The Connection Between Gluten Intolerance and Acid Reflux

It’s no secret that acid reflux is a common disorder, but did you know it’s often caused by gluten intolerance? It’s true! Acid reflux sufferers are more likely to have celiac disease or be gluten-sensitive. Can gluten cause acid reflux? While that is still being investigated, there is some type of link present. If acid reflux is something you struggle with on a regular basis, read this blog post for some valuable information. We’ll discuss the link between acid reflux and gluten intolerance, as well as tips for managing acid reflux naturally.

What Is Acid Reflux?

Acid reflux is a condition that occurs when acid from your stomach backs up into your esophagus. This can cause discomfort, burning sensations, and even bleeding in the esophagus. The most common symptoms of acid reflux include:
  • Heartburn or indigestion after eating
  • Feeling like food is getting stuck in your throat
  • Acid spitting up into the back of your mouth and throat

What Is Gluten Intolerance?

Gluten intolerance is a digestive disorder that occurs when your body reacts poorly to gluten, which is a protein found in wheat and other grains. Gluten intolerance is different from celiac disease in that it doesn’t damage the intestines. However, people who are gluten intolerant often find acid reflux to be an ongoing problem.

The Link Between Gluten Intolerance and Acid Reflux

The symptoms of acid reflux are often seen alongside symptoms of celiac disease or gluten sensitivity (another term for gluten intolerance). Some acid reflux sufferers find that once they remove gluten from their diets, acid reflux symptoms begin to fade away. If you’re experiencing acid reflux and wondering if it could be related to your diet, consider eliminating gluten for a few weeks. You might just notice an improvement in the way you feel!

How Can You Manage Acid Reflux?

If acid reflux is something you struggle with on a regular basis, it’s important to manage the condition naturally. Fortunately, there are several all-natural ways to address acid reflux symptoms and find relief! Some natural remedies for acid reflux include:
  • Consuming ginger or peppermint
  • Eating smaller meals throughout the day
  • Staying hydrated and avoiding trigger foods
Natural acid reflux remedies can help you fight acid reflux symptoms without having to resort to medications or surgery. If acid reflux is something that affects your quality of life on a regular basis, please contact the team at MD Bariatrics. We offer GERD reflux treatment in Baltimore. For more on conditions that can lead to acid reflux, read: Anxiety and Acid Reflux.  

Anxiety and Acid Reflux: Understanding the Connection

If you suffer from anxiety, there’s a good chance that you also experience acid reflux. But how exactly are GERD and anxiety linked? Today, we’ll take a look at how anxiety and heartburn go together.

What Is Acid Reflux?

Acid reflux is the feeling of discomfort or pain in your chest caused by stomach acid coming up into your esophagus and irritating it. It can be brought on by certain foods such as spicy foods, caffeine, chocolate, and alcohol; medications like NSAIDs (ibuprofen) and insulin; conditions, such as being overweight or obese; pregnancy; lying down after eating; and an unhealthy diet low in fiber and high in fat and sugar content.

The Link Between Anxiety and Acid Reflux

Can anxiety cause acid reflux? While it doesn’t always, it can. Anxiety and reflux can be related because anxiety causes problems with the body’s relaxation response; it is a physical reaction to stress. When we are stressed, our bodies release cortisol and adrenaline (epinephrine). These two hormones make us alert and ready for action: fight or flight mode. While this was an important survival tool in our early days, it is not that helpful today. Our bodies perceive the physical symptoms of anxiety (increased heart rate and blood pressure) as dangerous like “fight or flight.” To protect our stomachs from damage, we subconsciously inhibit them by contracting muscles in our esophagus during times of stress; this can lead to acid reflux symptoms. Since anxiety and acid reflux are related, it makes sense that our bodies release cortisol and adrenaline when we get stressed out; this helps us to deal with the stressful situation at hand by either fighting or fleeing. However, because of these physical reactions (increased heart rate and blood pressure), they can lead to stomach damage if we inhibit our stomach muscles. Basically, our bodies are not able to tell the difference between anxiety and a dangerous physical situation, which can cause acid reflux symptoms.

Is There a Connection Between Anxiety and Gastrointestinal Surgery?

