Gastric By-pass Surgery My Testimony 20 years Post Op
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The Dangers of Gastric Bypass Surgery

and the road to better health through good nutrition.
by JoBeth aka Sparkles

Isn't it amazing what we do to our bodies in this... "NEED to be perfect world."?
Isn't it ironic that we allow others to form our own self worth?
Maybe you don't... But I sure do.. I struggle with it daily.
I don't want to care how others look or think of me...but surely I must...
Or it would not matter if I went to the grocery store with out makeup. lol

In this Testimony I shed myself of all pride...
So that I might save someone from making the same mistake.
Below to your left is a picture of me before my surgery in 1984... I weighed in at 269 lbs
And no that isn't my child.. To your right is a picture of me taken 15 yrs. after my surgery. Christmas 1999.
Yes it does look like a success story...But here is where the story goes bad.
What you can't see here is 15 yr's of yo-yo dieting with the Atkins diet and years of diet pills.
And yes... this is after my surgery....15 yrs of being very sick.

What the Doctors don't tell you.

First of all you can go to thousands of Web sites that promote the wonders of this incredible surgery.
But something you won't see are long range success stories...
I have yet to find a Gastric Bypass success story that is more then 8 yrs. old on line.
I think the reasons are clear... This surgery doesn't work... and will make you extremely unhealthy.
What the doctors don't tell you are the horrible risks involved
and the complications that we live with for the rest of our lives.
Complications Complications Gastric Bypass Malpractice
Below are pictures of me taken on June 6th 2004 My health had deteriorated drasticly
These Pictures are a perfect example of what Gastric By-pass Surgery
combined with the Atkins diet will do to you... In 5 yrs. I aged 20.
Hey here is something that most Doctors don't boast about...
Even after the surgery... Most people can't get that last 40 to 50lbs off
and some Doctors might say:
"Well ya know.. 40 to 50 lbs. over weight is better then 100 or more lbs. over weight".
I say yes but at what cost to us?... Doctors don't tell you is the International Bariatric Surgery Registry estimates at least 1 in 1,000 patients will die within 4 weeks of the surgery and 3 in 1,000 will die within 3 months. Some surgeons in the field put the fatality rate as high as 1 in 100 for those who have the surgery. Other, less-extreme risks still exist. That 10% to 20% of patients who have weight-loss surgery require follow-up operations to correct Complications and nearly 30 percent of patients who have weight-loss surgery develop nutritional deficiencies such as anemia, osteoporosis, and metabolic bone disease to name a few... These deficiencies usually can be avoided if vitamin and mineral intakes are high enough.
Unfortunately here is where the problem lies... Once you have surgery...How are we supposed to get our daily nutrition if it goes right though us?.. No matter what you take or eat... It is hard to know just what you are really able to digest or what is going straight through you. ... I myself have suffered from many of these complications and at the moment am dealing with another serious illness brought on by my surgery...
and one that is very common with those of us who have had this Gastric By-pass.
Leaky Gut Syndrome Leaky Gut Syndrome Leaky Gut Syndrome

The pictures below were taken I am copying the following from Gastric Bypass Netfirms
This is something I feel everyone should read before having this surgery.

Things to think about when you are considering Weight Loss Surgery

A Gastric Bypass is not only a 'stomach stapling' as the media is fond of calling it. It's also an intestinal bypass. In a proximal bypass (like Carnie Wilson had), only about 20 inches of small intestine is bypassed but that includes the Duodenum in which most of the absorption of vitamins and minerals takes place.

This means that even with a small amount of intestine bypassed, the post op might develop vitamin and mineral deficiencies. Calcium deficiency: The only place the body can take in calcium is in the duodenum part of the small intestine - this is totally bypassed in all gastric bypasses except the 'duodenal switch' (in which 2 inches are left - probably not enough to do any more than absorb some sugar and prevent 'dumping'). This means that no matter how much calcium supplements you take, research has shown that your body might not be able to access it. And this means, you have a strong probability of coming down with osteoporosis sometime after the sixth year post op.

The newest studies show that gastric bypass patients lack a hormone called "Ghrelin" in their bloodstream. This hormone is known to encourage the production of "human growth hormone". The lack of this hormone (and consequently no HGH) in gastric bypass patients may explain the fact that most seem to age greatly after their gastric bypass. HGH is considered the key factor in our aging process - the less we have, the more we age. You will have to supplement other vitamins like B12 and iron for the rest of your life. B12 is best taken in 'shots'. This is because your digestive system no longer digests or absorbs many vitamins and nutriants.

