Along with a proper diet and consistent exercise, bariatric surgery gives you the best chance to lose massive amounts of excess weight. However, it’s not for everyone: Along with physical guidelines, all potential weight-loss surgery patients need to go through an assessment to see if they qualify. There are emotional considerations as well, including the chance of anger after gastric sleeve, gastric bypass, or other bariatric surgery.
Many weight-loss procedures alter the body directly. In a gastric sleeve, up to 80 percent of the stomach is removed, meaning less food is allowed in at any one time. In other surgeries, part of the small intestine is bypassed or even removed.
Anger After Gastric Sleeve
Many people who have undergone gastric sleeve surgery experience a range of emotions, including anger. The physical and emotional changes that come with drastic weight loss can lead to a wide range of psychological issues. Anger is an emotion that can be difficult to effectively manage, especially since it may be rooted in the physical and emotional changes experienced during the recovery process.
Gastric sleeve surgery affects many areas of the body, although many of those changes start in the stomach and digestive systems. Hormones like ghrelin and leptin increase/decrease the hunger feeling while serotonin helps with our moods. All three are affected after a weight loss surgery.
Have you ever wondered how your body knows when it’s full and when it’s hungry? It all comes down to two hormones – leptin and ghrelin. Leptin, produced by your body’s fat cells, lets your brain know when you’ve had enough to eat. Ghrelin, also known as the hunger hormone, is responsible for making us feel hungry and is made in the stomach.
When leptin levels are low, ghrelin levels increase, and when leptin is produced, ghrelin levels decrease. It’s a delicate dance between the two hormones to make sure your body is getting the energy it needs when it needs it. Interestingly enough, ghrelin levels are greatly reduced when a large portion of the stomach is removed.
Leptin levels have been shown to increase after a weight-loss procedure. So if there is more leptin and less ghrelin, it’s a wonder you’re hungry at all after surgery! The issue is many obese people have low levels of leptin to begin with, so they never reach that feeling of being full. During the first few weeks or even months post-operation, some patients that have an unhealthy relationship with food may be on edge because they never reach that level of satisfaction after eating.
Mood Swings After Bariatric Surgery
Serotonin is primarily found in your digestive system and can impact your mood–a lot. A diet that is high in carbohydrates can increase serotonin production, while proteins can block this response in the brain. This is particularly important for those who have undergone bariatric surgery, as a high-protein and low-carb diet can result in low levels of serotonin production.
This, in turn, can lead to feelings of depression and mood swings. It’s crucial to be aware of the role that different foods play in our overall mental health and to make informed decisions about what we put into our bodies. This is true for any weight loss journey, but more so post-bariatric surgery.
Gastric sleeve patients may also experience changes in hormone levels due to malabsorption caused by the surgery. This malabsorption can lead to deficiencies in essential vitamins and minerals that play a role in mood regulation, potentially leading to feelings of irritability or anger.
The emotional impact of gastric sleeve surgery should not be overlooked either. Feelings like shame or guilt may arise from feeling out of control over weight loss goals. Or maybe there’s little support from friends and family that think you took “the easy way out.” But for anyone who has done it, there’s nothing easy about undergoing bariatric surgery and the life-long changes that follow.
Tips and Tricks to Avoid Anger After Gastric Sleeve Surgery
Although this post explores mood changes such as anger post-surgery it doesn’t mean that it’s a guaranteed side effect for all bariatric surgery patients. There are many individuals who don’t experience mood changes whatsoever. Additionally, studies have shown that there is actually greater long-term success mental health-wise following bariatric surgery.
The findings showed a correlation between weight loss surgery and improved mental health over time in comparison to individuals who did not receive surgery. Here are some helpful tips and tricks for avoiding negative mood changes post-op:
- Journaling: Journaling is a great way to acknowledge your feelings and look at them through a separate lens. Quite often we will push aside our feelings or try to instantly invalidate them. However, this can potentially lead to more issues.
- Be kind to yourself: This is absolutely key during your recovery. Many individuals are very hard on themselves, and this can cause especially vulnerable patients to turn to harmful practices like binge eating or substance abuse.
- Get outside: Getting some fresh air can be very helpful for avoiding depressive episodes (and it can help to maintain your weight loss). Those who suffer from depression typically find it difficult to leave the house or even their bed.
- Talk to a loved one: Verbalizing any negative feelings to a loved one is key to avoiding depressive shutdowns. The recovery process can be difficult, and you don’t need to do it alone.
Are you or a loved one thinking about taking the next steps toward weight loss surgery? Contact WeightWise today to learn more about the losing weight process and the bariatric procedures we perform, or even check out our success stories to see for yourself!