Anxiety and gastrointestinal surgery in Baltimore can be related because surgery, even when it goes perfectly, carries stress. Stress releases cortisol and adrenaline as mentioned above. In addition, surgeries that specifically involve the gastrointestinal tract can result in various side effects, including those that impact stomach acid. Are you interested in learning more about how these conditions interact or treatment for GERD reflux in Baltimore? Schedule a consultation with MD Bariatrics. Want to learn more about gastrointestinal procedures? Read up on diet after hernia surgery and tips to prepare for an upper endoscopy.

How Strong Is the Relationship Between Genes and Obesity?

During their consultations for bariatric surgery in Maryland, many of our patients say some version of the same thing: “No matter how hard I try, I can’t lose weight. It feels like I’m just meant to be obese.” While lifestyle factors play a major part in our weight, the truth is that genes play a significant role in whether or not we hold onto excess weight. But how strong is this relationship between weight and DNA, and can it be overcome?

The Heritability of Obesity

With pretty much all things related to behavior and health, there is a debate about nature vs. nurture. You may be just one of many obese individuals in your family, and this might lead you to assert that your obesity is just coded into your DNA. “My whole family is this way; it’s just in my genes.” But many of our behaviors are learned from those we live with, and theirs were learned from those they grew up with. This includes behaviors related to food and exercise. So how much of your obesity is a lifestyle, and how much is genetic? The heritability of obesity falls somewhere between 40% and 70%. This means that obesity is hereditary, and for some, this link is so strong that even their best efforts cannot fully overcome it.

Is There a “Fat Gene?”

Knowing that being overweight is in part genetic, you might wonder if there is a specific gene that is causing you to hold on to excess weight or develop habits that feed into weight gain. As with most things genetics, it is much more complex than that. There are over 244 genes that have been linked to obesity in clinical studies. These include those that control metabolism and appetite as well as ones that impact mental health.

Can You Overcome a Genetic Predisposition?

It isn’t easy, and at Maryland Bariatrics, we acknowledge that. This is why weight loss surgery is so important. In cases where someone’s DNA is coded to encourage overeating, holding onto excess fat, and slow metabolism, bariatric surgery can be the key to overcoming the “programming” and losing weight. Of course, you still need to change your lifestyle. That is why our bariatric surgery team recommends that patients lead healthy lifestyles to ensure they get the best outcome possible from their procedure. Contact us today for more information about scheduling your consultation with one of our experts or click here to learn more about your surgical options! Click to see which weight loss surgery is best for you.

Can You Prevent Saggy Skin After Weight Loss Surgery?

As you gear up for bariatric surgery in Baltimore, you are likely picturing all the ways your body will change after your procedure: a tighter waist, slimmer thighs, and a minimized stomach. But one change you might not be thinking about is loose skin after weight loss. This is one of the most common side effects that bariatric surgery patients experience. It’s important to understand why sagging skin after weight loss happens and what you can do to prevent it from happening in the first place. Let’s get started!

It Isn’t Surgery Specific

The first thing we need to get out of the way: sagging skin after massive weight loss isn’t just a “surgery” issue. Whether you lose weight through diet and exercise alone or with the help of a bariatric procedure, sagging skin is a potential side effect.

Why Loose Skin Occurs

Essentially, being overweight can cause stress on the collagen and elastin fibers in your skin. These are the fibers that give your skin elasticity, allowing it to snap back into place with weight fluctuations or pregnancy. The longer you were overweight or obese, the more likely you are to experience loose skin after weight loss surgery.

Loose Skin Is Not a Guarantee

You are likely to experience at least some degree of sagging skin after weight loss surgery. However, it isn’t a guarantee, and for some, it is barely noticeable. So, if sagging skin is a major concern for you, don’t let it stop you from getting the procedure you need.

Loose Skin Can Be Minimized

There is no outright prevention of sagging skin after weight loss surgery. However, there are things you can do to minimize it. These include:
    • Starting with collagen supplements well in advance of surgery.
    • Moisturizing your skin with a lotion that contains collagen and elastin.
    • Drinking plenty of water.
    • Exercising to build muscle.
In the end, there are a few things you can do to lessen your sagging skin. However, much of it will come down to genetics and how damaged your collagen and elastin fibers are. If all this talk about aging has got you feeling really anxious or depressed, we recommend scheduling a consultation for bariatric surgery today! We can help you create a plan for preventing excessive loose skin and talk about your options should they occur despite your best efforts. For more information, read: Life After Weight Loss Surgery.  

