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4 years post VSG and still not hungry



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Posted (edited)

Hi I haven't posted for a while, but thought I would stop in and see what you all think.

I had my sleeve gastrectomy in January 2018. I was 265 lb and am now 190, so 75lb loss. I keep losing around 1lb a month. I am 5'9. My BMI is 28, so I'm still classified as overweight. I am very fortunate that I have absolutely no loose skin, stretch marks etc. That's just lucky genes...I didn't do anything special, and it was the same when I had our children.

I am 54 yrs, we are married with 2 adult sons .

My concerns are, that after 4 years, I still have no appetite. Even if I think something will be tasty, after 2 bites, I have had enough. Really weirdly, I can sometimes look at a dish, and my appetite just vanishes. It's hard buying groceries, because I don't have any interest in cooking. And cooking (and smelling) a dish just kills my appetite completely.

4 years out, and I still get dry retching every day just by looking at, or smelling food. It's miserable. My surgeon, although sympathetic, has no answers. My recent endoscopy was absolutely normal.

It makes it SO hard for my husband and I... he is normal weight. We used to love going out to restaurants, cafe breakfasts, picnics etc. Now we still try and do that, but I usually only order an entree, but I rarely finish that anyway. It's miserable for him to enjoy being eating and see me just watching.

I am so happy to be a much healthier weight, I look better, I fit into nice clothes and am way more energetic.

But I still mourn eating. It's hard with guests, while they are enjoying their dinner and you are nibbling on a Tomato. Forget adding the buffet Breakfast to your hotel stay. Cooking up a lovely meal for your husband and boys and watching them eat, while you are completely satiated just from the smell and look of food while cooking.

Any thoughts from others who are years post sleeve?

Edited by Saxons

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What does your daily food diary look like ? Can you give us a little more information. I say this because I am wondering why you are nibbling on a Tomato ? Are you dry heaving because you have an empty tummy ?

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Posted (edited)

I'd be elated if my hunger had never come back (unfortunately, mine came roaring back at five months out), but yea - that retching would be awful. I'm sorry you're dealing with this.

P.S. I could never do a buffet anymore. I can eat more than you, but it's not enough to justify what you pay for to eat at those. I usually order an entree and take 1/2 of it home. Unfortunately, you can't box up uneaten buffet items and take them home with you like you can with regular orders - so I never get those anymore

Edited by catwoman7

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My appetite came back after a year. I have many days I am still not hungry but other days that I feel super hungry so they kind of balance out. The thing is I still really enjoy my food (darn lol). I am so sorry that the enjoyment is gone for you I hope your doctor can figure out what is going on. Unfortunately, many diseases also cause a lack of appetite. So it is good to get a full check up.

Have you recently had a full blood test done? Certain Vitamin deficiencies lead to lack of appetite, like zinc and thiamine. Perhaps try to boost those with additional supplements and eat your favorite foods. Perhaps read up on how to boost your ghrelin.

Good luck, I really hope you find out what is going on.

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8 hours ago, summerseeker said:

What does your daily food diary look like ? Can you give us a little more information. I say this because I am wondering why you are nibbling on a Tomato ? Are you dry heaving because you have an empty tummy ?

I find a mixed salad easier to digest, hence the nibbling on a Tomato 🍅.

Breakfast is usually a poached egg. Maybe a 1/2 small slice of toast to mop up the egg, but 2 bites of the toast, and I am full.

I sometimes will do a berry smoothie with a Protein Powder, but it takes me all morning to finish it, and then it's lunchtime, and I am stuffed.

lunch varies, as where I work provides free meals. They are different each day, and it's a choice of 2 Soups, 3 or 4 hot dishes, vegetable sides, a salad bar, sandwiches and a selection of fruit. So, Soup is good, fruit is ok, and everything else is meh. But I try to force myself to have some fish or chicken.

I don't cope with high Protein very well, like red meat, as I still get dumping syndrome. Large amount of sugars will do the same thing. I had a couple of bites of a muffin the other day, and nearly passed out in the bathroom. Absolutely drenched in a cold sweat, my vision went dark and the room was spinning. My heart was absolutely racing, and I had terrible diarrhoea. From experience, it usually lasts about 1/2 hour, and I just ride it out.

My evening meal is often non existent. I am just not hungry. I hadn't thought of the dry retching as a symptom of an empty stomach.. that's a strong possibility. I never throw anything up, because my tummy is empty.

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Im not years out so cannot offer any suggestions or advice, but I have noticed at only 3 months out I sometimes will lose my appetite after only a few bites. Sometimes I am ok and can get about a tablespoon in but on those weird days when I just cannot stomach eating I have to literally ask my family members to take my plate out of the room after only a few bites because I get to a point where seeing the uneaten food on the plate makes me want to throw up. Its weird....its not all the time every meal but it happens enough that it makes me wonder why its happening and whether it will be long term or not.

Im curious if you started out this way or if it was just like that from the beginning and has spilled out the same over the years?

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Posted (edited)

I’m three years out & I have times I’m not hungry. Recently had a month of being hungry not hungry but I’m a little sadly back to my usual eating. I go out often & order an entree or a main depending on the restaurant. An entree is about the right serving size for me & when I have a main I regularly only eat a bit more than half. (I’m not afraid to ask for a doggy bag.)

