My experience with food poisoning after gastric bypass

My experience with food poisoning after gastric bypass

What’s the worst thing that could happen to your teeny tummy after gastric bypass you ask? I recently discovered that Campylobacter, a type of food poisoning, is quite possibly one of the worst things you can go through after having a gastric bypass. I’m not sure if my assumptions are correct but I think having a smaller tummy and less small intestine in action may have made my first experience with food poisoning after gastric bypass even more horrendous that it would have been before.

I had been a bit tired and feeling not great for a few days but because I work full-time and have a small child being tired and feeling like I’m about to hit a wall is basically my default setting. The day it hit I had felt a bit sick and blah for about an hour after each of my meals and while that’s not normal by any means I didn’t think twice about it. At midnight it hit! I woke up and knew I needed to get to the bathroom immediately.

That night was awful and after an hour or so I kicked my husband out of bed because I was worried that he might pick it up if it was a contagious tummy bug. I called Healthline in the morning and they recommended I see a doctor. I went to the doctor, she gave me electrolytes and some general advice and sent me on my way. I ended up going back two days later because I still didn’t feel any better at all. The stomach cramps were so bad I had been taking Panadol but she gave me some buscopan to help reduce the cramps. I couldn’t move around for more than a couple of minutes before the cramps would get really bad and I would have to sit down.

Food poisoning after gastric bypass

Me on day 2 looking as awful as I felt.

The hardest thing to manage was my fluid intake. I could get fluids in and keep them down but I was still losing a lot of fluid overall and with a tiny tummy you can’t just skull back a litre of fluid and be set for a while. I started getting quite dehydrated on day 3 and when I went back to see the doctor she gave me strict instructions to go home and focus on getting in as much fluid as I could. I’ve heard that many people tend to end up in hospital when they have campylobacter due to dehydration and I am so pleased I managed to get on top of it and avoid a trip to the hospital to get some fluids in. I focused on getting about 300ml in an hour, every hour and made sure I was drinking the awful electrolytes the doctor had given me.

In terms of managing it food wise I ate a couple of bland things like a banana and a piece of white bread (which I hadn’t had in three years!) on the first day but while I kept it down my body wasn’t terribly pleased about it all. Then I decided I did not need food, I wasn’t interested in it anyway and I didn’t really eat anything for two days to try and give my body time to recover and to starve the bug that was waging war inside me.

I don’t think I’ve ever been so sick in my entire life and in the space of a week I lost 4kg. Most of it was fluid but I didn’t eat for a couple of days and then when I did start eating again, even for me it wasn’t much. I got really bony through my chest and I was utterly exhausted. Even when I started feeling human again the first week of feeling ‘better’ was really tough because I just felt so wiped out. I did manage to put 3kg of the four I lost within a week of eating and drinking normally again so it’s good that I bounced back quickly in that regard.

Food poisoning after gastric bypass, Melissa Loses It

My chest got really bony.

My advice, god help you, if you ever get struck down with this horrendous bug is to rest, make fluids your absolute number one priority, forget about eating if the thought of it is not at all appealing and try to remember to take your vitamins and usual medications. I literally stayed in bed for four days and only got out to go to the doctor. Don’t be a hero and take pain relief medication for the cramps, nobody is going to give you a medal for trooping on through. Nothing has ever struck me down for that long before so it’s testament to how sick I was. I’m very lucky to have a fantastic husband who was able to do everything our little guy needed and to be honest if I didn’t have him I don’t know how I would have got through it with a kid around.

You HAVE to keep your fluids up. It’s easy to get dehydrated if you haven’t been surgically altered in the way we have but for us it’s even easier. Fluid is far more important than eating so sip, sip, sip away until you can sip no more. Eating is really not important, appealing or fun when you’re this sick so if you really aren’t feeling it don’t bother. You’ll be able to tell when you’re ready so listen to your body. Never have I been more grateful that I no longer get hungry.

I forgot to take my vitamins and reflux medication for two days, the thought literally did not cross my mind and boy did I pay for it. Not only did I have seriously painful stomach cramps from the bug, then my reflux started playing up and it was hell on earth. Your body needs the vitamins and any goodness it can pick up so make sure you take them if you can.

I really hope you haven’t had to deal with food poisoning after gastric bypass or other weight loss surgery, especially campylobacter – the one I had, but if you have I’m sure my readers would love to know your top tips to getting through so comment below and share your ideas with us!

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