Why should you eat slowly after bariatric surgery?

Why should you eat slowly after bariatric surgery?
December 20, 2017 Joanna Lenner
baribuddy app after bariatric surgery eating speed timer screen

The first weeks after bariatric surgery, the tissue is both sensitive and swollen. For these reasons, you can overload the tissue strength if you eat food that is not sufficiently fine-mixed or if you are eating too much. This may if you are unlucky lead to a leak. Eating too fast can also make you feel nauseous and sometimes the food will turn back up again. It may also feel crowded for the food to pass the first weeks after surgery.

Once the operation is healed, the speed of eating is vital to help the body to process the food. If you eat quickly, the food is often badly chewed and undivided food will reach the small stomach and intestine. The amount of hydrochloric acid that usually helps to break down the food is significantly less than before both after a gastric bypass and a sleeve gastrectomy operation, which means that the body does not have the same opportunity to help us digest the food as before (more of it is depentdent on chewing). After a gastric bypass surgery, the stomach is very small (15-20 ml) and you have no longer a pylorus which will keep the food in the stomach and slowly portion it out. Thus, the passage to the intestine is completely open. Upon eating too fast, there will be easily form ‘traffic jams’ in the small stomach and intestine which can make you feel bad. After a gastric sleeve, the passage is also much faster than before. 

Using the BariBuddy app, you can evaluate your eating speed after your bariatric surgery using an “eating speed timer”. It tells you if you eat too fast or as recommended (20-30 minutes). You can save your meal speeds in the app and extract your results of meal speed, taken vitamins, weight, etc. in a PDF file that you can take to your clinic.

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