Monday, March 24, 2008

Real Life is getting in the way......

I'll be away from blogging for awhile.....real life is kicking my ass right now.....all these WLS complications.....

Be back when I feel able.....

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Historical Facts About Easter


Delve into the history and origins of the Christian festival of Easter and you come up with a few surprises. For instance, Easter eggs do not owe their origins to Christianity and originally the festival of Easter itself had nothing to do with Christianity either. A closer look at the history of both Easter and the Easter Egg reveals a much earlier association with pagan ritual and in particular, the pagan rites of spring, dating back into pre history.

For us, the ancient rites celebrating the Spring Equinox are most obviously associated with the mysterious Druids and places like Stone Henge, but most ancient races around the world had similar spring festivals to celebrate the rebirth of the year. The Egg, as a symbol of fertility and re-birth, has been associated with these rites from the earliest times.

The Christian Festival Of Easter

In fact, the festival of Easter is a classic example of the early Christian church adapting an existing pagan ritual to suit their own purposes. The Saxon spring festival of Eostre, was named for their goddess of dawn, and when they came to Britain in about the 5th century AD, the festival came with them along with re-birth and fertility rituals involving eggs, chicks and rabbits. When the Saxons converted to Christianity and started to celebrate the death and the resurrection of Christ, it coincided with Eostre, so that's what the early church called the celebration, Eostre or Easter in modern English.

The actual date that Easter falls on every year is governed by a fairly complex calculation related to the Spring Equinox. The actual formula is: The first Sunday after the first full moon following the Spring Equinox is Easter Sunday or Easter Day. This formula was set by Egyptian astronomers in Alexandra in 235ad, and calculated using the same method as the Jews have traditionally used to calculate the feast of the Passover, which occurred at about the same time as the crucifixion.

Easter Eggs

As well as adopting the festival of Eostre, the Egg, representing fertility and re-birth in pagan times, was also adopted as part of the Christian Easter festival and it came to represent the 'resurrection' or re-birth of Christ after the crucifixion and some believe it is a symbol of the the stone blocking the Sepulchre being 'rolled' away.

In the UK and Europe, the earliest Easter eggs were painted and decorated hen, duck or goose eggs, a practice still carried on in parts of the world today. As time went by, artificial eggs were made and by the end of the 17th century, manufactured eggs were available for purchase at Easter, for giving as Easter gifts and presents.

Easter eggs continued to evolve through the 18th and into the 19th Century, with hollow cardboard Easter eggs filled with Easter gifts and sumptuously decorated, culminating with the fabulous Faberge Eggs. Encrusted with jewels, they were made for the Czar's of Russia by Carl Faberge, a French jeweller. Surely these were the 'ultimate' Easter gift, to buy even a small one now would make you poorer by several millions of pounds.

The Chocolate Easter Egg

It was at about this time (early 1800's) that the first chocolate Easter egg appeared in Germany and France and soon spread to the rest of Europe and beyond. The first chocolate eggs were solid soon followed by hollow eggs. Although making hollow eggs at that time was no mean feat, because the easily worked chocolate we use today didn't exist then, they had to use a paste made from ground roasted Cacao beans.

By the turn of the 19th Century, the discovery of the modern chocolate making process and improved mass manufacturing methods meant that the Chocolate Easter Egg was fast becoming the Easter Gift of choice in the UK and parts of Europe, and by the 1960's it was well established worldwide.

Handmade Chocolate Easter Egg selection

Chocolate Easter gifts & presents

©2004 - Aphrodite Handmade Luxury Chocolates

Have you ever wondered where the celebration of the Christian holiday celebrating the resurrection of Christ acquired its unusual name and odd symbols of colored eggs and rabbits?

The answer lies in the ingenious way that the Christian church absorbed Pagan practices. After discovering that people were more reluctant to give up their holidays and festivals than their gods, they simply incorporated Pagan practices into Christian festivals. As recounted by the Venerable Bede, an early Christian writer, clever clerics copied Pagan practices and by doing so, made Christianity more palatable to pagan folk reluctant to give up their festivals for somber Christian practices.

In second century Europe, the predominate spring festival was a raucous Saxon fertility celebration in honor of the Saxon Goddess Eastre (Ostara), whose sacred animal was a hare.

The colored eggs associated with the bunny are of another, even more ancient origin. The eggs associated with this and other Vernal festivals have been symbols of rebirth and fertility for so long the precise roots of the tradition are unknown, and may date to the beginning of human civilization. Ancient Romans and Greeks used eggs as symbols of fertility, rebirth, and abundance- eggs were solar symbols, and figured in the festivals of numerous resurrected gods.

