What if we don’t get enough protein?

poet_kelly
on 9/8/11 6:22 pm - OH
I've seen some posts lately with people asking what to do because they cannot stand the protein shakes.  I sympathize.  It took me a couple months to find one I could actually force myself to drink regularly.  Some are just that bad.  But all kinds of bad things happen if we don't get our protein in.  If you are having a hard time tolerating the shakes, do some reading on OH or post some questions.  I bet someone here can help you find a way to make a shake you actually like.  Don't just not get your protein in, though.  You have to have it.

What if we don’t get enough protein?

 Here are some of the more common symptoms.

  • Edema - A collection of fluid under the skin, which most commonly affects the legs, feet, and ankles, but can occur anywhere on the body.
  • Thinning or brittle hair, hair loss
  • Ridges or deep lines in finger and toe nails
  • Skin becomes very light, burns easily in the sun
  • Reduced pigmentation in the hair on scalp and body
  • Skin rashes, dryness, flakiness
  • General weakness and lethargy
  • Muscle soreness and weakness, cramps
  • Slowness in healing wounds, cuts, scrapes, and bruises
  • Bedsores and other skin ulcers
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Headache
  • Nausea and stomach pain
  • Fainting
  • Depressed immune system, increase susceptibility to infection and illness
  • Loss of  muscle tissue
  • Heart damage (eventually)
  • Crankiness, moodiness
  • Severe depression
  • Anxiety
  • Lack of energy, no desire to do things

There are a couple of these to pay special attention to right after surgery.

When we have RNY, our stomach is sliced open.  Lots of tissue is damaged and needs to heal.  It will not heal well without protein.  Some docs recommend patients do not begin protein drinks for a couple of weeks after surgery and I personally think that is unwise.  We need EXTRA protein to heal from major surgery, not less protein.  If your doc recommends clear liquids right after surgery, we can use clear protein drinks.

Some of these symptoms are pretty common after RNY even if we do get enough protein, like some nausea, fatigue, weakness, hair loss and depression.  But not getting enough protein can make those things a whole lot worse.

It’s important to understand that we need protein for the amino acids.  If we don’t consume protein, we start to break down our muscles for the amino acids we need.  It’s kinda like we eat our own muscles.  And our heart is a muscle.  And, well, eating your own heart is not a good thing.


View more of my photos at ObesityHelp.com          Kelly

Please note: I AM NOT A DOCTOR.  If you want medical advice, talk to your doctor.  Whatever I post, there is probably some surgeon or other health care provider somewhere that disagrees with me.  If you want to know what your surgeon thinks, then ask him or her.    Check out my blog.

 

Amy_Lou
on 9/8/11 6:34 pm - FL
I needed to read this.

Now I'm sitting here tearing up.

I have tried everything that's been suggested to me.
EVERYTHING in attempts to get my protein in.  
I just throw up (which isn't good for my heart either) when I do the powders, the syrups, or the juices. I just can't tolerate them. No matter how slow and steady I drink it from a covered cup! 
I just started eating the low-carb protein bars. It's the only thing I can tolerate, but even those are difficult. UGH. I'm so frustrated! I don't know what else to do! I don't want to f#cking DIE before I get the chance to really LIVE again! The fear has just been magnified; but now the frustration is louder than ever. I have to get it in! But what?!! HOW? Blllaarrggghh...

';*;'*Amy Lou*;',*; 
   ;*, ;',*             ;*, ;',*;    
    
poet_kelly
on 9/8/11 6:41 pm - OH
Can you do no sugar added carnation instant breakfast?  It's not the best choice because it's not that high in protein (only 13 grams in one cup skim milk) but it would be better than nothing.  Does skim milk go down OK?  That's not a good long term solution because to get enough protein from skim milk, you'd be getting too many calories.  However, if it's the only thing you can get down right now, it's better than no protein at all.

If those are the things you find work for you and nothing else does, then you just need to make sure you eat protein and nothing else until you can eat enough food to get all your protein in.  Are you doing Greek yogurt?  Cottage cheese?

View more of my photos at ObesityHelp.com          Kelly

Please note: I AM NOT A DOCTOR.  If you want medical advice, talk to your doctor.  Whatever I post, there is probably some surgeon or other health care provider somewhere that disagrees with me.  If you want to know what your surgeon thinks, then ask him or her.    Check out my blog.

 

Amy_Lou
on 9/8/11 6:59 pm - FL
I'd like to say I haven't tried it but yes I have; all three flavors. :(
I do eat greek yogurt and baby bell light cheese.
I sometimes do eggs. I drink soy milk. I eat salmon.
I eat nuts & vegetarian meats (good protein)...
I am lactose intolerant so, milk is a no no.
I thought we weren't supposed to reply on food for our protein intake?
Or maybe my nutritionist is an idiot. ??? Ohhh boy...



';*;'*Amy Lou*;',*; 
   ;*, ;',*             ;*, ;',*;    
    
Cicerogirl, The PhD
Version

on 9/8/11 7:11 pm, edited 9/8/11 7:11 am - OH
Your nutritionist probably told you not to rely only on food for your protein since it is REALLY hard to eat enough early out to get enough protein in WITHOUT the supplements...but it CAN be done. I know a woman who, like you, would throw up all the protein supplements she tried. So she started eating every 2 hours during ALL her waking hours in order to get enough protein in and she did fine with that.