Exercise After Bariatric Surgery

After bariatric surgeries in Maryland, it is essential that patients do their part to facilitate weight loss and enhance their overall health. Part of that is exercising regularly. We know: exercise after bariatric surgery sounds a bit overwhelming, especially if you were not maintaining an exercise regimen prior to your procedure. However, it is essential to your long-term weight loss success, burning calories, making your bones healthier, and improving strength and balance. Here’s what you need to know about exercise after weight loss surgery.

Benefits of Exercise After Bariatric Surgery

Not quite sold on the importance of bariatric exercises? Consider these benefits.

It Facilitates Healthy Weight Loss

Shedding pounds is great, but there are healthy and unhealthy types of weight loss. When you rely strictly on reducing calorie intake, you end up losing muscle mass, which can have negative consequences for your overall health. Top-rated bariatric surgeons in Maryland emphasize how essential working out is to realize your body goals and should provide you with a detailed guide to getting fit, not just thin.

You Overall Feel Better

A big motivator for seeking bariatric surgery in Maryland is a lack of energy. The more weight you carry around, the more tired you feel. But just shedding pounds won’t make the difference most patients are seeking. For that, you have to exercise. Working out helps the blood flow more easily and the lungs work better, both of which contribute to your energy levels. Plus, it can also make it easier to get to sleep and sleep deeper, letting you wake up refreshed.

Mental Health Gets a Boost

It is common for people seeking bariatric surgery to struggle with their mental health. Issues like binge eating are typically tied to anxiety and depression. When you exercise, the body releases endorphins, which give you a mood boost and help to stabilize the brain chemistry.

How to Approach Exercise After Bariatric Surgery

When your surgeon walks you through the bariatric surgery step-by-step process, including exercise and everything else that comes after your procedure. Typically, patients are asked to divide their workouts between three areas of focus:
  • Cardio
  • Muscle building
  • Mobility
Cardio burns calories and boosts your energy reserves. It focuses on getting the heart pumping and the blood flowing. As an added benefit, consistent cardio exercise can actually improve your metabolism, meaning you will burn more calories even when at rest. Muscle building often increases your weight since muscle weighs more than fat, but this isn’t very noticeable after weight loss surgery. What you will notice is that you will feel more powerful and ready to be more active in your day-to-day life. It can also help avoid or reduce the appearance of saggy skin. Mobility helps prevent injuries when completing other exercises. Depending on the type of mobility workouts you choose, they can also help improve your posture and lengthen your muscles, giving you a taller and thinner appearance. Working out after bariatric surgery is important, but you should also maintain a healthy lifestyle. Meet with our bariatric dietitian to get a proper diet for your post-surgery needs. To learn more about the right approach to exercise programs after bariatric surgery, speak with the experts at MD Bariatrics.

Tips On Mental Preparation For Bariatric Surgery

Bariatric Surgery is a big commitment that requires an understanding of your body, the surgery, and your own mental state. It’s possible to go into surgery unprepared, and doing this can result in a negative and expensive experience. Mentally preparing for Bariatric Surgery is a topic in itself. This article will explain how to prepare for surgery mentally and what you can do to put yourself in the best mindset for rapid weight loss.

Why You Need Mental Preparation For Bariatric Surgery

The surgery is only the beginning.

Most people are more terrified of the surgery than anything else. The reality is that weight loss procedures are incredibly safe and, considering the patient population, have a very low risk of complications. However, the surgery isn’t what most people have difficulty with. The problems come later. You will find yourself unable to eat the foods you used to. You won’t be nearly as hungry as you once were. Many patients find themselves depressed because the food that they once loved is no longer enjoyable.

Recovery requires significant dietary changes.