Pagan fertility festivals at the time of the Spring equinox were common- it was believed that at this time, when day and night were of equal length, male and female energies were also in balance. The hare is often associated with moon goddesses; the egg and the hare together represent the god and the goddess, respectively.

Moving forward fifteen hundred years, we find ourselves in Germany, where children await the arrival of Oschter Haws, a rabbit who will lay colored eggs in nests to the delight of children who discover them Easter morning. It was this German tradition that popularized the 'Easter bunny' in America, when introduced into the American cultural fabric by German settlers in Pennsylvania.

Many modern practitioners of Neo-pagan and earth-based religions have embraced these symbols as part of their religious practice, identifying with the life-affirming aspects of the spring holiday. (The Neopagan holiday of Ostara is descended from the Saxon festival.) Ironically, some Christian groups have used the presence of these symbols to denounce the celebration of the Easter holiday, and many churches have recently abandoned the Pagan moniker with more Christian oriented titles like 'Resurrection Sunday.'

for more indepth info check here----

Linkages between the equinox, Pagan celebrations & Easter:

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Anatomical Gift--Donating a Body to Science

I can just hear the majority of y'all out there going EWWWW!!!!

If you feel that way based on your particular spiritual beliefs, then don't bother reading further. I respect your beliefs. Just wish more respected mine. That's another post for another day.

I am an Anatomical Donor.

I'm sure many of you out there are organ donors. Here again you may not be, based on your spiritual beliefs. Yet I'm sure that still leaves plenty who are organ donors. I whole hearted believe in being an organ donor. You "Give the Gift of Life" to someone else on your demise. I simply chose to donate my whole body for research purposes instead of the individual organs.

What led me to this decision??

Way back when I was in nursing school. We did several lab classes working with cadavers. There's just so much you can get from book learning. To really grasp the makeup of a human body, it is crucial you see the real thing.

We had a fairly decent sized class but there was a grand total of 3 cadavers to be shared by the entire class. It was very difficult to get all the work done by such a large class with only 3 cadavers at our disposal. After listening to many of us bitch and moan about it, the instructor finally shared with us why.

It seems the general public react the way many of you did when you read the title of this post. Very few people donate their whole body anymore. So many research facilities end up sharing cadavers.

Alabama has one of the nations top rated research universities right in Birmingham , University of Alabama, Birmingham (UAB) and it's medical center. I contacted them and they put me in touch with the proper department. After filling out the required paperwork, presto, I was an Anatomical Donor. After UAB is through with the body it will be passed along to other smaller hospitals. Once they have garnered as much use out of it as possible, the body will be cremated and the ashes given to my son. I carry a donor card in my purse right along with all my IDs. Just had to make sure all my family members were aware of my decision.

There are a number of online anatomical donation sites. There are 2 I would recommend from checking out their websites.

LifeLegacy Foundation


I feel like with my medical history of WLS and Bipolar Disorder, my body would be a fantastic research resource. Check out the sites and hopefully you will want to help by being an Anatomical Donor too.

Monday, March 17, 2008

We need your help TODAY for parity

House passes mental health parity - work still to be done

The House of Representatives passed the Paul Wellstone Mental Health and Addiction Equity Act, HR 1424, on March 5! The House-passed measure must now be reconciled with a parity bill already passed by the Senate, S. 558. A final version will have to be approved by both chambers and signed by the President before people living with mental illnesses will finally have the same rights under their insurance plans as individuals with other health conditions.

Write your Senators and Congressmen and urge them to push for enactment of a strong parity bill this year. You can make the difference in delivering that message to your elected officials!

You can help by encouraging leaders to set aside differences in the competing versions of these parity bills so that a compromise can be passed in both chambers and sent to the President's desk this year. That’s the message in a letter to the Senate leadership being circulated by Senators Norm Coleman (R-MN) and Ron Wyden (D-OR) that senators are being encouraged to sign TODAY.

Call you local representatives TODAY and ask to speak with the health legislative assistant. Use the message below once you have contacted them. The link below will help you to locate your legislators.

“I’m calling to urge that the Senator sign the ‘Coleman-Wyden letter on mental health parity’ to the Senate Majority and Minority Leaders urging negotiation to develop a strong parity bill that can be enacted this year.”

Find Your Legislators

Here are some other important TAKE ACTION NOW issues.

Bush budget slams mental health

The President's proposed FY 2009 budget drastically cuts funding of a wide range of federal programs critical to people with or at risk of mental health problems. On behalf of the most vulnerable, we CANNOT let this happen. Call on Congress to reject the Administration's budget and adopt a budget that makes mental health one of the nation's most urgent priorities. Take Action!

Parity for Medicare co-pays

As the Senate Finance Committee develops a Medicare bill, advocates have a key opportunity to end the Medicare program's discriminatory practice of imposing a much higher co-pay for outpatient mental health services (50 percent instead of the usual 20 percent). This unfair practice has severely restricted access to needed mental health care. Pressure your Senators to repeal the 50 percent mental health co-pay. Take Action!

