In This Issue
* Dealing With Pain
* Back on Track Program
* Am I Too Thin?
* Recipe: Cream of Tomato Soup
Story: Mary Catherine Moran
Dealing with Pain
I had gastric
bypass in 2001. Over the years my osteoarthritis has gotten
worse, and my rheumatologist thinks I may also have rheumatoid
arthritis. Last year I had hip resurfacing. And at 59 years,
my knees are bad, I have pain in my hands. and severe arthritis
in my feet. What medications do post-gastric bypass patients
use for pain? I've tried topical, and also take Relafen (NSAID)
twice a day. I'd just like to hear what others do for pain.
I enjoy receiving
your monthly newsletter.
Pain management for arthritis is very difficult after weight
loss surgery. Some of the most effective medications for
arthritis are the NSAIDS (non-steroid anti-inflammatory drugs).
These include such medications as ibuprofen, Aleve, and Relafen,
the medication you are taking. They work to reduce the
inflammation in the joints and lessen the pain. What they also
do is to cause bleeding or ulcers in the pouch. The NSAIDS are
especially bad for those who have had gastric bypass surgery,
because there is a much smaller surface for the medication to
fall. If the medication is hitting the same spot, the chance
for bleeding increases. Those who have had a lap band are also
Before taking any NSAIDS, talk with your
bariatric surgeon. Sometimes a family physician is not as
familiar with particulars of weight loss surgery. If you must
take an NSAID, and the medication says to take it with food, be
sure to do that.
An alternative to an NSAID for pain is
Tylenol. It avoids the bleeding, but is not as effective.
Unfortunately it is a trade-off. Do you suffer the pain of the
arthritis or suffer the pain of an ulcer?
Darlene is interested in what others do for arthritis pain, so
email me at
Barbara@WLScenter.com and I will summarize your responses.
Am I Too Thin?
I just read your article on weight. I had gastric bypass surgery 2
years and 8 months ago. I weighed 227 lbs and lost 117 lbs down to
110 lbs. I have gained 4 lbs back, but I hear all the time that I'm
too thin. I'm 5'4" and will be 61 years old December 15th.
What I don't like is if I do gain weight, then
people will say she's gaining her weight back. I am petrified of
regaining. When I had my surgery, my surgeon wanted me at
130 lbs, but I kept losing. I no longer need any of my medications, and
I'm happy where I am. My hair and nails took a beating though. I
still get stomach aches if I eat too much, or the wrong thing.
Do you think I'm underweight? I would love to
hear back from you, and you can use my story if you would like to.
Thanks so much,
Actually you are not too thin. I checked a BMI (Body Mass Index)
calculator and at 5’4” and 114 lbs., your BMI is 19.6. Your BMI would
have to be below 18.5 or a weight of 107 pounds for you to be underweight. You are close to
being underweight, but you are still in the normal range.
People are accustomed to seeing you at a much
higher weight, as are you. And I do understand that feeling that
people will start to think that you are regaining your weight. We have
seen those looks many times, and we know what people are thinking.
Since you are feeling good, I wouldn’t worry about your weight right now, but
I would recommend that you watch your weight carefully so that you
don’t lose more. You will soon be entering a phase between the 3 to 5
year range when people start to get hungry and also start to regain
weight. That might happen to you.
As long as you are feeling well, I would not
worry about those who are saying that you look too thin. Just tell
them that according to your BMI, your weight is in the normal range.
calculate your BMI, go to
Now that the weather is turning cold, my
thoughts turn to making soup. This is a great soup that I remember so
well from my childhood. Enjoy!
Cream of Tomato Soup recipe
3 cups tomato juice
1/3 cup butter
1/4 cup flour
3 cups milk
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoons crumbled Roquefort cheese (optional, for garnish)
basil, oregano and parsley (optional, for garnish)
1. Melt the butter in a dutch oven.
2. Blend in the flour until smooth.
3. Pour in the tomato juice and stir until it thickens.
4. Stir in the baking soda.
5. Add the salt, sugar and milk.
6. Heat thoroughly.
7. Divide into bowls and serve with crumbled cheese and/or basil,
oregano and parsley (if desired).
for one serving:
Total fat: 11.1 g
Cholesterol: 33.1 mg
Sodium: 674.4 mg
Total carbs: 12.6 g
Fiber: 0.4 g
Protein: 4.1 g
If you have a recipe that you would like to share in future issues of
this newsletter, please send it to me at
I want to offer a special thanks to
Mary Catherine Moran for sharing her success with us.
Here is her story:
Though lately I have been struggling, I am a
success story. I had surgery shortly before Thanksgiving 3
years ago. I weighed 405 pounds at surgery. I now weigh
between 206-9 pounds depending on the day. My lowest weight
since surgery was 196. I would like to weigh 180 ish.
Prior to surgery I was lethargic,
depressed and overwhelmed with almost everything in my life.
I could barely walk due to knee problems directly related to
my obesity, had painful gout attacks on a regular basis, and
my addiction to food ruled my life in every way.
By the time I reached 405 pounds I had
literally tried just about every diet under the sun.
Additionally, I had been to two rehabs for food addiction.
I've suffered from food addiction from a very early age. I
am also a recovering alcoholic, and my weight really started
to become a problem when I stopped drinking at age 29. I
don't really remember a time in my life when I wasn't
thinking obsessively about food, either how to get it or how
to keep it from getting me!
As a result of RNY surgery, I have a
tool that reminds me that food is not intended to be
entertainment or escape. I remind myself on a daily basis
that I went to great lengths to have a second chance, and
that to squander the gift and the opportunity would be a
tragedy. I mean that sincerely.
At 56 I no longer have knee problems,
my dangerously high blood pressure is under control, and I
have the energy I had when I was a much younger woman.
Amazingly, I don't have a problem with excess skin as I
would have predicted. Now I am optimistic and proactive
about my program. I know that surgery was not a cure and
that I have to make conscious decisions about my food plan,
seek out support on a regular basis, and learn on a daily
basis what works best for me.
There have been other losses that I had
not anticipated. My 12-year relationship with my boyfriend
ended. He considers himself to be "victim of weight
loss surgery”; blaming
it for our break-up. The fact is that surgery, weight
loss, and especially counseling, gave me the courage to face
the facts - that the relationship was no longer healthy for
Living life after weight loss surgery
is not always easy. I have days when I resent the fact that
I can't eat anything I want, anytime I want. I ask for help
when I need it, and continue to seek out the support that I
need to be successful. Success doesn't just mean keeping the
weight off, by the way. It means living without the
obsession...and that is what brought me to weight loss
surgery in the first place.
Looking at my before pictures, I am reminded of my misery,
and grateful for this second chance at life. And I am
getting a lot out of the Back on Track Program, your
internet mentoring program. Thank you!!!
Congratulations Mary Catherine
I love good news. If you have good news, a
success story to share, or inspiration, please send it to me at
Barbara@wlscenter.com so that I can include it in future issues.
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