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Protein Supplements

In order to be healthy and maintain your quality of life, YOU WILL HAVE TO TAKE PROTEIN SUPPLEMENTS FOR LIFE . How much depends on the surgery, which is why it is very important that you KNOW which surgery you have had.

If you don't remember which surgery you had, please contact our office. Protein schedule is to begin one week post-op.

We recommend a protein supplement of 60gm-150gm/day depending upon which surgery you have had.

Spread this out over several times/day. Your body can best assimilate a dose of only 25-35 gm. of protein at one time.

Procedure Common Channel Amount of Protein Per Day

Example of Drinks Per Day @ 30gms Each Drink

Duodenal Switch-Bilopancreatic Diversion 30”-40” 150 grams 5 drinks @ 30gms each
Distal Gastric Bypass 59" or less 150 grams 5 drinks @ 30gms each
Medial Gastric Bypass 60”-80” 150 grams 5 drinks @ 30gms each
Proximal Gastric Bypass 90 grams 3 drinks @ 30gms each
Adjustable Gastric Band N/A 60 grams 2 drinks @ 30gms each
Vertical Banded Gastroplasty N/A 60 grams 2 drinks @ 30gms each

Note: Our patient advocates have suggestions to help you find a protein supplement that you like. We have found that lab values are not very good when our patients are taking liquid protein supplements; so liquid protein supplements should be avoided. There are a great number of powdered protein supplements that you can use to make your protein drinks with.

REMEMBER: The water used to mix with protein DOES NOT count towards your daily water intake.

Protein is very important because:

  • It is necessary for all life functions.
  • It is part of every cell in our body.
  • We need it to replace the worn-out cells.
  • Any kind of damage (traumatic, aging or surgery related) requires protein for repair.
  • Protein is an important source of antibodies and other immune system functions.
  • Adequate protein levels are necessary for people to have good levels of energy.

We are often asked what occurs if a person does not get enough protein. All of the tissues in our body are made up of protein, so if there is not enough protein in our diet, a number of things can happen.

A first sign of protein deficiency is a decrease in energy levels. Other things can cause lack of energy, but in a Bariatric patient, low protein intake is a prime suspect, and is indicated by serum albumin levels falling. Albumin carries important minerals, vitamins and other biochemicals to each of the cells in our body, so when there is not enough protein and the serum albumin falls, we experience a decrease in energy. Should our albumin get low, we can also experience swelling of the ankles. Low protein can cause anemia (that means hemoglobin levels are low, and hemoglobin is a very important protein for providing energy).

Protein is also important for having healthy hair. After Bariatric surgery, everyone loses some hair, but as the body adjusts and is able to absorb protein, the hair usually returns.

Another important protein in the body is muscle; therefore if we do not get enough protein from our diet and supplements, the body will use protein from the muscles to maintain adequate blood levels of protein. When this occurs, muscular wasting is very noticeable. What is even more serious is that if the heart muscle begins to shrink, the body is cannibalizing it for protein. People who get low enough in their proteins can experience cardiac arrest. So, low protein levels can be life threatening.

Along with the very important vitamins, minerals and proteins, sufficient water and exercise are vital to your success and continued good health.