Go on Record

Over 3000 individuals and 200 organizations have expressed their vision for change by signing onto Mental Health America’s national petition drive. Join us in this effort by telling 10 friends, relatives and colleagues. Sign your name!

Tell your story to end the discrimination

Are you one of countless Americans who have experienced insurance discrimination that prevented you from receiving the mental health treatment you need to live a full, productive life? If so, please lend your voice to the millions of Americans working to end mental health insurance discrimination. Tell your story!

Get involved today and let your voice be heard.


Sunday, March 16, 2008

This just in......newest WLS Research

Newest Research from "Obesity Surgery Journal"

11-Year Experience with Laparoscopic Adjustable Gastric Banding for Morbid Obesity—What Happened to the First 123 Patients?


Few long-term studies regarding the outcome of laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding for morbid obesity have so far been published. We report our 11-year experience with the technique by looking closely at the first 123 patients that have at least 5 years (mean 86 months) of follow-up.

Data have been collected prospectively among 280 patients operated since March 1996. Until March 2002 (minimum 5-year follow-up), 123 patients have been operated laparoscopically with the Swedish band. We report major late complications, reoperations, excess weight losses (EWL) and failure rates among these patients, with a mean (range) follow-up time of 86 months (60–132). EWL<25%>50% was considered a success.

Mean (range) age of the patients (male/female ratio 31:92) was 43 years (21–44). Mean (range) preoperative weight was 130 kg (92–191). Mean (range) preoperative body mass index was 49.28 kg/m2 (35.01–66.60). Patients lost to follow-up was nearly 20% at 5 years and 30% at 8 years. Major late complications (including band erosions 3.3%, slippage 6.5%, leakage 9.8%) leading to major reoperation occurred in 30 patients (24.4%). Nearly 40% of the reoperations was performed during the third year after the operation. The mean EWL at 7 years was 56% in patients with the band in place, but 46% in all patients. The failure rates increased from about 15% during years 1 to 3 to nearly 40% during years 8 and 9. The success rate declined from nearly 60% at 3 years to 35% at 8 and 9 years.

Complications requiring reoperations are common during the third year after the operation, and almost 25% of the patients will need at least one reoperation. Mean EWL in all patients does not exceed 50% in 7 years or 40% in 9 years and failure rates increase with time, up to 40% at 9 years.

High and Low Fat Food Selection with Reported Frequency Intolerance Following Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass


This research compared both food selection and food intolerance frequency of High-fat grouped foods versus Low-fat grouped foods in Roux-en-Y bariatric clients during their dietary adaptation phase (DAP).

Thirty-eight bariatric surgery patients in their dietary transition phase (3 months–2.5 years) filled out a 236-food item questionnaire. From the larger set of primary data, 24 high-fat (30% or greater fat) and 22 low/lower-fat food items were itemized by selection frequency and food intolerance frequency for comparison.

High-fat food selection was 38.3% against low fat at 50.4% (p = .0002). For comparison, the complete questionnaire’s 236-item food selection percentage was 41%. Frequency of “Never” experiencing food intolerance was similar between both groups with a combined mean of 1.92%. “Seldom to Sometimes” intolerance in low-fat foods was 13.3%, and 24.9% in high fat (p = .002). Finally, “Often to Always” experiencing food intolerance in the Low-fat food group was 85.5% versus 72.2% for the High-fat group (p = .002).

Roux-en-Y bariatric patients in the DAP demonstrated typical “dieting behavior” by selecting low-fat foods at a greater frequency than high-fat foods. Although selected more, these low-fat foods also showed significantly worse intolerance frequencies. Thus, current dietary/nutrition professional recommendations to avoid high-fat foods during this postsurgery transition time are problematic. Future bariatric studies are needed to further explore this and other commonly practiced “dieting behaviors” in bariatric patients.

Prevalence of Iron, Folate, and Vitamin B12 Deficiency Anemia After Laparoscopic Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass


One of the most common bariatric operations is the laparoscopic Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (LRYGBP) in which the gastric capacity is restricted and the absorption by the small intestine is reduced. The objective of this study was to evaluate the incidence of iron, folate, and vitamin B12 deficiency anemia in patients undergoing LRYGBP.

Patients and methods
Clinical records of 30 patients who underwent LRYGBP between July 2003 and January 2005 and had a minimum follow up of 24 months at our outpatient clinic were included. Multivitamin supplementation was prescribed to all patients. The complete blood cell count, plasma iron, total iron-binding capacity, transferrin saturation, serum folate, and cobalamin levels before surgery, 6 months, 1, 2, and 3 years after the surgery were analyzed.