You might have to go back to the hospital for repeat surgeries for hernias, bowel obstruction (this is very painful until you have the surgery done) and scopes (tubes down your throat to see if all if ok). Some WLS post ops also have a lot of plastic surgery because the original surgery does not give them the svelte figure they imagined it would. Gastric bypass patients don't have much appetite because it is difficult to eat and they often are nauscious. Think of eating food when the opening for the food to leave the pouch is very very small. Everything has to be chewed very well. Because if it gets stuck in the opening leading to the small gut, it can cause very intense pain until it dissolves. Occasionally patients have to go to the hospital to get the food removed surgically.

Bad gut bugs: After your stomach is made very small, it will not produce much acid anymore. This is done to save acid from burning your esophagus but the down side is that the bacteria in the food do not get killed and can get into the blood stream. This is called Leaky Gut Syndrome and is suspected to cause autoimmune disorders like LUPUS, rheumatoid arthritis and even in rare cases, multiple sclerosis. Since you may have a lot of bacteria getting into your blood, you might be sick more often after weight loss surgery.

Restrictive diet and exercise: Some people go into surgery because they think the procedure will work automatically. The reality is that after the first year, gastric bypass patients will likely face dieting and exercise to maintain their new physique. The restrictive diet includes no fat, no sugar - much more restrictive than is necessary without surgery! (The "Hebrew Study" showed that 25 % of those patients surveyed, gained back all their weight within 6 years. Only 7 % of those surveyed kept off ALL the weight that they lost)

Some post ops who are four and five years out from surgery, do stay fairly thin but only because they have a lot of physical problems. Be careful that you aren't exchanging one set of problems for another.
Cancer will make you thin also but that doesn't mean it's something a person would want to have.

Weight Loss Surgery will not fix depression. As a matter of fact, prolonged starvation (which you will experience, eating 500-1000 calories a day and not absorbing much in the way of nutriants) has been observed to cause depression.
The reason you start to gain weight after a year or so, is because your body has set your metabolism way down due to the prolonged starvation for the first year. Your body does this by cannibalizing it's own muscles and even parts of organs. There is a growing body of evidence that starvation can cause brain damage and a lessening of mental abilities as well. This would make sense as the brain is not necessary to maintain life. (Some surgeons suggest doing tests to make sure your body is burning muscle and organ parts - instead of fat - so that you get the proper amount of protein in those months after surgery when you are not eating very much... see the Scopinaro study on )

According to what statistics are known (although the gastric bypass has been being done for over 40 years, not many long term post ops are to be found), about 1 out of every 200 who has the surgery, dies from complications. There is also some evidence that many deaths during the first year after surgery may be attributed to other causes like 'obesity'. This would possibly make the statistics incorrect i.e. the death rate might be and probably is, much higher than those selling the surgery are willing to admit. Success stories on websites are usually newly post op. All diets have their group of 'camp followers' who are successful with the diet and say its great. Weight Loss surgery (which IS a diet) is no different. But most of the camp followers are less than three years out from surgery.

Some rheumatogists seem to feel that the high prevailence of rheumatoid arthritis, joint disease and the like they see in post op WLS patients IS connected to the surgery. A rare complication also seen a few years after surgery is a partial paralysis, usually of the legs called "neuropathy". B12 deficiency can cause autoimmune disease like LUPUS.
Reversing the procedure: Today's surgeries are meant to be permanent. This is because in most of them, the stomach is partially destroyed. This is why surgeons talk about a "take down" rather than a reversal. A person requiring a takedown usually has a difficult time finding a surgeon to DO one. A person should realize that once they have had the surgery, even with a 'takedown' they will have repercussions for the rest of their lives.
Is Surgery the only way? Will you die without it? Numerous studies of obese people show that if they exercise and eat a reasonably healthy diet, they can remain large and still be healthy. Programs like "Susan Powter" allow for unlimited quantities of many foods and will take anyone's size down to within the so called "average range". If you have a proximal gastric bypass, you will probably begin gaining weight after 12 to 18 months. For this reason, some patients have distal bypasses and BPD (bileopancreatic diversions). In this type of bypass, over 50 percent of the small intestine is bypassed, not that much different from the old (and dangerous) intestinal bypass! If you have this drastic surgery, there is a good chance that you might develop severe nutritional deficiencies due to lack of absorption. Many surgeons will not do distal bypasses and BPDs for this reason. Although they've refined the operation somewhat by closing off the bypassed intestine, there are no guarantees of not having the nasty side effects seen in the older surgeries.

Liver failure: patients are told that the old 'intestinal bypass' is no longer done due to the high incidence of liver failure in patients. However, many post op gastric bypass patients have elevated liver enzymes, a sign of liver damage. There are no guarantees that the gastric bypass won't also cause liver failure long term.

