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How can stress affect weight loss surgery?

Stress is a natural and normal part of everyday life, with most people experiencing some small degree of stress on a daily basis. However, there are times during our life when stress and anxiety can become much more significant and can have a serious impact on our day to day lives. One of these times can be following a major health issue or procedure – such as weight loss surgery.


Stress can occur following weight loss surgery, irrespective of the type of weight loss procedure that you have had. You’ve put your body through a trauma and will have some very real adjustments to make afterwards if the surgery is to be a success. Adjusting to a new diet and improved eating habits can be challenging, particularly if you have had a poor relationship with food for some time.

However, there are lots of types of day-to-day stress that can affect us at any time, including:


  • Work-related stress: Examples include excessive workload, difficult customers, adapting to new processes, or being overlooked for promotion.

  • Relationship stress: This could refer to romantic relationships as well as friendships, which can be put under strain due to intimacy issues, money problems, work issues, children, bereavement, or other trauma.

  • Money-related stress: Finances are another primary cause of stress and anxiety and can quickly cause someone to feel out of their depth and helpless.

  • Health stress: Whether it’s your own health or worrying about someone else’s, this can be a huge stressor for any individual or family group.


The Effects of Stress Following Weight Loss Surgery


Stress manifests in a variety of ways, and exactly how you are affected will depend on your own coping mechanisms. For example, some patients may struggle to sleep or develop habits such as biting their nails or grinding their teeth. Some turn to alcohol or drugs to help them. However, one of the most common effects of stress following weight loss surgery is the compulsion to over-eat. Some people who undergo bariatric surgery already have an unhealthy relationship with food and slipping back into these habits can seem like an easy option.

However, doing so will have a number of negative consequences including:


  • Giving you severe side effects such as pain, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea

  • Causing you to experience regret, guilt, and even self-loathing

  • Reversing the effects that you worked so hard to achieve


Coping with Stress After Weight Loss Surgery


Fortunately, there are things that you can do to help cope with the stress that may occur following your weight loss surgery.


Take Regular Exercise


 Even just 30 minutes of gentle walking, swimming, or doing housework can distract you from negative thoughts and increase endorphins, reducing your stress levels and helping you to feel in control.


Find a Hobby


Doing something you enjoy is the perfect antidote to stress, provided that it doesn’t involve eating of course! Take up a new hobby such as dancing, crafting, reading, or playing an instrument to give your mind new focus and alleviate your stress.


Control the Foods You can Access


If you really feel yourself slipping, control your access to tempting unhealthy foods. After all, you can’t eat what you don’t have. Stop buying sweet treats or convenience meals, remove fast food and home delivery apps from your smartphone, and stock up on foods that will give you the nutrition that you need.


Seek Counselling


If your stress and anxiety are threatening to overwhelm you and other coping tactics aren’t helping, it may be time to consider seeking professional help in the form of counseling. A counselor can help you to come to terms with your individual issues and help you to find healthy ways to move past them.


Learn more about weight loss surgery, contact Clarity Surgical and Weight Loss Solutions in Huntington at (516) 259-2525.