There were 25 women (83.4%) and five men (16.6%) with ages from 21 to 56 years. Before surgery, two patients (6.6%) presented ferropenic anemia. Iron deficiency was seen in 40 and 54.5% 2 and 3 years after surgery, respectively. Cobalamin deficiency was observed in 33.3% at 2 years and in 27.2% at 3 years. At 2-year follow-up, 46.6% of the patients had already developed anemia and 63.6% at 3 years. Folate deficiency was not observed in any patient.

Our routine scheme of vitamin supplementation is not sufficient to prevent iron and vitamin B12 deficiencies in most patients.

Changes in Depression Following Gastric Banding: A 5- to 7-year Prospective Study


Long-term outcomes of gastric banding regarding depression and predictors of change in depression are still unclear. This prospective, controlled study investigated depression and self-acceptance in morbidly obese patients before and after gastric banding.

A total of 248 morbidly obese patients (mean body mass index [BMI] = 46.4, SD = 6.9) seeking gastric banding completed questionnaires for symptoms of depression (Beck Depression Inventory) and self-acceptance. One hundred twenty-eight patients were treated with gastric banding and 120 patients were not. After 5 to 7 years, patients who either had (n = 40) or had not (n = 42) received gastric banding were reassessed.

In the preoperative assessment, 35% of all obese patients suffered from clinically relevant depressive symptoms (BDI score ≥18). The mean depression score was higher and the mean self-acceptance score was lower than those of the normal population. Higher preoperative depression scores were observed among patients living alone and who had obtained low levels of education. After 5 to 7 years, patients with gastric banding had lost significantly more weight than patients without gastric banding (mean BMI loss 10.0 vs. 3.3). Gastric banding patients improved significantly in depression and self-acceptance, whereas no change was found in patients without gastric banding. Symptoms of depression were more reduced in patients who lost more weight, lived together with a partner, and had a high preoperative depression score.

Morbid obesity is associated with depressive symptoms and low self-acceptance. Gastric banding results in both long-term weight loss and improvement in depression and self-acceptance.

It was good to see some longer term research coming out with these. None of it was a big surprise for me. I already knew lap-bands were not the end all be all they make them out to be. I also knew the recommended vitamin regimen was a crock. I also knew that a higher fat diet should be what everyone should be following in the first place.

The last study---while it did not surprise me---I did want to make this one point---the depression post op all hinged on how much weight was lost. I don't for a minute think it has jack shit to do with the losing weight aspect. It is all in how you look at yourself. Most people desperate enough to risk their lives to have WLS in the first place ----do it for the simple reason to be thin. So their entire self worth hinges on what that hunk of metal in the bathroom tells them. That's why the depression is less in those who have lost more weight----they deem themselves to be more worthy just because they are thin.

What a crock the dieting industry has been feeding us all these years. And yes WLS is part of that diet industry--all they want is for more people to believe this so they make more money doing surgery, after surgery, after surgery, ...

We all (me, included)bought the hype hook line and sinker........

Friday, March 14, 2008

Happy Anniversary ---For My Blog

I was searching through some of my old posts looking for something. Lo and behold what should I find??? I've been blogging for a year now. Here is my very first post:

Where to Start

March 9, 2007

Hello my name is Diane and I'm a blog junkie. For years now I have been addicted to online blogs. I read about anything and everything. There is so much info out there in cyberworld that just calls out for my attention.

I have been amazed, astounded, ticked off, tearful, joyful---plainly put ---emotional. But I'm and emotional type of gal. It's lucky I live alone or they would surely cart me back to the psych ward. I've been known to yell and scream at some of the things I've read. I've cried along with some and died laughing with others. I'm a big time science geek and get a kick out of all the latest research to be found.

So after so much time spent reading some one's story and observations---I've decided why not share my own. I'm a long time journaler so a lot of the posts may be in a rambling mode---I sooo tend to do that. You may not always agree with what I have to say---but tough cookies---I get to say them.

First off--where in the world did I come up with the title. It is kinda an ongoing thing between me and my dad. Years ago I was hospitalized because of my ongoing fight with bipolar disorder. On his first visit my dad made the comment as to why someone so smart would end up in those dire straits. I told him ---haven't you heard---"there's a fine line between genius and insanity---I just crossed that line" And his reply to me was---"well come on back across the line now" It has stuck, even after all these years. Whenever my family sees me getting way out there----showing symptoms of getting "sick"---that's what they tell me. I do the same thing when the consumers (consumers are mental health patients) I work with get symptomatic.

So sit back and enjoy the ride---it could be a bumpy one---but no journey is ever easy.
Whew!!! So many twists a turns in my life this past year. I've pretty much stayed on this side of that fine line this year. My health hasn't been the best but I'm still kicking and that's all that matters.

