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Post Op: Struggling a little



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I’m 4 days out from gastric sleeve and hiatal hernia repair as of today. Woke up a little dehydrated this morning and not feeling great. Yesterday was the first day I missed my Water goal. (yes I had other things that contribute to my water, but I’ve been pretty good about getting 64 oz plus those other liquids)

I have had super low energy today - sleeping way more than normal.

I’m working hard to get my water in but no matter how much I drink my mouth seems dry - and this stubborn headache won’t go away.

Today has thrown me for quite a loop because I expected to feel better day 4 than I did day 2 and that is not the case. The day after surgery I was walking around the ward and feeling relatively good - considering the surgery. I was up and around and went for a short walk on day 2. Day 3 I didn’t do as much but I did get time in on the recumbent bike - energy level was low, so I thought I could take it easier on the bike and still hit my movement goal.

I have been getting my water in ok today - despite the nausea when I got up earlier, had a frozen juice popsicle and that went down ok. Had some Protein Soup (broth only with protein powder) - powder was not the best with that broth, but I got it down. I’m struggling with the shakes today (which I usually have no issues with - but today they aren’t appealing).

I struggle with artificial sweeteners - they upset my stomach and can trigger headaches, so I’m limited in some of the options I have during my liquid phase. The yogurts suggested are of course the ones with artificial sweetener which makes them not ideal on a day I’m already not feeling well. Which eliminates yogurt based smoothies that are suggested in place of a store bought shake.

Can anyone tell me if you experienced anything like this your first week? I’m still on full liquids, transition to purées Wednesday. Maybe it’s the low calories kicking my butt energy wise? I’m struggling to even hit 800 calories, my goals are 800-1200 … I’m getting about 770-780 most days. I don’t think it’s a Keto flue because I’m allowed fruit juice and I use that for popsicles. I haven’t had caffeine in months so I don’t think it’s withdraw from that either.

I’ll call my nutritionist Monday if I’m still not feeling well, but since it’s the weekend I thought I would ask if others experienced anything similar and how you got through.

Any suggestions or advice appreciate. Thanks in advance.

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I believe both headache and nausea are both signs of dehydration. Is it possible the headache is not from the sweeteners? Is the nausea unexplained? If you have other signs such as dark urine you may need to get some fluids via iv. I would first try to call your team to see if they can arrange for it as an out patient. They should have someone on call to answer on the weekends but I’m not sure if they can arrange for fluids after hours. If you can’t get that then you should really consider going to the ER.

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On 08/20/2022 at 18:49, ShoppGirl said:



I believe both headache and nausea are both signs of dehydration. Is it possible the headache is not from the sweeteners? Is the nausea unexplained? If you have other signs such as dark urine you may need to get some fluids via iv. I would first try to call your team to see if they can arrange for it as an out patient. They should have someone on call to answer on the weekends but I’m not sure if they can arrange for fluids after hours. If you can’t get that then you should really consider going to the ER.


It’s not impossible - but my urine is still on the pale side (not as light as yesterday but still pale). I’ll give them a call and see what they suggest. I’d rather stay ahead of things then feel worse and wish I had called.

Thank you!

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11 minutes ago, LookingForward22 said:

It’s not impossible - but my urine is still on the pale side (not as light as yesterday but still pale). I’ll give them a call and see what they suggest. I’d rather stay ahead of things then feel worse and wish I had called.

Thank you!

I’m pretty sure if your urine is light then your hydrated but of course I am not a doctor. If the headache could be explained by the sweeteners and your urine is light that just leaves the nausea that’s unexplained. It couldn’t hurt to give them a ring. At the very least they can give you something to take for the nausea.

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I did reach out and heard back, there’s a possibility it’s my irritable bowel acting up from all the Protein (slowing things down). That can sometimes make me feel nauseous. So I’m starting some Miralax tonight and will continue through tomorrow. I’ll check in with my regular dietitian on Monday.

