Beware, The Internet ….

I was inspired to write this post by a comment that was left on my blog. I love getting interaction with my posts on my blog because I get feedback about them and sometimes it sparks new post ideas. You can probably tell from the title that this post is going to be a bit rich coming from me but let me explain.

Information is a good thing. I took the position when I was thinking about and coming up to my surgery that the more I knew the better and I throughly researched gastric bypass online beforehand. One of the main reasons I started my blog was because there was a distinct lack of New Zealand based information about gastric bypass from a patients perspective.

I encourage you to research and find as much information as you can beforehand so you are as prepared as possible for what lies ahead. Knowledge is power and I cannot stress how much of this journey is a mental game. I think I have been better off throughout this process having a background of information to draw from.

One thing I really need to say is above all else listen to your surgical team first. This is really important. Your team know your specific situation, your background and to the degree that is possible will tailor the advice they give you to suit you and only you. Be very careful in considering conflicting advice from the internet, friends, family, even people like me.

The comment I received on my blog was asking why I take two vitamin tablets a day when the recommendation on the bottle and in various places on the internet tells you not to exceed one tablet per day. This is simply because of the malabsorption aspect of being a post op gastric bypass patient means you need to take more than the recommended daily limit to make sure your body gets everything you need.

For a normal person taking two tablets a day is certainly not recommended and would probably be harmful if you did take two over an extended period of time but for us with malabsorption issues it’s not a problem. It’s general information like this that can be way off base for our specific needs and could impact negatively on your health if you followed what it recommended.

If what you read or hear makes some sort of sense to you and you want to follow it talk to your team first to clear it. It may not be a big deal and they may give you pointers but at least then you know its okay by them. Another thing to note is that a lot of the American information and process is very different to how things are done and recommended in New Zealand and can’t be taken as gospel down here.

What I’m trying to get across is to look at anything you read or hear through a filtered lens. If something sounds ridiculous to you or a bit too good to be true it probably is. One thing I remember is that on a message board one patient was saying they were allowed to eat ice-cream during the soft foods period. A few people questioned it but others were amazed and said they were going to do it too. This is a prime example of why you need to take everything with a grain of salt. This person ended up posting later they had got McDonald’s ice-cream three days post surgery and ended up having a dumping episode (surprise, surprise!)

This goes for well-meaning advice from friends and family too. Especially so if they have not been through this or know much about the process themselves. People love to think they are experts in everything and are happy to give you advice they probably shouldn’t be giving because they have no idea what your dietary requirements are.

I try really hard here to give good advice that my team and dietician would be happy for me and others to do. I also try not to get too specific and advise readers to do what they have been advised if it’s different to what I recommend. Please be careful and don’t believe everything you read on the internet!

What’s the funniest or craziest thing you have read recommended for bariatric patients on the internet? Comment below and let me know.

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There are 2 comments for this article
  1. Anna at 8:34 pm

    I’m so interested to read your blog and also totally understand what you are saying about being careful to take things as gospel on the Internet!! Can I ask a random question? Feel free to answer via my email but what made you choose Centrum as your multi vitamin? No cannot wait to read more and love your openness ?

    • Melissa Peaks Author at 8:38 pm

      HI Anna, thanks for reading my blog I’m glad to hear you’re enjoying it! I take Centrum because that’s what my surgical team have recommended is best for me. They have had a close look a the levels of vitamins and minerals and figured it’s the most cost effective way to get everything we need.

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