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The drinking thing is something that I have noticed that most programs don't handle very well. The "sip, sip, sip, all the day long" thing is necessary for most for some period of time, depending upon how much inflammation we may have in the stomach after surgery. If it is seriously inflamed, then yes, it takes small sips to get fluids through - think of drinking through a pinched soda straw. If there is not significant inflammation, then your new stomach is more like a normal, or even large soda straw, so fluids will go down fairly easily, though it will still be a restriction from real chugging or gulping. I didn't have any significant inflammation, so I could sip a bowl of broth (maybe 6-8 oz?) and a juice box (with straw) within a half hour or so sitting - in the hospital. I still diligently sipped away for the month and a half or so when I too a drink from my bottle between swimming laps, to no distress. I probably could have done that a few weeks before but was still scared into sipping everything. No, I couldn't (or didn't) gulp or chug it, but just normal swallows of Water.

Lesson here is to gingerly try little larger sips, working up to "drinks" and see how things go down. If things are backing up, or not going down promptly, back off a bit and go at a bit lesser rate for a while.

The not drinking before/during/after meals thing is also a bit flexible. The before meals thing is again, and inflammation concern, and they want to make sure that the fluids are clear from your stomach before eating so that it isn't competing with the limited food that you can eat. Once fluids are going through fine, drinking up to the point of eating is fine (and some surgeons recommend this practice.) Drinking during a meal again, competes for space with the limited food that you can eat, so should be avoided (small sips if something is dry is OK.) Also, drinking with and after a meal has the effect of "washing through" the food that should be staying in the stomach for a while to provide satiety - drinking too soon can lead to earlier hunger and overall over eating during the day when we are trying to keep eating to a balanced minimum for weight loss. After ten years, I am still not comfortable drinking much of anything for a while after a meal.

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9 hours ago, Arabesque said:

You will eventually able to drink more - how much & when is individual. You’ll also eventually be able to drink more closely to before & after you eat. The waiting before & after is to ensure your tummy is empty before you eat so you’ll get your Protein & other nutrients in - essentially when you’re losing.

Personally, I prefer sipping throughout the day because it keeps me hydrated all day versus not drinking then chugging glass after glass cause I’m dying of thirst. Remember much like feeling full, it takes time for the message you need fluids to get through. So by the time you feel thirsty you’re on the way to being dehydrated.

I often think being thirsty is also a bit like an addiction - the more you drink the more you want to drink. Just like you slowly get used to drinking less if you cut back for some reason - travel, work, weather, etc. I struggle to drink to my goal in winter then it takes me a little while to get fully back on track when the weather warms.

To use straws or not is different surgeon to surgeon & person to person. I used them to begin but found I was sucking up too much air & I can’t burp so painful. I found it way easier to drink from a glass than camel back or similar bottles. I also take the lids off takeaway tea & coffee. All reminds me too much like baby bottles & sippy cups. Lol!

Just a thought. Were you diagnosed as being diabetic or being insulin resistant? Increased thirst is a sign. Often people are pre diabetic & don’t realise.

Drinking certainly feels like an addiction, It's going to be a journey to get to where I feel comfortable drinking again. As for being diagnosed, No I've never been diagnosed as being diabetic or being insulin resistant. I used to have a medicine in high school that caused increased thirst so maybe my body got used to the amount I drank during that time and kind of just kept me to it? I'm not sure but it's definitely still around. Thanks for the reply :D

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6 hours ago, NovaLuna said:

I'm almost 19 months out and I still take smallish sips over gulping things down like I used to because I've made myself feel sick by drinking too much too fast and it's a terrible feeling! On the bright side the Protein Drink that used to take me over 2 hours to drink now only takes me about 30-45 minutes to drink now, so it does get better!

I love to hear that the amount I'm able to drink gets better. I feel like I'll end up finding when I can drink more just because of how impatient I am. I'm sure my body will tell me when I've gone to far, I guess I'll be learning the hard way. Thanks for the reply :D

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14 minutes ago, RickM said:

The drinking thing is something that I have noticed that most programs don't handle very well. The "sip, sip, sip, all the day long" thing is necessary for most for some period of time, depending upon how much inflammation we may have in the stomach after surgery. If it is seriously inflamed, then yes, it takes small sips to get fluids through - think of drinking through a pinched soda straw. If there is not significant inflammation, then your new stomach is more like a normal, or even large soda straw, so fluids will go down fairly easily, though it will still be a restriction from real chugging or gulping. I didn't have any significant inflammation, so I could sip a bowl of broth (maybe 6-8 oz?) and a juice box (with straw) within a half hour or so sitting - in the hospital. I still diligently sipped away for the month and a half or so when I too a drink from my bottle between swimming laps, to no distress. I probably could have done that a few weeks before but was still scared into sipping everything. No, I couldn't (or didn't) gulp or chug it, but just normal swallows of Water.

Lesson here is to gingerly try little larger sips, working up to "drinks" and see how things go down. If things are backing up, or not going down promptly, back off a bit and go at a bit lesser rate for a while.