If I feel worse they suggested some Dulcolax - but encouraged me to keep up with the Water and as much movement as I can to help. The artificial sweeteners may not be helping either, but my regular nutritionist would be the person to make any changes to my diet plan so I will see what she has to say.

Thanks for the feedback it was very helpful!!

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We’re all different but I was barely eating 200-300 calories for the first weeks (I wasn’t given caloric goals). I only got to about 900 at 6 months. You’ve only just had your surgery so take the time you need to reach your goals. My surgeon was happy if I was getting closer & making an effort. If you’re close to getting your fluids in you really shouldn’t be experiencing dehydration but it’s still important to watch out for. Don’t worry if you miss your goal/s one day, as long as that’s an odd occurrence & not a regular one you’ll be ok.

Headaches & nausea aren’t that uncommon this soon after surgery. The stress & anxiety of the surgery & then worrying if you are doing the right thing contribute plus you may be experiencing some withdrawal type symptoms too because of the restricted diet. If it persists, & reduces your ability to get your Protein & fluids in, contact your surgeon.

Many of us experience changes in our sense of smell & taste over the first weeks. Many find the shake they enjoyed before surgery is suddenly disgusting. It can affect your reaction to any food. Some can become excessively sweet or salty. Then there will be days when your tummy says nope don’t like to something you regularly ate/drank. If that happens, avoid it for a few days even a week or so & try it again. Your tummy is just sensitive & fussy while it is healing - I described mine as being like a petulant, temper throwing 2 yr old.

Artificial sweeteners are awful. I try to avoid them where I can but they seem to be in almost everything. I loved when foods became crazy sweet & used the time to eradicate any craving for sugar/sweet. I only have a small amount of sugar (<10g added sugar) or sweetened food in my diet (yoghurt & protein bar only). Instead of yoghurt, what about make your own smoothie from protein powders & milk? You can better control the ingredients that way.

These things all pass. Just give yourself time to heal from the surgery & feel more comfortable & confident with the changes & how you’re managing them.


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On 08/21/2022 at 00:03, Arabesque said:



We’re all different but I was barely eating 200-300 calories for the first weeks (I wasn’t given caloric goals). I only got to about 900 at 6 months. You’ve only just had your surgery so take the time you need to reach your goals. My surgeon was happy if I was getting closer & making an effort. If you’re close to getting your fluids in you really shouldn’t be experiencing dehydration but it’s still important to watch out for. Don’t worry if you miss your goal/s one day, as long as that’s an odd occurrence & not a regular one you’ll be ok.




Headaches & nausea aren’t that uncommon this soon after surgery. The stress & anxiety of the surgery & then worrying if you are doing the right thing contribute plus you may be experiencing some withdrawal type symptoms too because of the restricted diet. If it persists, & reduces your ability to get your Protein & fluids in, contact your surgeon.




Many of us experience changes in our sense of smell & taste over the first weeks. Many find the shake they enjoyed before surgery is suddenly disgusting. It can affect your reaction to any food. Some can become excessively sweet or salty. Then there will be days when your tummy says nope don’t like to something you regularly ate/drank. If that happens, avoid it for a few days even a week or so & try it again. Your tummy is just sensitive & fussy while it is healing - I described mine as being like a petulant, temper throwing 2 yr old.




Artificial sweeteners are awful. I try to avoid them where I can but they seem to be in almost everything. I loved when foods became crazy sweet & used the time to eradicate any craving for sugar/sweet. I only have a small amount of sugar (<10g added sugar) or sweetened food in my diet (yoghurt & protein bar only). Instead of yoghurt, what about make your own smoothie from Protein powders & milk? You can better control the ingredients that way.




These things all pass. Just give yourself time to heal from the surgery & feel more comfortable & confident with the changes & how you’re managing them.









Thank you! This was helpful, reminding me to listen to my body and stick to the basics. I’m hoping once I get to purées and have more Whole Foods to work with some of the problems resolve them selves.