Stomach Cancer: According to medical books, anyone whose stomach is cut open, cut in two or surgically modified (called a 'gastrectomy') is of much higher risk for stomach cancer.

According to the ASBS website: "Any procedure involving malabsorption must be considered at risk to develop at least some of the malabsorptive complications exemplified by JIB (jejuno-ileal bypass). " All gastric bypasses work partially through malabsorption
So the following complications might (according to the ASBS) be seen with the modern gastric bypass:
Listing of jejuno-ileal bypass complications:
Mineral and Electrolyte Imbalance: Decreased serum sodium, potassium, magnesium and bicarbonate. Osteoporosis and osteomalacia secondary to protein depletion, calcium and vitamin D loss, and acidosis,

Protein Calorie Malnutrition: Hair loss, anemia, edema, and vitamin depletion

Enteric Complications: Abdominal distension, irregular diarrhea, increased flatus, pneumatosis intestinalis, colonic pseudo-obstruction, bypass enteropathy, volvulus with mechanical small bowel obstruction.

Extra-intestinal Manifestations: Arthritis, Acute liver failure may occur in the postoperative period, and may lead to death acutely following surgery. Liver disease, occurs in at least 30% Steatosis, "alcoholic" type hepatitis, cirrhosis, occurs in 5%, progresses to cirrhosis and death in 1-2% Erythema Nodosum, non-specific pustular dermatosis Weber-Christian Syndrome

Renal Disease: (in other words, kidney disease and kidney failure) Hyperoxaluria, with oxalate stones or interstitial oxalate deposits, immune complex nephritis, "functional" renal failure.

Miscellaneous: Peripheral neuropathy, pericarditis. pleuritis, hemolytic anemia, neutropenia, and thrombocytopenia.

It should be noted that all surgeries are not equal. A new surgery, the Adjustable Band, has just been approved by the FDA. This is the most often done weight loss surgery in Europe. Although there are not statistics on long term repercussions, this surgery, unlike the others IS reversible as the stomach is not destroyed in any way. The band is not complication free by any means and there is some evidence that it's rather uncomfortable to live with at times, however, the success rates with the adjustable band are similar to those seen with the gastric bypass.

A funny thing happened On my way to a Yahoo Graphic Group...
I met a Nutritionist that saved my life!!
Funny how things happen in life.. How common interests make instant friends.
For that is what happened with Lady Samm and I...
We shared the same graphic groups and I believe it was when I asked Samm if she would mind
me sharing her tubes in one of my own groups...that we started chatting privately through email...
Just small talk and before long Samm was asking for Moderators for her new PSP Group
that she was starting...Well I thought sure.. why not?..It would just mean a few emails a day...

The following weeks Samm started sharing with us all about nutrition... Well I have to tell you..
every time she would send something about the food I loved being bad for me...
I would just roll my eyes and delete.... LOL I have never been health conscience... Obviously!..
On May 24th 2004 Lady Samm did a talk on the ATKINS diet and that day my whole world changed.
I can remember thinking to myself... OMG! This is me!.. I sat down and wrote the following letter.

Okay... here it is.. The dreaded Topic... Atkins Diet.
I knew it was coming.... Sigh... I have a confession to make.
I have been an Atkins fan for several years now...
I have lost tons of weight... Well several hundreds of pounds over the years...
Recently 45 lbs and have maintained it by staying on low carbs...
I am 5'10 and weigh 165 lbs now... Sometimes I look at pics of me and I look sickly
I once weighed 269 lbs 18 years ago... I took the drastic step of having my stomach stapled
and lost 80lbs over night... only to find me slowly putting the weight back on over the yrs.
Now even though I can only eat less in quantity...I can easily put the weight back on
due to the foods I choose to eat... Thus the Atkins diet seemed like the most glorious solution!
I had energy again.. and I felt great!... For a while.... However yes the side effects!!!!
I have experienced them all. And now I am beginning to see why.
But I am sooo scared Samm... I don't want to get fat again...
And the apples and greens sometimes do not set well in my tiny stomach.
Another thing that I have been dealing with for years now is Chronic vaginitis.
Well the doctor says it is a bacterial infection that I have been treated for
time and time again. It seems to go away for a while... only to come back.
I have used Monistat to the point of just wanting to buy the company
and have recently tried using Amino-Cerv and Relagard both used for Bacterial Vaginosis.
or as the doctors call it... Gardnerella Nothing works... and the Doctors are all puzzled.
I do know of course not to use anything but white toilet paper and to be careful when
wiping.. LOl sorry had to mention that... I also do not wear panties at night.
I've done everything I can... have taken pills.. creams... Acidophilus... nothing works..
Could this all be related to the Atkins diet? It sure would put it all into perspective.
I have stopped drinking diet pops... and believe me that was hard...
Now.. Please tell me...I hate asking because I know you get lots of mail and my goodness...
You are not my doctor... But when you have time... Could you give me some good advice
on what to do here?...
The infections make me feel like crud and I want to feel good again.
I have forgotten how it feels to be healthy. I will make a trip to the health food store today!
I share this with all of you... So we can learn together. Bigg huggs JoBeth

