Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus (T2DM): What It Is & How to Prevent It

Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus (T2DM) affects more than 37 million Americans, and it can be a serious condition if left untreated. Let’s take a closer look at some of the causes, symptoms to look out for, and how you can take care of yourself if you do develop T2DM.

What is Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus (T2DM)?

Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus (T2DM) — also known as type 2 diabetes, non-insulin-dependent diabetes, TDM, or T2D — is a long-term, chronic condition in which your body becomes unable to properly regulate sugar levels in the blood. This causes a wide range of unpleasant symptoms and, if left untreated, can lead to severe or even life-threatening complications.

When you eat, you ingest a type of sugar called glucose. As glucose moves through your body, your pancreas creates a hormone called insulin that regulates how much glucose is absorbed by your cells. When a healthy amount of glucose enters your cells, they can produce energy.

T2D occurs when your cells become resistant to insulin and are therefore unable to properly use it. In response, your pancreas produces more and more insulin to try to trigger the cells to do their job. Because of this insulin-resistance, the glucose you consume goes into your cells unregulated, and your glucose rises to unhealthy levels.

What Are the Symptoms of Type 2 Diabetes?

If you’re at risk of developing type 2 diabetes, it’s helpful to know what might be signs of symptoms of the condition. Some of the most common early symptoms of T2DM include:

  • Extreme thirst
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Sudden and unexpected weight loss
  • Frequent urination
  • Constant hunger
  • Vision is or becomes blurry
  • Unusually slow healing of skin wounds
  • Excessively dry skin
  • Numbness or tingling in the hands and/or feet
  • Frequent headaches
  • Bleeding gums
  • Darkened skin around the armpits and neck

Women who have T2D may also experience frequent yeast infections or urinary tract infections. Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, or PCOS, is also related to T2D. Women who have PCOS or a family history of PCOS are more likely to develop T2D.

Two symptoms particular to men with T2D include erectile dysfunction and decreased muscle mass. 

For children, they may show any of the above symptoms, but the most common are extreme thirst, chronic fatigue, blurry vision, and increased urination.

Some symptoms of diabetes may take years to appear, and some people may be completely asymptomatic. It’s important to get regular blood tests to monitor your glucose levels and determine if you’re at risk of developing diabetes.

What’s the Difference Between Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes?

Both types of diabetes are caused by the body’s inability to regulate insulin. However, there are several important differences between type 1 and type 2 diabetes.

With T1D, your pancreas is unable to make insulin. With T2D, your pancreas is able to make insulin, but your body is unable to use it correctly. People who have T1D need to take insulin, while people with T2D may or may not need to take insulin.


Type 1 diabetes is still sometimes called “juvenile diabetes” because it is most commonly diagnosed in children and teens. Type 2 diabetes can occur in children and teens, but has historically been called “adult-onset diabetes” because it is most commonly diagnosed in adults.


T1D is believed to be caused by an autoimmune disease in which the body’s immune system attacks its own insulin-producing cells inside the pancreas. T1D tends to run in families. 

T2D, on the other hand, is caused by several factors. Some of these factors are related to lifestyle, while others are genetic. 

What is the Leading Cause of Type 2 Diabetes?

There are many known factors that could contribute to T2D:

  • Obesity, especially excessive belly fat
  • A sedentary lifestyle
  • Over 40 years old
  • High blood pressure
  • A history of gestational diabetes for those who have been pregnant
  • A history of giving birth to one or more babies weighing over 9 pounds
  • Low levels of “good” cholesterol (HDL)
  • A diet heavy in processed food and sugar
  • Being ethnically Black, Latinx, Native American, or AAPI
  • Having a 1st degree relative with T2DM (parent, sibling, or child)
  • Untreated pre-diabetes
  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)
  • Stress

Exhibiting one or more of these risk factors isn’t automatically a sign that you have diabetes. Always ask your doctor if you have questions or concerns about your experiences or your lifestyle.

Of these factors, obesity is considered the leading cause of type 2 diabetes. 

How Does Obesity Cause Type 2 Diabetes?

Obesity by itself does not cause T2D, and not everyone who qualifies as obese will develop T2D. However, there are strong links between obesity and T2D. Obese adults may be up to ten times more likely to develop T2D than their non-obese peers.

Excess weight prevents your body’s cells from reacting to insulin properly. This leads to insulin resistance. When your body can’t properly use or react to insulin, too much sugar is left in the blood, and this excess can lead to the development of diabetes. Extra glucose is usually stored in the liver, but when someone carries too much weight, their fat cells prevent the liver from doing its job. The pancreas then works harder to make more insulin, which wears down the pancreas.

What Are the Possible Complications of Type 2 Diabetes?

Left untreated, type 2 diabetes can lead to an increased risk of heart disease or stroke, sexual dysfunction, miscarriage or stillbirth, nerve damage that may require amputation (especially in the feet), permanent eye damage, and chronic kidney disease. If continued to be left untreated, these T2D-related complications can cause premature death.