The not drinking before/during/after meals thing is also a bit flexible. The before meals thing is again, and inflammation concern, and they want to make sure that the fluids are clear from your stomach before eating so that it isn't competing with the limited food that you can eat. Once fluids are going through fine, drinking up to the point of eating is fine (and some surgeons recommend this practice.) Drinking during a meal again, competes for space with the limited food that you can eat, so should be avoided (small sips if something is dry is OK.) Also, drinking with and after a meal has the effect of "washing through" the food that should be staying in the stomach for a while to provide satiety - drinking too soon can lead to earlier hunger and overall over eating during the day when we are trying to keep eating to a balanced minimum for weight loss. After ten years, I am still not comfortable drinking much of anything for a while after a meal.

Personally I don't think I've had an issue with drinking during meals or straws at leas that I've noticed. I'm even able to drink soda, of course it's followed by burping but I don't mind as long as I get to keep drinking it lol. Of course I'm not able to drink it as much as I used to which is good but certainly annoying. I never thought of the whole "washing through" of food, so I'm definitely going to try not to drink along with meals. Thanks for the reply! :)

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I'm 13 months out, and I can drink pretty much normally. For the first few months, I was only able to sip slowly, but it wasn't too long before I could drink easily. I've never really been one to "chug" Water really fast, so my idea of "normal" might not be what you're used to, but I am definitely not limited to sipping. I do still wait 30 minutes before and after meals to drink anything. At first, it was hard to get used to that, but now it feels normal not to drink with meals, and in fact, when I have guests, I sometimes forget to offer beverages at meals!

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Posted (edited)

22 minutes ago, BigSue said:

I'm 13 months out, and I can drink pretty much normally. For the first few months, I was only able to sip slowly, but it wasn't too long before I could drink easily. I've never really been one to "chug" Water really fast, so my idea of "normal" might not be what you're used to, but I am definitely not limited to sipping. I do still wait 30 minutes before and after meals to drink anything. At first, it was hard to get used to that, but now it feels normal not to drink with meals, and in fact, when I have guests, I sometimes forget to offer beverages at meals!

It's great to hear that the sipping will not be a thing forever lol. I'm curious, do you wait to drink before and after meals because it makes you sick if you do? Of course I'm not used to these changes yet so I don't know if I've become sick from doing that but nonetheless. Thanks for the reply! :)

Edited by 11Trapper

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19 minutes ago, 11Trapper said:

It's great to hear that the sipping will not be a thing forever lol. I'm curious, do you wait to drink before and after meals because it makes you sick if you do? Of course I'm not used to these changes yet so I don't know if I've become sick from doing that but nonetheless. Thanks for the reply! :)

I wait to drink before and after meals because my surgeon said so. :) Actually, my surgeon didn't say anything about waiting before meals, but I do anyway because I've heard that other surgeons advise that. It's not that it would necessarily make me sick, just that if my stomach is full (either from food or water) there's not room.

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21 minutes ago, BigSue said:

I wait to drink before and after meals because my surgeon said so. :) Actually, my surgeon didn't say anything about waiting before meals, but I do anyway because I've heard that other surgeons advise that. It's not that it would necessarily make me sick, just that if my stomach is full (either from food or water) there's not room.

Oh ok, Thanks for clearing that up :). My surgeon did actually tell me that as well but I haven't exactly been adhering to it but I am trying to get into that rhythm.

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Posted (edited)

On 8/20/2021 at 4:23 PM, 11Trapper said:

It's great to hear that the sipping will not be a thing forever lol. I'm curious, do you wait to drink before and after meals because it makes you sick if you do? Of course I'm not used to these changes yet so I don't know if I've become sick from doing that but nonetheless. Thanks for the reply! :)

Personally, I've never had any problem with drinking before meals, even immediately after surgery. But I still find that it's a bad idea to drink much during and right after meals. A few sips is fine, but much more than that, and I'll feel some pain and/or faintness. For about 4-5 months after surgery, I would always feel a bit faint after eating and have to sit and rest a bit before doing much of anything. Now that feeling comes only occasionally, when my stomach has gotten too full. A couple of times that's happened, say, at a holiday meal, where there's a ton of foods and I want to try a bite of lots of things. But usually it happens when I drink too much Fluid with/after a meal. When I eat at home, I simply don't serve myself a drink when I eat. But when I go out, they always bring a drink and if I haven't finished it before the meal comes, it's easy to forget and take a few drinks.

Studies of gastric emptying show that when you drink Water on an empty stomach, it empties from the stomach very quickly. But when you eat a meal, the stomach contents take 2-4 hours to fully leave the stomach. A liquid with a lot of calories (like a Protein drink) empties a bit faster than a solid meal, but a liquid meal is closer to a solid meal than water.

Even if drinking during/after meals doesn't cause you pain or discomfort, I'd recommend that you still do it. Both patients who have had bariatric surgery and obese patients who have not had surgery are more likely to empty their stomach too quickly (see the linked study). If your stomach empties too quickly, you start to feel hungry again more quickly. Drinking extra water can hurry this along. Doctors suspect that your stomach emptying too fast is actually one of the causes of obesity and/or the reason why some people don't have as much success with bariatric surgery in the long run. This is why different bariatric doctors all suggest not to drink with/after meals (though many differ about drinking before meals.)

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/26774242_Scintigraphic_Evaluation_of_Gastric_Emptying_in_Obese_Patients_Submitted_to_Sleeve_Gastrectomy_Compared_to_Normal_Subjects

Edited by rjan

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