With in minutes Lady Samm was calling me from Canada and the words she told me shook me to the core.
What She shared with me was that I had what is known as Leaky Gut Syndrome...
And she went into full explanation of what is was and the reason why Doctors don't diagnose it.
She told me that I had to do 3 things...
1. I had to stop doing the Atkins diet... This was a must as it was contributing to the leaky gut...
2. I was to start taking a mega dose of Acidophilus She explained how I the stores only carry small doses of Acidophilus and that I need a mega dose... that I could take the whole bottle and it would not hurt me.
3. She told me that she was sending me a 6 page evaluation and that I was to fill it out and send it back to her ASAP. It took me 4 days to fill that evaluation out... The brain fog that I had from going off the Atkins diet was severe.. but Lady Samm was patient, and called me several times throughout the next few weeks... working with me one on one.. Understanding my thoughts even when I could not put them into perspective.

Suddenly I understood all the symptoms I had and why.. My high blood pressure.. My anemia. and need to have 3 blood transfusions over the years..which lead to a Hysterectomy... Why I kept chronic infections and NOTHING helped... Why I felt like I was being poisoned each time I ate something...Why I had been so sick for so many years...

Lady Samm helped me to see everything clearly for the first time in years...
Well I started taking the Acidophilus right away and I noticed within days that the water pill I had been taking for years.. I no longer needed... I also noticed that my High blood pressure was no longer high...I also no longer had problems with bowel movements... I no longer need to take medication for leg cramps...
I was amazed!... I had my Mom and Aunty on it too and we were all amazed. lol... It's something EVERYONE should take. I started eating healthier... watching the things I was putting into my mouth...
Samm suggested yogurt, and lots of greens, apples and many things I had gotten away from eating while on the Atkins diet.
I also started taking a very good Multi vitamin in capsule form and exercising everyday.
On July 26th,, Just 2 months into my new life plan.. Lady Samm sent in a topic on the Endocrine system ...
The following letter is what I wrote to Lady Samm:

Thanks hon... You sure hit the nail on the head
Yes I have a large amount of those very symptoms ...Almost all of them!!!
acne, allergies, arthritis, brittle nails, candida, cystic breast( were really bad) and you know what!!!!
I just checked them and OMG!!! They are almost all gone!!!!
Honey I have had them since i was 13 years old!!!
My Doctors would always ask me... Have you always had those cysts or should l be concerned?
and ovaries(had a Hysterectomy because of multiple cysts on my ovaries... some chocolate cysts???)
dry skin,eczema, fatigue,,(still find myself very tired at times but think it is more related to all the stress in my life I am working on it...) fluid retention,(not as bad as it used to be due to acidophilus) high cholesterol, hypertension, (My blood pressure is now normal!)
sensitivity to cold and heat. low immune system, nervous impairment, mental disorders, (depression not so bad now either) muscle weakness, overweight, PMS, ridge nails..... I will admit that the majority of these symptoms have gotten much better and I am working on a more healthier me...
As you always say... " When You know better... You do better..." and that my Dear should be your tag line for your new Nutritionally Yours Campaign "Nutritionally Yours because ...When You know better... You do better..." Looking forward to learning more... Again Thanks!!!
Lady Samm again called me emediately and I was laughing and screaming into the phone.
"OMG.. OMG they are all gone!... This is unbelieveable!We were both laughing. lol
As you can see I have only been on my new life plan for less 6 months..But a picture speaks a 1000 words.
I still have my down days and I still eat the occasional bad foods... but I am on the right track... and I have my life back...
Thanks to a dear friend... Lady Samm. She has been more then a Nutritionist to me...she has done all this for NO MONEY... and she does it for thousands of others daily... If you are sick and tired of being sick and tired.
I encourage you to check out her site and find out more for yourself....
Because as Lady Samm says...When you know better... You do better.

This is something Lady Samm made me realize... The more I talked to her...The more I listened and researched...
The more I realized how I was a ~MIRACLE~... and that My need to be perfect has left me with life long battles.
And the only way for me to be healthy again is through GOOD NUTRITION and exercise.

If you would like to know more about nutrition and being a healthier you...
COMPLETELY FREE!!!. No Strings!!... Honest!...Click on the following URL's:

I Want It all... I Want It all Info... Nutritionally Yours...

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