Hi all, I am 22 months post op and do... - Oesophageal Patie...

Oesophageal Patients Association
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Hi all, I am 22 months post op and doing quiet well !!! I am back to work, my weight is 8st 3,I do eat but would like to gain more any help?

I am now living a normal life as in eating,sleeping, walking, but I would like to try and gain some extra pounds as I feel to thin,

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I am 12 months post op and 8 months since last chemotherapy Also lost weight from 13 stone and now stable at 10 stone 2. Unable to put on more weight and have had to replace all clothing! Been advised to eat more regularly - every 2 hours! but find this impractical. I am also back at my part time job and taking part in social activities (cycling etc).

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Hi AlexLS14, thanks for your reply and like you I agree with you regarding eating every 2 hours is not practical, but what we need is a carefully but good ideas for weight gain taking into considerations some of our side affects !!! what do you think. I was about 10 1/2 stone before my op, so our weight loss is very similar but I don't want to lose anymore than what I am.

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Hi Hunsdon

I am now 6 1/2 years post op and it is only in the last 2 years that my weight has more or less crept back up to what it was. The advice I got at first was to eat things like cream and full fat milk, cheese etc so I got my GP to put me on a Statin to counterbalance any negative health issues that may arise from this type of diet. I now find I don't need to eat this type of food anymore so I am considering coming off the Statin. I think your weight should stabilize in time but it may take a while.

Kind Regards

Steve

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Hi Stevej, thank you so very much for such an encouraging message, I hope others out there will read and feel the same as I do with regarding weight and changes to any foods we try.

Once again thank you.

Tina

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That is encouraging. I'm three years post-op and just beginning to consider more healthy food on a regular basis as my weight has stabilised (though four stone below what it was before the op!) and I'm getting a little tired of trying to gain weight. I think I now need to concentrate on being healthy and getting fitter within the constraint of my new 'normal' weight.

Peter

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Hi Peter, I think the weight problems we feel after the relief getting better and after what really is a big operation, is like a second step forward towards recovery don't you agree it all helps the healing process.

Tina

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I am 6 years post op and have decided to try and maintain my weight as is. I was 10.5 stone before op and now 9.5 stone. I have replaced my clothes too. One method that seems to be working for me at the moment is to carry a ruck sack fully of treats. Currently twix mini bars seem to go down well. About 100 calories per bar and they are quite small in volume. I also carry twirls and mars bars, however the mars bars do upset my stomach.

Just in case I get dumping I also carry werthers originals.

I manage to eat one healthy meal a day. The rest are high calorie snacks. I was always a healthy eater an it's taken me years to accept a more unhealthy diet. I wish I too could have more healthy foods.

Jay

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Hi jay, It nice to hear all about you enjoying sweet treats I so envy you only because I don't fancy chocolate like I used to as before my op !!! if you get my drift. But the ideas are great regarding carrying about the choc bars and the werthers for any dumping.

Tina

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Hello you fellow sufferers

I am 10 months post op to the day and read all the letters coming in,they are very interesting. I don't know whether I have rights to comment on your problem because I have the opposite problem, that is I constantly gain weight unless I restrict the amount I eat and take regular exercise not that I can eat that much anyway. Admittedly before all the problems started I was overweight about 17stone and lost 4 stone before the op, but I had been trying to lose for years so I quite liked it, in fact before the diagnosis I had convinced myself I had been responsible for the weight loss by dieting. So in a way I envy you guys and I would say without any medical knowledge (so don't take too much notice:-) )as long as you're not losing weight feeling OK and can eat without much problem be content and patient.I' now about 14 stone and holding.

Best wishes to all.

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18 months post op, and weight fluctuates, at 16 stone pre op very overweight I lost 6 stone post op and now stable at 12 stone from 11, I am comfortable with this and feel fit, the only down side, I tend to feel the cold more, probably because my insulation of fat has reduced, I find it difficult to eat lttle and often, it takes time to adjust to meal size as eating that bit extra gives me stomach ache,I tend to eat more fruit veg and fish now as I find meat apart from chicken an ordeal.

Mike

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I so agree with you when say about feeling the cold, freezing at times ha ha

Tina

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Yes, feeling the cold is a common complaint.

If your weight is stable and you are taking in nutrition then I do not think you are going to do yourself any favours in trying to eat more than you can happily cope with simply for the purpose of reaching a target weight. You may simply have reached your new 'normal' weight. I do not think that many people can cope with size of meals that used to be normal before this surgery. It might be possible to have extra snacks in between meals - the 'little' and 'often' are probably just as important as each other.

Do watch out for the sugary and high GI index food (and sometimes milk and fatty foods also carry a lot if sugar) that would help people with normal digestive systems put on weight. These may cause you extra problems from dumping syndrome because of the insulin spikes, and it will be counter-productive

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As it is quite possible that this lower weight is your new normal comfortable body weight, as mentioned by Alan, it is important to make sure you are eating as well as you can given the limitations all of us face. And these limitations may differ from person to person due to things such as dumping syndrome, the reason for the esophagectomy (ie cancer vs achalasia vs other), and your health conditions before the surgery. So some things may be tolerated well by one person but not at all by another. So everything below may or may not work well for you.

