In terms of food intolerance, 176 surgery patients (70 percent) said they experienced some form of intolerance to an average of four different foods, and more than 90 percent said the problem arose only after surgery.
That said, only about 14 percent of those experiencing ongoing long-term food intolerance said the issue bothered them “very much” or “much.”
Still, less than 17 percent of the non-surgical group reported experiencing any comparable type of eating problem.
Boerlage and his colleagues reported their findings in the Dec. 19 issue of the British Journal of Surgery.
So what are bypass patients to do?
“In general, it is advisable for patients to stick tightly to the dietary guidelines that are given after surgery,” said Boerlage. “This will surely help to alleviate symptoms, although not all symptoms can be prevented,” he added.
“We do advise our patients to avoid certain foods with a high sugar or fat content. And, indeed, these are the types of food that are a problem in obese patients in the first place. So, in a way you could say that these complaints are also useful because they remind patients to avoid certain foods,” Boerlage suggested.
Dr. John Morton, chief of bariatric and minimally invasive surgery at the Stanford School of Medicine in California, agreed. He suggested that the problem can be easily fixed if patients strictly follow standard nutritional advice.
“These concerns are due solely to dietary indiscretions by patients,” Morton said. “If you follow dietary recommendations you will avoid these issues.”
What’s more, Morton stressed that, for many, weight-loss surgery is a “lifesaving procedure,” one whose benefits “clearly outweigh” any dietary downside.