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5 days since sleeve… feeling constantly starving



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Hi 👋. New here. I just had my gastric sleeve surgery 5 days ago. Everything seems to be going fine. I’m sticking to it and getting all my fluids and Protein. I have a full feeling but I feel so hungry at the same time. Is this normal? Will it improve after I progress to the next phase? The thought of just chewing something makes me swoon. 🤤

Any thoughts?

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While loss of hunger is a benefit of the surgery, there are some who continue to feel hunger. Distinguishing whether you are experiencing real hunger or head hunger is most important to distinguish which you are experiencing.

Craving a specific food, flavour or texture (like your desire to chew) is head hunger.

If you used food to comfort or sooth yourself in the past during times of stress, anxiety, emotional upsets, hormonal variations, etc. you are likely experiencing head hunger simply because of the (conscious or sub conscious) physical & mental stress of the surgery.

Having hunger pangs/pains is head hunger most of the time. You’re still producing the same amount of stomach acid as you did before surgery in your much smaller tummy which will cause the hunger pangs/pains. It’s why we’re usually prescribed a PPI to reduce the amount of acid for a period of time after surgery until it settles. A rumbling tummy also is not a sign of hunger in most cases - just your digestive system working.

Many nerves are cut during surgery so signals and messages from your tummy to signal things like real hunger either aren’t getting through or are being distorted.

Most of us discover our signals for real hunger are very different from the signals we used to recognise as hunger. I feel restless, like something is wrong & logically there is a real & legitimate reason for being hungry.

All this takes time to recognise & understand & is part of the head work we all talk about you needing to do a long the way. Doesn’t help with your hunger though of course while you’re sorting through all this.

In the meantime, look for a distraction. Try reading, contacting friends or family, crafting, go for a short walk, play a game, check social media, meditate, etc. Sipping a warm drink can be helpful too.

All the best & congrats on your surgery.

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Thank you. That was very helpful. The desire is definitely to chew. The food cravings I have are from Mediterranean cooking accounts on instagram. The salads look amazing. The old me would have liked at sugar and baking that way. At least the food I want is healthy. My surgeon doesn’t want me starting my Vitamins until the 2 week follow up. The rationale is that getting all the Fluid and Protein that I need in a day should be my primary focus and he doesn’t want too much put on me all at once.
im prescribed omeprazole twice daily. I’ve been taking the morning dose but not my evening dose. That also seems to me when I start feeling the “hunger”. I start taking them twice a day as prescribed.

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When I had my sleeve, I never lost my hunger and I didn't really have any restriction. It was mostly learning what I can and can't eat, how often, and when. I had to do the work to retrain my brain because I didn't get the benefit of loss of hunger. I complained about it all the time on here lol I had to have a revision to bypass 13 months later due to complications and while I didn't really lose hunger, there was DEFINITELY a hard stop when it came to how much I could eat and how often.

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Update…I started taking my omeprazole twice a day instead of just in the morning and it absolutely made a difference in how “hungry” I felt. It definitely makes me wonder how long I’ve been interpreting GERD as hunger and just trying to feel myself for it to go away. It’s probably a big factor in what got me in this position in the first place.
Also, today I was advanced to the soft phase and I got to have a 1-2 tbsp meal of cottage cheese and an egg with Italian herbs. I’ve missed savory so much. It was beyond satisfying

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