T2DM Treatment

While there is currently no cure for either type of diabetes, there are lifestyle changes and other treatments you can utilize to manage your T2DM. 

Monitor Your Blood Sugar

If you have been diagnosed with T2D (or even if you’re pre-diabetic), it’s crucial to regularly monitor your blood sugar levels so you can stay within your target range. Your doctor can help you determine this range, as well as what to do if your levels get too high.


Some types of diabetes require medication to help you maintain your target blood sugar levels. Depending on your initial diagnosis and glucose levels, your doctor may prescribe insulin to help your body manage blood sugar levels. Insulin may be prescribed as a first-step treatment, or if other medications, diet, and exercise aren’t helping.


Some exercise is better than no exercise, but aim for about 30 minutes at least 4 days a week. You don’t need to exercise for 30 minutes all at once. And you don’t need to strain yourself. A few brisk walks throughout your day can make a big difference. It’s worth noting that muscle cells use extra glucose more efficiently than fat cells and can help reduce high blood sugar levels.


Reduce the amount of processed food you eat. Limit your intake of carbohydrates and simple sugars. Avoiding sugary drinks and incorporating more low-fat dairy products, green leafy vegetables, whole grains, beans, and nuts can help reduce your risk for diabetes, and they’re part of an overall healthy diet.

Plus, if you’re a coffee fan, you’re in luck. Drinking 2-3, 8 oz. cups of coffee per day can decrease your risk of diabetes by 11%

Find healthy recipes that are fun to make and delicious to eat so you’ll be more likely to stick with your diet.

Weight Management

The combination of a better diet and increased exercise should help you lose weight. Losing just 5-10% of your body weight can greatly improve your body’s ability to absorb insulin and manage your blood sugar levels. You’ll notice a decrease in your diabetes symptoms and you’ll reduce the risk of serious complications. Once you’ve lost a certain amount of weight, your doctor may even take you off medications.

If you’re having trouble losing weight on your own, you may consider bariatric surgery. It’s worth asking your doctor if you qualify. 

How Barix Can Guide You on Your Weight Loss Journey

While losing weight is one of the best ways to manage your type 2 diabetes mellitus, it’s not always easy. Even if you do lose weight, it might not be enough. That’s why the doctors at Barix Clinics are here to help! 

Bariatric surgery is a safe and effective way to lose weight and get control of your life. Over 50,000 patients have had successful bariatric surgery with Barix Clinics, including some who have improved their T2D! Barix Clinics are about more than surgery. The teams at Barix will help you make lifestyle and diet changes so you can live the life you deserve.

Contact Barix Clinics today for a consultation and to find out how our team of caring doctors can help you start your new life.

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Reflect, Appreciate, and Plan to Reach New Heights in 2023

The end-of-the-year transition allows us to reflect on and appreciate the past year. Then, with renewed enthusiasm and motivation, we can move into the New Year with purpose.   Although meaningful milestones happen throughout the year, establishing expectations and goals at the start sets the stage. After all, we don’t just want to move forward, but move forward to create the life we desire.

Download On Track with Barix: Reflect, Appreciate, and Plan to Reach New Heights in 2023

Reflect and Appreciate

Take time to reflect and appreciate the experiences of 2022.  You’ve likely acquired new knowledge and skills, developed good habits, and shed bad habits – positive changes that will set you up for future successes. It’s easy to appreciate those positive aspects of the past year.

On the flip side, sometimes you may have really blown it and missed the intended mark. If you can learn from those experiences, acknowledge the lessons learned rather than consider them unfavorable.

Reflection allows us to take note of what we have learned in the last year and apply it to the future –bringing the helpful parts and leaving behind those that are not.

 Prompts to Guide Your Reflection

The past year may seem like a blur. After all, it’s hard to remember what you ate yesterday, much less the past year’s events. To get those brain cells firing, flip through your planner/calendar and the pictures on your phone. And then, as you think through the events of the year, use these prompts to guide your reflection:

  • What experiences did I love?
  • What were my big wins?
  • I was most grateful for what (or who)?
  • Did I develop any new friendships?
  • Which people were most important in my life?
  • When did I reach out to help someone else with acts of kindness, generosity, and compassion?
  • What were the biggest surprises?
  • Did my priorities change?
  • When did I step out of my comfort zone, overcome temptations, or fight back against self-doubt?
  • What was my favorite music?
  • What were my biggest challenges?
  • What was my biggest fear?
  • When did I mess up completely? What did I learn from those experiences?
  • What goals did I achieve?
  • Which goals did I start but not complete?
  • What would I change about the past year?
  • What did I focus on the most?
  • In what ways did I grow?
  • What didn’t I do that I really wanted to do this year?
  • Did I stick with positive habits?
  • What negative behaviors popped up?


As you plan for 2023, start with an overall broad vision. Use these questions to help you envision how your days will look and what it will take to make this a fulfilling year.