So a big Happy Anniversary to me and my blog........

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Be a fairy godmother.....

Prom time is approaching. Kate Harding had an excellent idea. Her idea is to help underprivileged girls have the prom of their dreams by donating some of your fancy dress clothes to a local charity like The Glass Slipper Project.

I remember my prom days. My family never had too much money. But my daddy worked 80 hour weeks to keep my younger brother and me in a private school. He wanted us to have the best education we could. Our local school system wasn't too hot at the time. My classmates were all from families who were in several income brackets above mine.

I was never really into a fashion, still not. I was a huge tom-boy, sports playing jock, band/choir nerd, math/science nerd in high school. But I do have my moments when that girly girl decides to pop out.

My mom worked as a beautician. One of my classmates mom came there to get her hair done. She took pity on me and went through her daughter's things to find me a dress. she lugged a half dozen dresses to my mom's shop. My mom is a whiz with a sewing machine. She worked for hours trying to alter those dresses so I would be able to fit them on my chunky body. Even with all her skills. It was useless. There wasn't enough material to go around to make anything wearable.

I was really disappointed. It was looking like I may not get to go to the prom at all. Then the weekend before the prom my mom woke me up early on Saturday morning. We took off to a local town and after trying on what felt like a 1000 dresses we found one that looked good. (I learned years later my dad had got a part-time job at night just to make the money to buy me that dress.)

Growing up the way I did taught me to many things. One being my affinity for fighting for those less fortunate. I would love to be able to make some girl's prom a night to remember for her.

How about you????

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Protein Requirements After WLS

I've always prided myself on being an ideal post WLS patient. I take copious amounts of vitamins. I eat a blanced healthful low carb diet. I get in plenty of calories according to my BMR(basal metabolic rate) to maintain my weight. In spite of my anal like adherence to this. It still has not kept me from becoming severely malnourished.

One place I am severely lacking are my protein levels. I've checked the online protein requirements. According to those calculators I have sufficient intake. So how come I'm still deficient according to my lab work???

Those who know me well, know of my diligence for seeking out answers to my questions by doing research. So here's what I have discovered. RNY WLSers only absorb about 25-50 percent of the nutrients they take in, whether it is food or supplements.


That's right, 25-50 percent. It all depends on the length of your bypass. I am a distal bypass. Which means they bypassed the majority of my small intestine. So I am absorbing closer to 25%. Even with all the calories/protein/supplements my body still feels like it is starving. Which it is.

So now what.......

I increase the protein and my supplements. I also go back to taking in protein supplements. Plus concentrate on getting in more calories.

Why protein supplementation?
It’s about Absorption

Proteins form the body’s main structural elements and are found in every cell and tissue. Take away the water, and about 75 percent of your weight is protein.
Your body uses proteins:
● for growth
● to build and repair
  1. bone
  2. muscles
  3. hair
  4. connective tissue
  5. skin
  6. internal organs
  7. blood
  8. virtually every other body part or tissue

Besides building cells and repairing tissue, proteins form antibodies to combat invading bacteria & viruses; they build nucleoproteins (RNA & DNA). They make up the enzymes that power many chemical reactions. They also carry oxygen throughout the body and participate in muscle activity.

At least 10,000 different proteins make you what you are and keep you that way.

Hormones, antibodies and enzymes that regulate the body’s chemical reactions are all made of protein. Without the right proteins, blood won’t clot properly and cuts won’t heal.

Each protein is a large complex molecule made up of a string of building blocks called amino acids. The 20 amino acids the body needs can be linked in thousands of different ways to form thousands of different proteins, each with a unique function in the body.

Your body can’t use food protein directly. So after protein is ingested, digestive enzymes break the protein into shorter amino acid chains, and then into individual amino acids. In the gastric bypass patient , this normal digestive process is bypassed. These digestive enzymes are not available until they meet with the food protein in the common channel of the small intestine, and then have only about 5(distal) – 7 ½(proximal) ft (compared to 20 ft in a “normal” digestive tract) to do their job. The amino acids then enter the blood stream and travel to the cells where they are incorporated into proteins the body needs.

Nine of the 20 amino acids required by human beings are considered “essential” because they come only from the diet; the other 11 are considered “nonessential” because the body can make them.

How much protein do I really need???

The average person (the “normal”, NON-gastric bypass patient) needs 50-65 grams of protein each day. Considering malabsorption of at least 50%, the RNY patient will need 100-140 grams per day minimum, which cannot be eaten as food because of the small size of the pouch.

