Foamies, is there a medical explanation?

Nancyd1225
on 5/14/18 7:50 am
RNY on 03/26/18

Hello,

I'm just 7 weeks out from RNY and have been introducing 'regular' food to my diet for about 2 weeks. I've had several bouts of what I have learned is called "the foamies". Nasty painful stuff, good learning tool because no one wants to repeat that, but I guess I'm a slow learner.

I'm working on eating slowly and really chewing each bite. Yesterday I had another experience with foamies which I think was related more to the type of food (steak) I ate rather than the way I ate it. It was so painful. So lesson reinforced.... again.

My question, is there a medical explanation for this? I've tried to find an answer and everything I find doesn't really explain the science behind it. I understand what triggers it, eating to fast, not taking small enough or well chewed bites and sometimes the type of food that may be difficult to digest.

Why the excessive mucus? Why the foamies? Why am I regurgitating mucus and foam, but not the food (the culprit) I just ate?

Any insights are appreciated. I know i need to change the way and sometimes what I'm eating regardless of the science. I'm just curious and want to understand what's happening.

Thanks!

5'10" 57 years old
HW: 280
SW: 264
CW: 239
GW: 165-175
M1: -20 M2: tbd

ScottAndrews
on 5/14/18 8:22 am
RNY on 03/20/17

It's really just a matter of plumbing. You ate too much or didn't chew properly or you ate something that's just too tough for your surgically restricted upper GI system to handle and now all the saliva you swallow is backed up.

Steak at 7 weeks? That's the stuff foamies are made of.

Nancyd1225
on 5/14/18 9:24 am
RNY on 03/26/18

I realize it was a poor choice, steak bite appetizer. Just seemed like the best protein choice without a bunch of other stuff that would go to waste, we were at a restaurant. Not something I'll do again.

I understand that it was what I ate. What i don't understand is why the mucus and foam are excessive and what comes up but not the food. Why wouldn't the food come up?

5'10" 57 years old
HW: 280
SW: 264
CW: 239
GW: 165-175
M1: -20 M2: tbd

ScottAndrews
on 5/14/18 9:39 am
RNY on 03/20/17

Because it's jammed in there.

I made myself throw up many times because I just couldn't take that feeling. The violence of that is probably the only way to force it back up. It's nasty business.

MarinaGirl
on 5/15/18 1:41 am
Mini Gastric Bypass on 04/10/17

NEWBIES: Please do not make yourself vomit/purge post-op. That is the last thing a newly operated on system needs; it is too risky and violent to your new plumbing, and can lead to complications.

quutgrrl
on 5/15/18 6:02 pm

And DONT try regurgitating because it tears up your new tummy!

HonestOmnivore
on 5/14/18 9:50 am
RNY on 03/29/17 with

I feel you! My bariatric center encouraged us to try all meats after we were moved to the soft food stages - and once we were clear for regular food I tried steak too. I was lucky(?) in that my cast iron gut survived the surgery and while I can still get very ill from carbs and or sugar, meat has always been pretty easy for me. I know that when I first started posting in the menu page, some of the very experienced veterans were horrified I was eating tuna only a few weeks out, but it worked very well for me early on. I also had a lot of sashimi and chicken salad. None of the meats bothered me the first few months out - not CHEWING well enough caused misery, but the meat was not the problem. I ate a lot of yogurt and drank a lot of kombucha the first week post op so maybe that helped restore my gut flora?

I think the foamies are from your stomach over producing mucus to protect it from the food it's not ready to handle but I don't know. I'd love a scientific explanation too!

5'4" 49yrs at surgery date

SW - 206 CW - 136
M1 - 20lb M2 - 9 lb M3 - 7 lb M4 - 7 lb M5 - 7 lb M6 - 6 lb M7 - 4 lb M8 - 1 lb M9 - 2 lb M10 - 4 lb

Au_Contraire
on 5/14/18 8:37 pm

I've had several episodes of the foamies. All but one preceded throwing up whatever it was I had eaten by just a few minutes.

JuniperBerry
on 5/14/18 2:02 pm, edited 5/14/18 8:52 am - MA

Think of it like a stuck drain. If you have something stuck in a drain, adding water does not make the clog go down, it makes the water come up. Your body is creating excess mucus as a "helpful" way to try to massage the stuck food down, but unfortunately, just like that stuck drain... your foamies come up instead of getting the food to go down.

One more piece of advice is that if it happens again, go back to all liquids for a full day to let everything rest. Stuck food can make everything swell up and then make it worse again the next time.

  • 4'11"
  • High Weight before LapBand: 200
  • High Weight before RNY: 160
  • CW: 117
  • below goal in 9 months

Nancyd1225
on 5/14/18 3:44 pm
RNY on 03/26/18

Thank you!! That makes great sense to me, what a great analogy. I appreciate that. I haven't gone to full liquids today, but i can see where that makes sense.

Thank you again!

5'10" 57 years old
HW: 280
SW: 264
CW: 239
GW: 165-175
M1: -20 M2: tbd

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