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The weight lost after bariatric surgery often decreases symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux, also called heartburn. Why wait until after surgery for relief? The healthy eating habits we ask you to work on before surgery can reduce your reflux now.



Chew your food to applesauce consistency. Eat smaller meals. Stop chewing gum and drinking out of straws to prevent air from getting into your stomach. Stop using tobacco. Avoid high fat foods. Fat takes longer to move through the digestive system so food stays in your stomach longer. High-fat foods include using lots of cooking oil when cooking, whole milk instead of skim or 1 percent milk, regular fat cheese, deep fried foods and the fatty meats used in fast food hamburgers.

Other strategies include avoiding foods that can irritate the esophagus. Irritants can include hot peppers, spicy foods, carbonated beverages and acidic foods like citrus or Tomato juice. Avoid peppermint and spearmint, because these will relax the opening between the stomach and the esophagus.This allows stomach contents to be pushed up into the esophagus.Sit or stand for several hours after the last meal before bedtime to allow food to pass into the small intestine can also help. Invest the time to have healthier eating habits. The payoff is feeling better right now!

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Before surgery cucumbers, green peppers and BBQ Sauce used to keep me up all night!

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Rene,

Thanks for this article! It’s definitely an important topic for WLS patients. Within this is an important reminder that the “rules” are there for a reason, or more than one reason! For example, chew your food thoroughly – not just to slow down eating and increase satiety, but also to prevent heartburn!

Another healthy habit that also helps reduce heartburn is to not eat too much just before bed (well, not ever, really!). Instead, eat a little earlier and even take a walk after dinner. That’s not just good for heartburn, but also for weight loss.

I also wanted to point out that caffeine can be another trigger for heartburn, and that’s one more reason to skip it post-op and go easy on it later.

Thanks for this helpful article!

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I had reflux a few times. My bariatric surgeon suggested that I not eat after 7:30pm. Never had it after I did that.

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I had reflux before VGS it became unbearable after. I am going to a bypass to get rid of this agony.

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