  • Note: Depending on the length of bypass, the RNY patient may absorb as little as 25% or less. But it is normally agreed that even a short proximal will not absorb more than 50%.
  • Note: Adults need a minimum of 1 gram of protein for every kilogram of body weight per day to keep from slowly breaking down their own tissues. That’s about 8 grams of protein for every 20 lbs. Malnourished, septic, pregnant, injured or burned patients will require more protein, in the order of 1.5-2.0 g/kg daily. Extra protein is also required after surgical procedures and illness.

According to Sally Myers, RD and regular contributor on nutritional issues to the WLS-related newsletter “Beyond Change”: “How to determine grams of protein you need daily when not yet at ideal weight: Subtract 120 from your current weight. Multiply that answer by .25 and add it to 120. Base your protein needs on that number. Extra protein is not needed for fat mass.”

So in my case I would need around 130gms of protein each day minimum. Which leads me to having to take in protein supplements once again.

But why....can't you get that much protein just from eating??

It all depends on the BIOAVAILABILITY of the protein in question. Which means how well your body absorbs it.

The Biological Value, or BV, of a protein is an indicator of the quality of the protein. It is a measure of a protein's ability to be used by the body (or its bioavailability). It is a percentage (though the scale is skewed resulting in some BV's of greater than 100) of the absorbed protein that your body actually uses. Biological Values are indicators of which proteins are best at aiding nitrogen retention in muscles to help them maintain or grow.

Many of the whey protein powder manufacturers claim that their products have BV values well above regular whey protein by various techniques such as ion-exchange processing, hydrolization, and adding other ingredients such as specific amounts of limiting essential amino acids.

Hydrolyzation is a process breaking large peptides into smaller ones. It is sometimes referred to as "pre-digested".

Regular undigested whey will be broken down into di- and tri-peptides via enzymes in the gut (which gastric bypass patients no longer have). This process takes a while, even in the non-gastric bypass person. Hydrolyzation is useful when protein delivery is needed very quickly so the body doesn't have to require the time and enzymes doing it. The benefit is of having a quickly absorbed protein to ensure muscle tissue is flooded with nutrients in a timely manner.


The higher on the list, the better.
The numbers are the BV. (Biologic value).
This is only how easily the (normal) body can absorb them, not the protein grams in each one. The last few need to be blended to make a complete protein.
And remember….gastric bypass patients don’t absorb nutrients from food protein very well.

Protein Source---------------------------BV

Whey Protein Isolate Blends -----------100-159
Whey Concentrate (Lactalbumin) -----104
Whole Egg -------------------------------100
Cow's Milk -------------------------------91
Egg White (Albumin) -------------------88
Fish ---------------------------------------83
Beef ---------------------------------------80
Chicken -----------------------------------79
Casein (a protein from milk) ------------77
Rice ---------------------------------------74
Soy ----------------------------------------59
Wheat ------------------------------------54
Beans -------------------------------------49
Peanuts -----------------------------------43

So, because we(gastric bypass patients) don't have a stomach and the stomach acids, etc, anymore, we don't process the undigested proteins properly and malabsorb most of them. The same is for the normal food we eat. We don't absorb most of it. We, therefore, need the more highly absorbed, pre-digested protein supplements.....whey which is pre-digested (aka hydrolized) order to get the proper nutrients our bodies need and are no longer able to get from food.

So, whereas whole egg, cow's milk, egg white are near the top of the list of bioavailability for "normal" people, they are not pre-digested (hydrolized), so for us, they are not as high on the list as pre-digested whey protein. Our bioavailability list would be quite different from the "normal" person's list.

So, make sure your protein powder or drink states that it is pre-digested or hydrolized. And the best kind of protein would be a whey blend protein. Second best would be a 100% whey protein. Isolates, though good for a quick acting pick-me-up, are not sufficient alone for the gastric bypass patients on-going maintenance requirements.

If I drink protein shakes and eat too, won’t I gain weight from the added calories?

Hello!!!! So what if you do. I'm not one of those who believes in dying to be thin. In this case, dying in the literal sense of the word. Without getting in the proper amount of nutrients my body begins to feed off of itself.

Following a very low calorie diet (like most post-ops do) will only drop your metabolism to zero. Our bodies want to hold on to our stores of energy for survival. It thus preserves fat by lowering the metabolic rate whenever food intake drops.

You mean I had this surgery for nothing???

There are things you can do to help you maintain weight loss if that is your focus.

All you need to do is speed up your damaged metabolism. You may gain some weight initially from the extra calories. But you did have this surgery to better your health right not just to be thin, RIGHT???

The extra calories will make your health much better. But increasing your metabolism, while still maintaining the higher calorie intake will help to rid you of those pounds.

I personally think my health is more important than a number on the scale. But to each his own.

Back to increasing your metabolism......