As stated before, dietary changes can be hard to handle. Many bariatric patients will have undergone a clear liquid fast before surgery. The length of this fast will be determined by the doctor. During recovery, the patient will be slowly introducing new foods and figuring out which foods agree with them. This completely upends old eating behaviors which may have been a source of comfort for the patient.

The weight loss may be the most difficult part.

Bariatric surgery is incredibly effective at producing weight loss results. It’s not unusual for a patient to lose over 100 pounds in the first year alone. When a patient loses this much weight in such a short amount of time, life changes drastically. People treat the patient differently. It may be difficult for the patient to recognize the person in the mirror. Food is no longer an effective source of comfort, requiring new coping mechanisms.

How To Prepare For Bariatric Surgery Mentally

Learn about the procedure you’re going to have.

By learning about the procedure you’re going to get, you can understand how it will help you lose weight, what you have to do in order to recover, and what you can expect in terms of weight loss. Maryland Bariatrics has a blog where you can learn all about various bariatric procedures. Check it out!

Come to surgery prepared.

Planning your overnight bag in advance can help you feel a lot more prepared for the surgery itself. You should have a change of clothes, some comfortable slippers, an empty water bottle, a comfortable pillow, something to read or otherwise occupy yourself, and your medication.

Plan for four weeks of heavily reduced activity.

You can expect to go back to work after about two weeks post-op. However, even when you do go back to work, you will still be unable to lift heavy weights or do strenuous activity.

How To Prepare For Post-Op Weight Loss

Don’t get attached to numbers on the scale.

Sometimes patients get overly preoccupied with the amount of pounds or kilograms they weigh. However, your body is changing in much more subtle ways. Non-scale victories should be celebrated instead, such as fitting into old smaller clothes, or being able to complete exercises that you weren’t able to before.

Accept that your body is changing.

This seems a bit silly for someone who just had surgery for the purpose of changing their body, but the mind takes some time to get used to your rapidly changing body. If you don’t recognize the person in the mirror just yet, it’s okay. Know that your body is changing and that you will settle into your new form.

Seek professional guidance, such as counseling and therapy.

Many bariatric patients find themselves dealing with mood swings and depressive episodes due to their restrictive diet and the toll that rapid weight loss can take. Although the relationship is complicated, this rapid weight loss can affect your body’s ability to produce serotonin, which is a mood regulating neurotransmitter. Not only that, but it can often be hard to deal with the social and emotional realities of these changes. Seeking professional help is not a sign of weakness, nor is it an indication that the surgery was a bad choice. It’s an investment in your overall health. Maryland Bariatrics at Saint Agnes Medical Center is home to the Top Rated Bariatric Surgeons In Maryland. They offer gastric bypass, gastric sleeve, and even Bariatric Revision Surgery in Baltimore. If you’re looking for a Weight Loss Surgeon, Maryland Bariatrics is here for you. Schedule a consultation today!

Don’t Eat That! Foods to Avoid After Bariatric Surgery

Weight loss surgery is often touted as a way to prevent overeating and lose a large amount of body fat in a short period of time. But the reality is that weight loss surgery requires certain lifestyle changes. Part of these lifestyle changes is to remove certain foods from one’s diet completely. But what foods should be avoided, and what foods can you eat after weight loss surgery?

3 Foods To Avoid After Weight Loss Surgery

Greasy, fried, or high fat foods

After most types of weight loss surgeries, greasy foods cannot be digested very well by the body. As a result, greasy foods can cause serious stomach upset. These types of foods may result in “dumping” which results in nausea and vomiting, so it’s best to continue to avoid them. Also foods like chips or crackers, while also high in fat, tend to slide into the pouch but really don’t provide any nutritional benefits.

Spicy food

Spicy foods are notable for causing stomach upset in people who haven’t undergone surgery; however, it’s common for people to develop a sensitivity to spicy foods after weight loss surgery. The mechanism is not well known, but it may have to do with how the body processes capsaicin, which is the chemical that makes foods spicy.

Sugar and sugar alcohols

Sugar alcohols are a common addition to sugar free foods. Although sugar free foods have fewer calories, certain ones should be avoided. The ones that should be avoided have something called sugar alcohols, which are sweeteners that cannot be digested by the body. Therefore, they have no caloric content that can be absorbed by the body. These include erythritol, glycerol, mannitol, sorbitol and xylitol. Generally, if it ends in ‘-ol’, it’s probably not good. Foods that are high in sugar such as candy, cakes, pies, etc. may also result in “dumping” which results in nausea and vomiting.