I was over my protein goal Friday and about 15 oz short on my Water. Today I was over on my water about 20 grams short on my protein. I definitely need to make hydration the top priority, protein my next and not worry quite so much about calories.

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17 hours ago, LookingForward22 said:

Thank you! This was helpful, reminding me to listen to my body and stick to the basics. I’m hoping once I get to purées and have more Whole Foods to work with some of the problems resolve them selves.

I was over my Protein goal Friday and about 15 oz short on my Water. Today I was over on my Water about 20 grams short on my protein. I definitely need to make hydration the top priority, protein my next and not worry quite so much about calories.

You've got it. Absolutely this!

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On 08/21/2022 at 18:05, Spinoza said:






You've got it. Absolutely this!


Thank you. Today has been rough. My daughter birthday part was today - on the upside not feeling well none of the food was appealing to me so there was no temptation or craving.

I’ve pretty much confirmed my problem is constipation. So I’m trying to move as much as I can and drink as much Water as I can. I’m not worried about Protein or calories until I get things moving - or I talk to my regular team tomorrow.

Hopefully I’ll be feeling better by tomorrow and can get back on track.

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I completely understand the issue with artificial sweetners, they are a Migraine trigger for me. I had a 10 day migraine that was hard to break and finally talked to the nutritionist about how this was a problem. She gave me alternatives to use for sweetening smoothies, tea, etc. if I want to.

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On 08/21/2022 at 19:23, St77 said:



I completely understand the issue with artificial sweetners, they are a Migraine trigger for me. I had a 10 day Migraine that was hard to break and finally talked to the nutritionist about how this was a problem. She gave me alternatives to use for sweetening smoothies, tea, etc. if I want to.


My plan is to call my dietician tomorrow and see what options I might have.

Today I was told by the intern on call to just focus on staying hydrated with Water and juice - or whatever I could tolerate, move as much as I can and recommend some OTC meds to try to help things along - beyond what I already tried.

Wednesday I start purées and I’m hoping that I can incorporate more options to help keep my system happy.

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On 8/21/2022 at 11:51 PM, LookingForward22 said:

My plan is to call my dietician tomorrow and see what options I might have.

Today I was told by the intern on call to just focus on staying hydrated with Water and juice - or whatever I could tolerate, move as much as I can and recommend some OTC meds to try to help things along - beyond what I already tried.

Wednesday I start purées and I’m hoping that I can incorporate more options to help keep my system happy.

I was pretty tired and nauseous during the liquid phase. I struggled with reaching my Water goals, and I'm sure that made me more tired. And I absolutely cannot do the Protein Drinks.

Once I started eating pureed food I mostly felt better, although I still have off days. So I hope you are doing better now that you are having purées.

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On 8/27/2022 at 8:28 AM, Sunnyer said:

I was pretty tired and nauseous during the liquid phase. I struggled with reaching my Water goals, and I'm sure that made me more tired. And I absolutely cannot do the Protein Drinks.

Once I started eating pureed food I mostly felt better, although I still have off days. So I hope you are doing better now that you are having purées.

Sunnyer - I am the same and unable to stomach Protein Drinks. I am still pre-op and am very worried about this going forward. I am allergic to milk and eggs and get very sick, so in addition to the allergy I also have an aversion to things that are creamy even if they aren't milk based because of how sick the milk makes me.

How are you getting in your Protein during the liquid phase?

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3 minutes ago, SleeveMeToIt said:

Sunnyer - I am the same and unable to stomach Protein Drinks. I am still pre-op and am very worried about this going forward. I am allergic to milk and eggs and get very sick, so in addition to the allergy I also have an aversion to things that are creamy even if they aren't milk based because of how sick the milk makes me.

How are you getting in your Protein during the liquid phase?

Can you have clear Protein drinks? ? I hated the sweetness of shakes post surgery so the clear protein was a blessing. They sell a lot of protein packed Soups on this site that may be worth trying. Many people also mention Bone Broth but I’ve never tried it.

Edited by ShoppGirl

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