Increasing your protein intake reduces the drop in metabolic rate, and also leads to a greater feeling of fullness.(increasing fat intake too, if tolerated)

Begin to exercise and stop dieting. You can increase your muscle mass by doing some type of resistance work (i.e. lifting weights, using exertubes, rubberbands, dynabands, hand weights, etc…). You can also decrease your level of body fat by doing some type of aerobic exercise at least 3 days a week for longer than 20 minutes. This is exercise such as walking, jogging, step aerobics, hi/low aerobics, biking, swimming, etc, that will increase your heart rate and keep it there for the duration of the exercise session.

You also need to eat!

Do not diet, just watch the types of foods you eat, and drink your protein!!

For more info download these 2 files.

Protein Seminar Paper(doc)

Gastric Bypass---The Untold Story(doc)

Thanks to Jen for the heads up about the pdf is now a doc file and should download without trouble.

Documents courtesy of OSSG-gone_wrong

Monday, March 10, 2008

Where do I go from here???

For years after my WLS I actively participated in the online support forums. They were my home away from, so to speak. These past months many changes have occurred in my life that have me wondering exactly where do I go from here. I no longer feel a connection with the WLS community as a whole. Some believe it is only because of the problems that I have been having lately that have colored my thinking.

That really is just a small part of it. The biggest part is the WLS community itself. They offered me support for a very long time. Yet looking back, I wonder if the support they give hurts more than it helps. Having suffered from an eating disorder for over 30 years, I see all the classic signs of disordered eating going on on the forums. As melting mama is so apt to say, gastric bypass is very much like a surgery-induced state of anorexia.

I'm not the only one feeling like this. A few others have removed their rose colored WLS glasses too. Here are just a couple of examples:

Rearranged: fitting in

"Then I look at the weight loss surgery community. I have so many mixed emotions on that one. Especially in regards to the online WLS community. They offered me much support for a long time- but the rational side of me looking back knows that much of that also fed my eating disorder in a very large way. It was a great big community of who can lose the most, the fastest. Who eats the least? Who gets in the most protein, and the fewest carbs? Who can bake the most beautiful sugar free desert? Don't ever drink diet soda again. Eat in a caloric range that any medical professional will tell you fits into the category of starvation.

For months and months, I ate my meals on a saucer. My body was literally in starvation mode. As Beth has said, gastric bypass is very much like a surgery-induced state of anorexia. Those first several months you can't eat a large ammount of calories, you just can't. You do have to eat a large ammount of protein, and you do have to watch your intake of sugar, fat, and carbs or you can get quite physically ill. I get this, I know this, I lived it. But for how long? My EDI team keeps insisting that now that I am 16+ months post-surgery, that I can, should, and have to get to a state of more 'normalized' eating."

Hot Fat 4 Sale: WLS vs. ED, Round One. Ding Ding!

"I don't really feel like a part of the WLS community anymore, mostly because WLS (for me) ended up being just another symptom of a nearly lifelong eating disorder.

I think I was brainwashed (and willingly so) by desperation, the WLS community, surgeon, etc. into accepting a nutritional rationale for my weird eating behaviors created by the 'onset' of a pouch. The WLS rules, both spoken and unspoken, are insidious in that we accept them as truth. Because we want to believe that it's all about the weight. Along the way, we forgot it was about the 'I' in each of us."
I see so many of my fellow WLSers caught up in the in the idea you have to be thin to be healthy. That is not the case. Look at many of those long term post ops with serious complications. All because they fell for the pressure to conform to societies ideals. There is the use of extreme scare tactics about the risk of obesity that make people choose WLS. Here again things are grossly over-stated.

There is also the serious lack of information in the WLS community of the many, many complications associated with the surgery. You can do everything right post op and still end up with multiple health problems. Most WLSers will tell you they had the surgery to improve their health. The long term consequences of this decision show that health actually becomes worse after surgery, NOT better. Read these stories of several WLSers.

Weight Loss Surgery experience - in their own words

Here is a list of complications reported by WLSers from OSSG-gone_wrong .

