19 June, 2013

Hydration and Your Health after Weight Loss Surgery

Hydration is essential to survival. Your body depends on it to keep organs functioning properly, including your heart and brain. Every cell, tissue and muscle in your body is supported by water. It lubricates your joints, pushes waste through your body and maintains internal temperature. Without enough water your body will struggle to remain healthy.

After sleeve gastrectomy or gastric band surgery, you’ll have to make a concerted effort to drink enough water every day. This will involve taking small sips regularly throughout the day, as your smaller stomach pouch will make it impossible to take large gulps without filling up quickly.

You should aim to drink at least 64 ounces of water daily. While it is true you can meet this quota by drinking other fluids, none will hydrate you as effectively as water. This is why at least half of your daily water intake should be good old H2O.

If you don’t drink enough water, you will become dehydrated, which can cause all sorts of problems.

Symptoms of dehydration include:

  • Decreased or darker urine
  • Dry mouth
  • Chapped lips
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue
  • Extreme thirst
  • Confusion
  • Dizziness
  • Lack of tears

After weight loss surgery your stomach capacity will be greatly reduced. You won’t be able to take large gulps of water to reach your fluid intake goals. Instead, you’ll have to drink water regularly throughout the day.

Carry a water bottle with you and practice taking very small sips. To learn the right size of a sip, practice drinking two ounces at a time using medicine caps, like the type that come with cough syrup bottles.

Try finding a water bottle with ounces marked on the side—this way, you can track your progress and know how much water you consume throughout the day. If you are missing some flavor in your beverage, try adding a drop of lemon or lime juice, or adding a sprig of mint to your water for some extra zest.