Tolerating Vitamins after Bariatric Surgery
For the first time in her life, Terri Wehling achieved permanent weight loss (read her LAP-Band Surgery Patient Success Story). But with her bariatric weight loss surgery came a set of obstacles. Terri couldn't tolerate some nutritious foods or swallow her vitamins. So again she was faced with her health deteriorating. Not one to give up, Terri and her husband, Fred J. Wehling, worked together to develop a solution.
My Bariatric Life: Why did you choose the adjustable LAP-Band?
Terri Wehling: I saw it advertised on TV while visiting my daughter and grandson in Las Vegas back in 2008. I had gone through some big "aha moments" in my life over the previous 3 years: I had had serious kidney surgery due to complications from high blood pressure; our first two grandchildren were born; we had moved out of our home of 25 years into our new home; and we were empty nesters. I felt I needed to finally take my health seriously and make some serious changes. It was a surgery that was being done more commonly back then.
MBL: After LAP-Band surgery, what was most difficult for you to change?
Terri: By far the biggest obstacle I needed to overcome was how I thought about food. This included how much food I thought I needed, was I going to be able to eat my favorite foods, was I ever going to be able to go out to dinner again, and to concentrate on what I was eating while I was eating. If I eat too much, the wrong texture, don’t chew my food to the consistency of applesauce, I WILL be reminded very quickly that I’ve made a mistake. And I experience some very unpleasant repercussions. So, I don’t eat steak very often. Or pork chops. I can’t eat the quantity of fruits and vegetables that I could before the gastric band, and rarely do I eat a raw vegetable. They have caused me considerable trouble---often ending up with vomiting or foaming. This is one of the reasons my husband, a chemist and nutritional product manufacturer, developed a vitamin and mineral supplement that I could take. He went shopping for me in the first few weeks after surgery to find me some vitamins and was pretty dismayed with the choices. The little chewable cartoon characters, the gummis, and the chewable rounds were the only options—and the nutritional value was minimal, not to mention the taste was awful! So he developed a tasty gelatin vitamin to be eaten as a snack, as well as a vitamin that dissolves quickly in water and I can sip on throughout the day---except of course 30 minutes before or after my meals. He also created a delicious Calcium drink---They work perfectly! I am happy to say that taking my vitamins is not an issue. I love the perks of being married to a crazy scientist!
MBL: What vitamins and supplements do you take?
Terri: I take the Ameriwell Bariatric Multivitamin and Mineral Gelatin Tablets, Vitamin D, and Krill (Omega 3’s). The Vitamin D and Krill are small pills, and the vitamin and mineral tablets are a gelatin. It’s easy and delicious!
MBL: What support groups have helped you?
Terri: I used to do all of the support groups prior to my lap band surgery and never experienced much success. This time I decided to talk to two acquaintances that I knew had had lap band surgery. I checked in with them on a regular basis, as well as started to write a blog. This has really helped me be honest with myself, and accountable to the bigger picture: to live a healthy life at a healthy weight.
MBL: How else do you give back to bariatric patients?
Terri: I encourage others who are considering surgery, sharing with them my anxieties that I had at that time, as well as letting them ask me anything that they’d like. I’m honest and quite frank. The biggest challenge to losing weight is not the food, the lapband, the supplements, or the exercise. It’s the brain! Changing the way that your brain thinks about food, the surgery, the supplements, the exercise, the way that you look at yourself in the mirror -- that’s the biggest challenge of all!
I’ve tried Ameriwell Bariatric Vitamins, courtesy of Terri and her husband. What I really like about them is their bioavailability and the effervescent tablets taste great so I enjoy drinking my water. Talk with your healthcare provider to see if Ameriwell Bariatric Vitamins are appropriate for you.
Living larger than ever,
My Bariatric Life