Dehydration After Weight Loss Surgery

Bariatric patients often have concerns about what to expect after their weight loss surgery procedure is performed. In the vast majority of cases, the surgery is performed without any significant issues, but there are some potential challenges that patients may need to address. One of the more common issues after weight loss surgery is dehydration.

There are several things that can lead to dehydration after bariatric surgery. First and foremost, since you will be eating and drinking far less than you did prior to surgery, fluid intake may drop well below the desired levels. Some struggle with nausea which can contribute to decreased intake of fluids.

If you’re exercising (as you should be), you are more susceptible to dehydration. This is especially true if you are relatively new to a structured exercise program and don’t realize how important it is to make sure you are getting enough water to compensate for what you are sweating out. The key is not to wait until you feel thirsty to drink water. Thirst is your body’s way of telling you something is wrong.

Since there is an emphasis on protein intake after bariatric surgery, you run the risk of dehydration. If protein is taking up a greater portion of your caloric intake, it may be at the expense of fiber. If so, the body uses more water in the digestion process, increasing the amount you need to take in.

Symptoms of Dehydration

It’s not always easy to know if you are dehydrated, so it’s good to know the symptoms so you can remedy the issue as soon as you can. Symptoms may include dark urine, headache, fatigue or dry mouth.

Simple Hydration Tips

While there are unique challenges to eating and drinking after bariatric surgery, it’s relatively simple to make sure you stay hydrated.

  • The best way bariatric patients can avoid dehydration is to sip water throughout the day. In the past, when you exercised or worked outside, you could catch up on your fluid intake my turning up a large glass of water. Since your new stomach is limited in size, you can’t do this anymore. You have to be constantly sipping fluid before you get thirsty.
  • If you’ve never naturally gravitated to plain water, try a splash of lemon or lime for some flavor, and hence, more desirable.
  • You should also minimize caffeine and alcohol, which are both diuretics.

Taking care of your dietary needs after weight loss surgery requires dedication. But as long as you stick to your doctor’s recommendations and do what you can to stay positive and motivated, you will handle it like a champ!

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