The phrase ‘You Are What You Eat‘ means that it is important to eat good food in order to be healthy and fit. Well that is true! But it is even more correct to say, “You Are What You Absorb.” That’s because as we age we absorb less nutrients from the foods we eat. And those of us who’ve had weight loss surgery are eating and absorbing even less. So let’s examine the often over-looked role of digestive enzymes after bariatric surgery, which is to absorb more nutrients.
My bariatric surgery team did not tell me about the importance of digestive enzymes after gastric bypass back when I had my surgery in 2003. It was not until many years later, around 2015, that I met a naturopath/chiropractor who educated me about the importance of digestive enzymes.
Our stomachs have a naturally-occurring acidic environment. The stomach acid breaks down fat and protein. For that to happen, there needs to be enough hydrochloric acid (HCL). Gastric bypass surgery causes HCL deficiency.
Dr. Tom, my naturopath and chiropractor, said our bodies produce less stomach acid and less saliva as we mature, which slows digestion and affects the absorption of nutrients.
If we are unable to digest and absorb the vitamins and minerals from food, our bodies will not have sufficient vitamin B12 for cell renewal, and will have lower levels of iron, vitamin D and other nutrients, which is vital for so many of our bodies’ processes. This can lead to serious nutrient deficiencies.
And we won’t have the protection we once had against bad types of bacteria, causing their over-growth (dysbyosis or small intestine bacterial overgrowth). This can lead to unexplained weight gain and irritable bowel syndrome. Add to that, according to the NIH, certain types of bacteria taking over the gut may contribute to inflammatory bowel disease, including Crohn’s disease.
In addition to not getting enough nutrients, undigested proteins will be sent to the small intestine as food fragments rather than the amino acids that our bodies need. This can cause problems like leaky gut syndrome or intestinal permeability. That’s when food particles permeate the walls of the intestine and pass into the bloodstream. This causes inflammation in the body, and puts us at risk for a host of illnesses.
If you have GERD (acid reflux), talk with your doctor before using digestive enzymes. There is the possibility that digestive enzymes could worsen esophageal injury if they are regurgitated.
Digestive Enzymes after Bariatric Surgery
There are many types of digestive enzymes available online or through a healthcare professional or at a health food store. Be aware that digestive enzymes should be taken with every meal. And according to my clinical nutritionist, Kasia, the dosage usually needs to be higher than what is on the bottle’s label.
I recently tried two types of digestive enzymes after bariatric surgery, BariMelts Digestive Enzymes and BariatricPal Super High Potency Bromelain.
Digestion begins in the mouth and that’s exactly where BariMelts Digestive Enzymes are absorbed. These orange flavored tabs dissolve quickly in the mouth and support digestion for fats, proteins, and carbs. I take 2 tablets with every meal. Buy now at $17.99 for 60 fast-melting tablets.
Bromelain is an enzyme derived from pineapple stem and fruit that has protein-digesting properties. It’s also an anti-inflammatory and my facial plastic surgeon, Dr. Winslow, had me take it after my facelift surgery. As far as using it as a digestive enzyme, I take 3 capsules before eating my meal. And I know it works because I no longer have bloating and discomfort after eating. Plus the bromelian from BariatricPal is the best price I have found on the market. Buy now at only $14.99 for 180 capsules 500mg each.
Don’t Skimp on Digestive Enzymes after Bariatric Surgery
I surely wish someone had told me about the importance of digestive enzymes after bariatric surgery back in 2003. I am dealing with digestive disorders and have had nutrient deficiencies in the past. These are by no means easy issues to deal with, and the digestive disorders are very difficult to correct.
Plus once digestive disorders manifest they cause other health issues. I know thousands of people debilitated with irritable bowel syndrome, bacterial overgrowth, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, leaky gut, and a host of other maladies.
So don’t skimp on digestive enzymes after bariatric surgery. You have put so much effort into getting healthy and should not risk becoming unhealthy again. Buy your digestive enzymes today and take them with every meal. As always, consult with your healthcare professional first.
Living larger than ever,
My Bariatric Life