I also know a woman who had heard so much about people not being able to "tolerate" the shakes that she EXPECTED to have trouble with them.... and then, of course, did. She realized, though, that some of her problem may have been that she "psyched herself into" the problems, so she saw a local counselor who also uses hypnosis and after 2 sessions of hypnosis she was able to tolerate several of the protein shakes she had at home. Some still made her sick, but she was able to get all her protein in. I'm not saying that I think your problems are psychological, but if you cannot get the protein in from food alone, hypnosis might be something you could consider.

Have you tried using a straw to drink them? I found that to be the only way to get down the ones that made me gag (but none of them made me physically ill).

Lora

 6 years out and maintaining 190 pounds lost!  

“You don't drown by falling in the water.  You drown by staying there.”

 

YankeeRose
on 9/8/11 7:17 pm - Meadville, PA
I am lactose intolerant too. I drink lactose free skim milk. the name brand is Lactaid but most grocery stores carry their own brand. Lactaid just came out with their own cottage cheese too. They also make Lactaid pills that you can take with the first bite of any dairy product to deal with the lactose. Like the other posters have already said, keep trying different brands of whey protein. I didn't think I would ever find one that i could tolerate let alone like. I just tried GNC's Total lean swiss chocolate RTD shake today and it was pretty good. It did not have that funky whey protein smell that always gags me. I also like Cytosport protein water in the watermelon flavor. It tastes like a watermelon jolly rancher. It is very strong but I usually pour it over a glass of ice which dilutes it some. Other than finding a good protein drink you can handle, just try to eat very high protein foods. You might have to eat every couple of hours to get in enough protein if you aren't gonna supplement with shakes or bars. Good luck.

Tammy
Luck 'o the Irish
HW399/SW362/CW219/GW130
*37 lbs were lost pre-op
       

poet_kelly
on 9/8/11 7:40 pm - OH
Relying on food for our protein is great if we are able to eat enough of it.  In the early days, it's hard to eat enough food to get enough protein so most of us have to use shakes to supplement the amount we get from food.

View more of my photos at ObesityHelp.com          Kelly

Please note: I AM NOT A DOCTOR.  If you want medical advice, talk to your doctor.  Whatever I post, there is probably some surgeon or other health care provider somewhere that disagrees with me.  If you want to know what your surgeon thinks, then ask him or her.    Check out my blog.

 

dufiedog
on 9/8/11 6:46 pm
Keep trying Amy.  It will get better.  There are tons of protein drinks out there you just have to persevere until you find one.  Get a bunch of samples and experiment with them.  Try checking out Bariatric Foodie and The World According to Eggface.  They both have tons of recipes for getting your protein in.  You can do it!!

            

Amy_Lou
on 9/8/11 7:00 pm - FL
Thank you so much. :)

';*;'*Amy Lou*;',*; 
   ;*, ;',*             ;*, ;',*;    
    
Patty B.
on 9/13/11 2:16 pm
I didn't like the protein either and my doctor said no protein malts..But the best I know.  I went to the vitamin store and found a protein with 22 grams in one scoop and 122 calories...I also use protein expresso....this is an eggface recipe...almond milk one cup one scoop chocolate protein one scoop of expressor protein and carmel torani tsp  ....1/2 bananna  blend it with ice and top with shot of whip cream...It's delicious!  I also do strawberry protein with the Yoplait 1/2 package of frozen stuff and 1/2 bananna...That in the blender is delic also!  always use a little ice to make think like a malt!  Good Luck Patty
            
Cicerogirl, The PhD
Version

on 9/8/11 7:16 pm - OH


I have been trying to get in extra protein since my exploratory surgery last week... tough to do since I don't have much appetite, so I have had to go back to the shakes (which is why I bought the sample kits of the Oh Yeah RTDs).  I still don't like them much (although the Oh Yeah chocolate and the Cytosport Tangerine are fine), but I want to get healed up quickly, so I have been drinking them every day.

Lora

 6 years out and maintaining 190 pounds lost!  

“You don't drown by falling in the water.  You drown by staying there.”

 

AnneGG
on 9/8/11 8:41 pm
Getting protein in early out was a b**** for me, too. My doc and my nutritionist tried everything and all different types of protein shakes on me, and the only one I can still tolerate is BSN Lean Dessert. I recently found Power Pak Protein Pudding with 30 gms protein and 190 calories. Unfortunately it is expensive, but it goes down easily. It comes ready-made in a can.

"What the caterpillar calls the end of the world, the master calls the butterfly." Richard Bach

"Support fosters your growth. If you are getting enough of the right support, you will experience a major transformation in yourself. You will discover a sense of empowerment and peace you have never before experienced. You will come to believe you can overcome your challenges and find some joy in this world." Katie Jay

Massagelady
on 9/8/11 9:41 pm
RNY on 08/17/11 with
 You can also get plain unflavored protein and mix it into foods.  For example I've mixed it in with SF pudding, and I'm going to make some SF jello and put it in that too.  You can also mix it with soups. 

I'm definately not in love with protein shakes either! some days they are just vile to me, other days are better.

so I feel ya for sure, good luck!
            
poet_kelly
on 9/8/11 9:56 pm - OH
Oh yeah, unflavored protein powder can be mixed in all kinds of foods.  I've put it in tons of stuff, including chili, lasagna (mixed it in with the  cheese mixture), mashed potatoes, yogurt, pudding, cream soups, all kinds of stuff.  I found that if I put too much it the texture changed and I didn't like it but I could fit a little in just about anything.

View more of my photos at ObesityHelp.com          Kelly

Please note: I AM NOT A DOCTOR.  If you want medical advice, talk to your doctor.  Whatever I post, there is probably some surgeon or other health care provider somewhere that disagrees with me.  If you want to know what your surgeon thinks, then ask him or her.    Check out my blog.