I am aware that I’m more likely to get the foamies or for my restriction to kick in when I dine out. I think a lot of it is a psychological thing for me though: I consciously or subconsciously get anxious it might happen & so it does. Doesn’t stop me going out though. I wonder if some of your reactions are similar - psychological - especially as there doesn’t appear to be a physical reason as yet???

When my dad had a mega chemo dose to wipe out his immune system before undertaking stem cell replacement, he developed psychologically induced nausea & vomiting. His haematologist explained it as being a learnt behavioural response. He had had such terrible nausea & vomiting his mind & body expected he’d always be nauseous & vomit. Apparently it’s a bit like people continuing to experience sea legs when they get back on dry land & they bounce & sway about as the mind & body think they’re still on a boat & need to move with the waves. (I’ve experienced that - it’s a really strange feeling.)

It’s just a thought. Our mind & bodies can react in many weird & unexpected ways. I hope this can be sorted out for you soon.

Where in Queensland are you?

Edited by Arabesque

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10 hours ago, Saxons said:

I find a mixed salad easier to digest, hence the nibbling on a Tomato 🍅.

Breakfast is usually a poached egg. Maybe a 1/2 small slice of toast to mop up the egg, but 2 bites of the toast, and I am full.

I sometimes will do a berry smoothie with a Protein Powder, but it takes me all morning to finish it, and then it's lunchtime, and I am stuffed.

lunch varies, as where I work provides free meals. They are different each day, and it's a choice of 2 Soups, 3 or 4 hot dishes, vegetable sides, a salad bar, sandwiches and a selection of fruit. So, Soup is good, fruit is ok, and everything else is meh. But I try to force myself to have some fish or chicken.

I don't cope with high Protein very well, like red meat, as I still get dumping syndrome. Large amount of sugars will do the same thing. I had a couple of bites of a muffin the other day, and nearly passed out in the bathroom. Absolutely drenched in a cold sweat, my vision went dark and the room was spinning. My heart was absolutely racing, and I had terrible diarrhoea. From experience, it usually lasts about 1/2 hour, and I just ride it out.

My evening meal is often non existent. I am just not hungry. I hadn't thought of the dry retching as a symptom of an empty stomach.. that's a strong possibility. I never throw anything up, because my tummy is empty.

That's really unusual for a sleeve patient to have dumping like that.

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12 hours ago, Saxons said:

I find a mixed salad easier to digest, hence the nibbling on a Tomato 🍅.

Breakfast is usually a poached egg. Maybe a 1/2 small slice of toast to mop up the egg, but 2 bites of the toast, and I am full.

I sometimes will do a berry smoothie with a Protein Powder, but it takes me all morning to finish it, and then it's lunchtime, and I am stuffed.

lunch varies, as where I work provides free meals. They are different each day, and it's a choice of 2 Soups, 3 or 4 hot dishes, vegetable sides, a salad bar, sandwiches and a selection of fruit. So, Soup is good, fruit is ok, and everything else is meh. But I try to force myself to have some fish or chicken.

I don't cope with high Protein very well, like red meat, as I still get dumping syndrome. Large amount of sugars will do the same thing. I had a couple of bites of a muffin the other day, and nearly passed out in the bathroom. Absolutely drenched in a cold sweat, my vision went dark and the room was spinning. My heart was absolutely racing, and I had terrible diarrhoea. From experience, it usually lasts about 1/2 hour, and I just ride it out.

My evening meal is often non existent. I am just not hungry. I hadn't thought of the dry retching as a symptom of an empty stomach.. that's a strong possibility. I never throw anything up, because my tummy is empty.

When you don't want to eat a meal, how about trying a tiny pack of Jerky, or simply a Protein yogurt. This is what I do. That way I get to my protein goal. You need to kick start your appetite

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On 8/14/2022 at 5:43 PM, SleeverSk said:

That's really unusual for a sleeve patient to have dumping like that.

I know right? I thought it only happened to gastric bypass patients. My surgeon has explained that, although I still have a stomach (albeit a tiny one), I can still have rapid stomach motility. And the suspects are high level sugars (explains the muffin), and high Protein without carbohydrates added. And not chewing my food thoroughly, so my stomach doesn't dump a whole chunk of protein at once.

I try to follow all the directions, but after 4 years, you slip up now and then! I had blood tests done 2 weeks ago and they were perfect.

Its just that the dumping, combined with the dry retching is miserable. I wish I had known...

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On 8/14/2022 at 1:46 PM, Crisscat said:

Im not years out so cannot offer any suggestions or advice, but I have noticed at only 3 months out I sometimes will lose my appetite after only a few bites. Sometimes I am ok and can get about a tablespoon in but on those weird days when I just cannot stomach eating I have to literally ask my family members to take my plate out of the room after only a few bites because I get to a point where seeing the uneaten food on the plate makes me want to throw up. Its weird....its not all the time every meal but it happens enough that it makes me wonder why its happening and whether it will be long term or not.

Im curious if you started out this way or if it was just like that from the beginning and has spilled out the same over the years?

The dry retching seems to have started straight after the surgery. I can go a week and not suffer it, then I'll have it a few times a day, every day for another week or so. I worried I had a stricture, but my post endoscopies are normal.

And I am the same... sometimes just looking at food crushes my appetite, and I just can't and don't want to eat anything. On those occasions, I try a couple of small spoons of yoghurt, but not milk .. that does make me throw up! It could be psychological I guess, but I have no idea why.

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