Try to make sure each meal has sufficient carbohydrates, such as rice, pasta, or well-cooked potatoes. You want your body to use carbohydrates or fats for energy, but if there is not enough carbs in the diet, the body will burn protein for energy. And we need the protein to regain or retain muscle mass and necessary body functions. A lot of us have trouble with fat in the diet, so make sure you have a healthy base of carbs and fat as tolerated. You want sufficient protein, and try to get some with each meal. A lot of us have trouble with chunks of meat, so try ground meats or very tender cuts in small pieces (sirloin or fish, for example). Avoid a lot of soy in the diet (protein supplements), but some is OK. And remember the vegetables. Good sources of fiber. I don't tolerate starchy vegetables (some beans, peas), so use the amount you can tolerate. A multivitamin supplement, such as a chewable, is always a good idea.

I eat a lot of thick stews and rice with ground meat and vegetables. Don't be afraid to experiment. Dumping syndrome stinks, but it passes after a few hours. Learn from your mistakes and remember what you tolerate well. Good luck.

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Many thanks for your advice - sitting here wondering what to eat tonight, read your article and your 'thick stew' stood out, got all ingredients - so will be serving it up to my husband tonight who has lost 4st and cannot seem to gain any weight!!

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I hope you both enjoyed it. I will often make a stew with tender beef (ie sirloin) cut up into small pieces along with carrots, well-cooked potatoes, onions, and sugar peas. I'll eat it with rice or cook barley with it. I do best with meals that are soft and moist but not a lot of thin broth. Hope you are able to find many good, hearty meals that are well-tolerated.

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Had my op. three years ago and am in the same boat as most of us,I was thirteen and a half stone and am now four stone less. I used to eat a healthy diet but now crave cakes, sweets,chocolate etc., all the things that should increase weight. Nobody seems to be able to explain why we cannot put weight on, if the reason could be identified it could be of use to people who need to lose weight. Personally I would like to put on a stone, but as a seventy-four year old man it's not something I worry about too much.

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Unfortunately its a problem many of us have.I am nearly 3 years since op and I was 14 and a half stone went down to under 9 but now just over 10.Like others had to change my wardrobe!! I know we are supposed to eat little and often but as others say its not practical.I eat reasonably well but weght gain such a problem.I hope it makes you feel better by knowing others have same prob.

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Hi Griff, it does help but at the same time its like opening a can of worms, but I really appreciate all the comments.

Tina

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These dietary threads are always popular and issues such as reflux and dumping syndrome affect a lot of contributors. I would imagine that the OPA will now have a lot of really valuable and pertinent data on these important subjects.

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I suppose the biggest challenge for me is getting enough calories to maintain my current weight. I feel that I am forever having to think about the number of calories I have eaten. I'm eating/snacking from 7am to 10pm and it's like a full time occupation. Fitting work, family and normal life inbetween. Yes, I'm extremely lucky to be here, but wish I didn't have to continuously monitor my weight and calorie intake. The last 2 years I've managed to avoid a feeding tube. I'll continue my research on drugs which have the side effect of weight gain. Let me know when reverse lipo suction is invented:)

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So enjoyed your thoughts around these food and weight issues.

Tina

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Hi All

I have the same problem re trying to increase my weight - 2 years post opp - lost approx. 3.5 stone and lose weight if I miss any meal for any reason but it has stabilised at around 10 stone 11 pounds.

Just had 6 monthly check up and all is well except surgeon would like me to put some weight on - he suggested I think of snacks between meals as medicine and when he sees me in 12 months time hopes to see weight gain.

I try not to get paranoid about it and am not losing weight so maybe that's my "normal" weight now.

Regards Mick

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Hi Mick, this is a subject well spoken about but I also know inside our heads its a bit of a challenge, its great when a surgeon's wants us all to gain a little more weight when at the same time we are trying so hard to do, I think we would like another wave of that magic wand.

Tina

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I am 1 year post op and can relate to all of these comments. I was 13 stone and am now 9 and a half with a new wardrobe. I think you do get used to walking around Sainsburys looking for high calorie foods and putting back the healthy stuff but it takes time.

James

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Interesting to read all the comments on weight. I often wondered why I managed to weigh more after my operation. Is it all about what you eat or is it about the rate of metabolism?

A recent blood test revealed that I had an underactive thyroid, symptom of which is weight gain. Not everything is down to what we eat so as long as I feel healthy and enjoy life, I no longer worry about weight. Getting on with making the most of the life I wasn't going to have has been my priority over the last 20yrs. sally

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Hi Sally, just early into my recovery I was told I had an overactive thyroid which the support nurse said was quite normal, so maybe !!! I am wondering if this is the same for most of us, my priority is gaining my normal life again.

Tina

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