These complications can happen to people without WLS but these have been confirmed by the patients doctors as related to WLS. Dehydration, Chronic Vomiting and Nausea, Stroke, Heart Attack, Arrhythmia, Kidney stones, Kidney Failure, Liver Failure, Anemia, Deficiencies (B-12,potassium, iron, B-1, B-6, etc.), Malabsorbtion of supplements(calcium, minerals, nutrients from food), Blurred Vision, Muscle and Bone Pain, Loss of Teeth, Bleeding Gums, Rotting Teeth Due to Vomiting Requiring Root Canals, Hypoglycemia, Headaches, Blackouts/Seizures, Lactose Intolerant, Injury to Spleen during surgery, Coma, Paralysis/Blindness after coma, Osteoporosis, Burst Pouch, Lupus, Auto-Immune Disease, Looped Intestines, Ruptured Esophagus from vomiting, Misfired Staper during surgery, Ulcers, Pneumonia/Lung Problems, Arthritis, Weakness and Fatigue from Malnutrition, Overall Pain, Metabolic Bone Disease, Food Blocking Stoma Causing Severe Pain, Stoma Needing Stretched Repeatedly, Neuropathy, Beri Beri, Put on Feeding Tubes/PICC Lines, Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue, Fistulas, Atrophy of Muscles, Hair Loss, Hernias, Blood Clots, Leaks, Peritonitis, Heart Burn/Gerd/Acid Reflux, Bowel Obstructions, Gallstones and Gallbladder Removal, Severe Depression, Anxiety, Loss of Memory, Poor Concentration, Irregular Blood Pressure, Diarrhea, Constipation, Opening Of Outer Incision-Needing Packing Until Healed From The Inside Out, Insomnia/Sleep Disorders, Unforced Anorexia and Bulemia, Gas, Silent Stroke, Vertigo, Malnutrition which is the cause of many of the above problems, Many End Up Becoming Invalids, and then there is Death. This list continues to grow. These complications can happen right after surgery, days, weeks, months, many years, and even when taking all the required supplements. Besides physical complications there is financial hardship and families who are devastated.

So where do I go from here....I learn to live with the complications. I become very proactive in my own care to insure I am in optimal health. I do tons of Internet research. I caution people to learn the whole story on WLS. But most of all....I accept myself for who I am.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Information Alert on Psychiatric Advance Directives

Psychiatric Advance Directives

If you are concerned that you may be subject to involuntary psychiatric commitment or treatment at some future time, you can prepare a legal document in advance to express your choices about treatment. The document is called an advance directive for mental health decision making.

The National Resource Center on Psychiatric Advance Directives
), a collaboration between the Bazelon Center and The Department of
Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Duke University Medical Center
, has
announced new resources for consumers, family members, clinicians and
policymakers-a blog and a conference for social workers.

  • A live webcast, titled Psychiatric Advance Directives: What Every Social Worker Needs to Know, is scheduled for 1:00 p, EST on Monday, March 24, 2008. The webcast will be hosted by Richard A. Van Dorn, Ph.D.,
    MSW, Assistant Professor, Florida International University, College of
    Social Work, Justice, and Public Affairs. For details click on

The NRC-PAD is a central gathering place for stakeholders to learn about
psychiatric advance directives (PADs) and how to complete these legal
documents. The NRC-PAD aims to assist in implementing of laws that support
patient self-determination and high quality mental health care. It offers
timely information about PADs, including:

Friday, March 7, 2008

House Passes Mental Health Parity Bill

You helped make history!! Your support for mental health parity helped propel the Paul Wellstone Mental Health and Addiction Equity Act, H.R. 1424, to a historic vote in the House of Representatives where it passed 268-148 on March 5. This first-ever House vote on a comprehensive mental health/addiction parity bill gives our cause new momentum.

Work yet to be done.
But even with this victory, there is still more work to do.
The House-passed measure must now be reconciled with a parity bill already passed by the Senate, S. 558. A final version will have to be approved by both chambers and signed by the President before people living with mental illnesses will finally have the same rights under their insurance plans as individuals with other health conditions.

Take Action!
Write your Senators and Congressmen and urge them to push for enactment of a strong parity bill this year. You can make the difference in delivering that message to your elected officials! Be on the lookout for further updates and opportunities to help us win this long fight.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Every Minute Counts

Staggering statistic huh.

I've talked about suicide and mental health quite alot in my blog. I've even touched on the fact that I once found myself in that deep dark pit of despair. Lucky for me, I survived my own suicide attempt. It has caused lasting health issues for me. But I'm still holding on.

The typical person can not grasp why someone would attempt take their own life. You would have to be able to be in that person's shoes to fully grasp what leads most to that. It can't be explained. It has to be experienced to fully grasp it.

I received an email from Jace Freeman the other day. Telling me of a new a grassroots campaign uniting advocates, mental health professionals and organizations into a single coalition creating a public forum advancing the need and benefit of increased mental health research. is a brand new website. This is from their home page.

Today 1,500 Americans will attempt to take their own lives(1). Most will have mental health or addiction issues. Many will have both(2). One out of four adults is affected by a mental health disorder(3). Odds are that most of us have friends or family becoming more desperate with every tick of the clock.

There is a way to stop the ticking. Research. We can defeat mental illness by employing the scientific mind to find individual treatment plans. But the funding is inadequate for an issue that affects every one of us, the 57 million(4) directly or the rest of us through our family and friends. We must declare our concern. Together, we can stop the clock.

Take time to check out their site and get involved in this wonderful new community. There is much to see on the site.