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Have you had Gastric Bypass Surgery? Need meds help...

Messages
43
Hi. I'm looking for pain relief ideas from people who've had gastric bypass surgery. The surgery means we can't take NSAIDS, so I'm using very little for pain relief. Anyone who has had gastric bypass find anything that works? THANKS!
 

Dufresne

almost there...
Messages
1,039
Location
Laurentians, Quebec
I think if I had this problem I'd be looking to opiates or another delivery mode; perhaps transdermal or intramuscular administration. I've read of NSAID patches and always thought they'd be much better than the orals, which are so hard on the gut. However, I have to confess I'm responding for another reason. A while back Stone posted the following in the thread "does anyone feel better when they don't eat?" The post is about a significant reduction of ME symptoms following gastric by-pass surgery. I know there are a few different techniques, was your surgery the same type? And was there any change in your ME symptoms?

Hope it works out for you.

I definitely feel much better when I don't eat. This was brought home to me very clearly after undergoing "RnY" gastric bypass surgery in 2004. Beginning about two days after the surgery, while still in the hospital, I was amazed that my symptoms seemed to spontaneously disappear (virtually), which was the opposite of what I had expected having undergone other (unrelated) surgeries in the past and the major flares that had always followed. At first I thought the amazing reduction of symptoms was merely due to the big emotional relief from the stress of anticipating a quite dangerous surgery, and having the scariest part behind me. But as I continued to recover from the surgery itself, being on an entirely liquid diet, the near total cessation of ME/CFS symptoms continued, to my utter amazement and joy. This all started well before any major weight loss began in earnest, before any symptom relief could be attributed to weight loss.

At my 6-week follow up with the surgeon, I happily told the surgeon about the near total remission I was experiencing. The surgeon replied that (get this) he sees this happen in most of his patients with Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. When I queried as to why the good doctor didn't mention this to me before the surgery, he said that since it doesn't happen with every patient with my illness, he didn't want to falsely elevate my hopes, which seemed like a reasonable cause for not mentioning this phenomenon to me. The doctor also added that the remission of symptoms usually subsides about 9 to 18 months after the surgery, and cautioned me not to be overly disappointed if this is the case with me as well (as if disappointment could be somehow avoided in such circumstances, lol).

True to the surgeon's prediction, my symptoms did slowly and gradually return beginning at about 9 or 10 months postoperatively, with a return to my pre-surgery level of ME/CFS symptomatology (minus whatever degree of ME/CFS/FM symptom aggravation previously caused by the amount of excess weight I had lost at that point) at about 15 months post-op. By this time, I was able to take in a good deal greater volume of food than was possible in the months immediately following the surgery. Typically, after the procedure I had done, a person is only able to take in a few ounces at a "meal", an amount roughly the volume of a shot glass or two, depending in what is eaten. By about the time a year has passed, one is typically able to take in around 4 to 8 ounces in volume at a meal but this varies considerably from one person to the next and from one food to another.

Now, almost 7 years later, it is possible for me to eat amounts similar to 'normal' people from time to time, but not consistently, and it depends highly on what the food is, but I would have to struggle to do that. Most of the time, I eat can only very small portions (6 to 20 bites per meal, depending), and I still find that the bypass surgery notwithstanding, I feel much better when I eat much less, as along as I take my vitamin supplements. If I don't take my vitamins, and plenty of them, I'm incredibly sick. Now, my ME/CFS is the worst it's been since its onset in 1995, including those first two nightmarish years. I do find that the less I eat, the better I feel. Also, I have recently taken to periodic fasting (for spiritual purposes), and I find this to be a beneficial practice for me both spiritually and physically. When I allow myself to eat at the maximum that I can comfortably eat, even with the reduced capacity afforded by my altered gastric architecture, I don't feel nearly as well in terms of my ME/CFS symptoms as I would if I were to eat a bit less that I am capable of eating or if I am on a periodic fast. I do have to watch that I am taking in enough to maintain my weight, as I do not need to or desire to lose any more weight.

I really feel this should be studied, in particular the amazing phenomena experienced by myself and many others immediately after gastric bypass surgery. The surgeon actually expected my remission and wasn't surprised in the least when I reported it to him. Food for thought ;-)
 

dannybex

Senior Member
Messages
3,556
Location
Seattle
I would suggest asking your doctor or practitioner for advice, with the goal of finding the safest, least addicting painkiller. NSAID's are one of the worst, most dangerous drugs ever invented...they deplete glutathione, can cause liver damage, kidney failure, on and on...

Good luck!

d.
 
Messages
15,786
NSAID's are one of the worst, most dangerous drugs ever invented...they deplete glutathione, can cause liver damage, kidney failure, on and on...

Thanks for the info ... I was on a high-ish dose of Aleve (naproxen) shortly before the poop hit the fan.

Haven't needed any NSAIDs since I got sick though ... fish oil takes care of my headaches way better than anything else ever did :p
 
Messages
43
Well, I had RNY 4 years ago, but I only came down with ME/CFIDS 1 year ago, so I can't really answer your question. I'm sorry.

I have not noticed any difference in symptoms when I eat less. There are days when I don't eat much at all, or I only drink protein drinks, and I don't notice a reduction in symptoms. Wish I did!

My doctor has offered Tramadol as an alternative to NSAIDS, but I am VERY VERY VERY afraid of anything that could be addicting. That is the catch-22.
 

redo

Senior Member
Messages
874
Well, I had RNY 4 years ago, but I only came down with ME/CFIDS 1 year ago, so I can't really answer your question. I'm sorry.
Thanks for telling us. Do you know how many meters of your small intestines they removed? And if the stomach was made smaller as well? (sorry if you feel I am asking personal questions :).

Reason I am asking is because a publication have shown that a type of gastric bypass can releave the pain in FMS sufferers:

www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/18401670/
 
Messages
43
Feel free to ask anything. I'm an open book.

I know that my doctor bypassed about 75 cm of bowel. I had a proximal bypass, which is the "shortest" of the bypasses. My stomach was made into a little pouch about the size of an egg.

I will read that publication, though. Thanks!