skin after weight loss too, it's also covered by provincial insurance, so that was reassuring.
Your comment came as a shock to me. From when on was it included in provincial insurance? Is this applicable for all types of cosmetic treatments including botox. I recently had my first session of botox injections in Pit Meadows at the nearby Beauti-med clinic, and it wasn’t covered by insurance. Don’t know it’s the same in Canada. Or is it something specific to the clinic or surgeon. Can you take a look at their site and let me know if this is the case?- Botox injections Pit Meadows.
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