What Foods Are Allowed After Weight Loss Surgery?

Phase 1: Clear Liquids (0-1 days post-op)

This is the liquid fast that all patients start with. The reason patients have to do this fast is due to the stomach not being able to deal with regular foods for a few days after surgery.. Allowed foods: water, decaf tea, decaf coffee, thin broth, and approved electrolyte beverages.

Phase 2: Full Liquids (weeks 1-3 post op)

This diet consists of mostly protein drinks, low fat, low sugar yogurts, and non-carbonated non-alcoholic beverages can also be added. You may also add protein powders to boot your protein totals.

Phase 3 Pureed Foods (weeks 3-6)

Foods that can be blended into a smooth, non-chunky puree can now be consumed. Juices, lactose free milk, protein shakes, meal replacement shakes, and non-carbonated non-alcoholic beverages can also be added. This diet will be very low in protein. As a result, your doctor will require that you consume liquid protein supplements in order to meet your protein goals.

Phase 4: Soft Foods (Week 7-8)

Foods like scrambled eggs, mashed potatoes, ground meats, and other soft foods are reintroduced into the diet. These foods do not require much digestion, allowing them to be safely added back to the diet. Patients are advised to continue consuming the protein supplements at this stage.

Phase 5: Week 9

Foods that can be introduced at this stage, such as lean meats and certain vegetables. Eventually, patients will be able to eat most whole foods without any complications.Patients are advised to continue consuming the protein supplements at this stage if not meeting their protein goals. However, some foods should continue to be avoided. Foods high in fat, spicy foods, sugar and alcoholic or caffeinated beverages can cause digestive complications.

5 Places Body Contouring Can Eliminate Excess Skin After Bariatric Surgery

Body contouring is the removal of excess skin and fat from specific areas of the body in order to reduce skin chafing and improve the look of the physique. After losing a substantial amount of weight from bariatric surgery so rapidly, there is leftover skin that can hang and cause discomfort. Worst of all, it’s a common fear that prevents people from even taking on weight less! We want to tell you that loose skin should not prevent you from doing good things for your health and that you have options to remove that skin with body contouring. Here are the 5 places most people remove excess skin from. Upper Arm Skin One of the most common complaints from people who lose a lot of weight, through bariatric surgery or otherwise, is the excess skin on the upper arms. It can give the appearance of ‘bat wings’ or ‘chicken wings’, and can cause excessive discomfort simply through moving around normally. This operation leaves a scar, but it is only visible if people are actively looking for it. Chest Skin Both men and women often report sagging chest skin after bariatric surgery. It can be extremely uncomfortable, especially during exercise. Women will typically get a procedure done that is similar to a breast lift. Men will usually get a procedure that is also used for men with excessive gynecomastia. Abdominal Skin Since belly fat is usually the reason people get bariatric surgery, it makes sense that the abdomen would have a lot of loose skin. However, it’s also one of the most common procedures done after weight loss. Removing abdominal skin in itself can result in a very large immediate weight loss. The typical procedure is similar to what some surgeons call a ‘mommy makeover’, reserved for women who just had a baby and want to remove the excess abdominal skin. Face and Neck Face lifts can be done if excess skin is left on the face after bariatric surgery. However, it’s not that commonly done and is generally reserved until after all the desired weight has been lost. Typically the target is the neck, which has lots of loose skin after weight loss. Thighs Excess skin from the thighs can be highly uncomfortable since it makes walking even more of a chore. Often times, excess thigh skin is due to lymphedema swelling going down after a large weight loss. This operation is not a trivial procedure and isn’t needed by most bariatric surgery patients. However, if it’s a concern, it can be done.

For more than 150 years, Ascension Saint Agnes Hospital has been dedicated to the art of healing by providing exceptional care to the greater Baltimore area. Built on a strong foundation of excellent medical care and compassion, Ascension Saint Agnes is committed to providing the best care for our patients for many years to come

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