  • How can I spend more time on the things that bring me the most joy?
  • What is most valuable to me?
  • If I knew I could not fail, what would you try?
  • What would I like to learn?
  • How would I like my life to change?
  • What does success in 2023 mean to me?
  • What challenge would I like to overcome?
  • Is there anything I would like to change myself?
  • What healthy habits would I like to make part of my daily life?
  • I would like to spend more time with which people?
  • What is holding me back, and what do I need to do to get out of my comfort zone?
  • What can I let go of that is not serving me?
  • What most excites me?
  • What do I need each day to feel my best – healthy food, good sleep, physical activity, and downtime?

Goal Setting

After you have an overall vision for next year, set specific goals to help make that vision a reality.

Create Goals for Different Aspects of Your Life

Set one or two goals in each vital area of your life. You may want to include goals regarding finances, relationships, health and fitness, vacations, free time, home improvements, and spiritual life.

Write Your Goals Down

Post your list of goals in a place where you will see them regularly. That way, you can review your progress and stay on track.

Set Realistic Goals

Break a large goal into several smaller goals that seem easy to reach. You’ll get a sense of satisfaction and boost your motivation to keep going.

Measure Your Progress

Write your goals so you can measure your progress throughout the year. Instead of setting a general plan to increase savings, set a goal to deposit $50 weekly into a specific savings account.  Instead of spending more time with friends, set a goal to plan a get-together once a week.

Plan Rewards

In addition to the intrinsic rewards that come with a sense of accomplishment, build in some fun extrinsic rewards. When you’ve completed that home improvement project on your list, get a sweet new rug for your office space. Once you’ve worked out consistently for four weeks in a row, buy a fun t-shirt. Little rewards help you to celebrate your accomplishments.

Starting a new year is always a little exciting. Full of possibilities, you can turn the page and make a fresh start. By reflecting, appreciating, and planning, you can reach new heights by intentionally creating the life you’d like to live.

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Take These Steps to Avoid Holiday Weight Gain

It’s no surprise that following healthy habits is especially challenging this time of year. Holiday treats pop up everywhere – the breakroom, gatherings with friends and family, work parties, and cookie swaps. How do you avoid holiday weight gain with so much temptation? Here is the answer – you need a plan to stay in control of your eating and stay on track with healthy lifestyle habits.

Download On Track with Barix: Take These Steps to Avoid Holiday Weight Gain 

How to Plan for Success

A plan to have a free-for-all during the holidays and start back on your eating/exercise plan in January is sure to result in weight gain. Instead, set limits and stick to your goals. Avoid, limit, and replace foods and habits that don’t align with your goals. Starting 2023, a little leaner, more capable, and more confident will be great.

Your plan should take into account past struggles. For example, suppose you tend to stress over shopping. In that case, you may want to consider shopping ahead of time and simplifying your list. Maybe your struggle is the constant barrage of sweet treats – have no-added-sugar treats available to enjoy.

Before the bustle becomes full-blown, make a plan and a goal to make it to January without an extra pound gained. Below are some typical struggles encountered over the holidays and potential strategies to navigate them successfully.

Keep Stress at Bay

The holidays can be stressful. It’s worth thinking through this potential pitfall of the holidays since stress increases hormones related to cravings for junk food and weight gain.

To manage stress, you may plan to simplify holiday preparations, gift-giving, and celebrations. Other strategies could include the following:

  • Keep up with exercise
  • Add a few minutes of meditation or deep breathing.
  • Making time for self-care.

Physical Activity is a Must

It’s tempting to ditch your regular exercise routine when so many activities are vying for your attention. Exercise helps to relieve stress, increases metabolism, boosts mood, and helps you feel energetic – do you want to give that up? When time is at a premium, see if you can multitask:

  • Walk on the treadmill while watching the Holiday Channel.
  • Take the kids sledding (and maybe skip the cookie decorating).
  • Get your friends to sign up for a holiday fitness event instead of going out for drinks.

Remember that every step counts if you’re shooting for 10,000 steps a day,. Work to build in steps throughout the day.

Meal Prep Makes Daily Life Easier

Take the time meal to plan, prep, and stock up on healthy options. If you have healthy choices that you enjoy available, it will be much easier to limit or avoid foods that don’t fit into your plan. Buy foods in individual servings or prep and package to save time.

Keep Your Eating and Drinking Schedule

It’s easy to skip meals and snacks, but staying on schedule will help you make better food choices.

Eat foods in order. Start with protein. Next, eat vegetables, followed by a small amount of fruit or whole grain. Finally, if you want a little treat, make it no-added-sugar. Holiday meals can be high in simple carbs – you’ll naturally limit them if you prioritize protein and veggies.

Drink calorie-free beverages between meals.

Practice Avoidance

  • If the breakroom is always filled with treats, find another place to eat your lunch.
  • Don’t have holiday treats in your home – your family will have many opportunities to eat them elsewhere.
  • Hang out far away from the food/dessert table at a party.

Share Healthy Foods

  • Bring a healthy dish and a no-added-sugar treat to share. This way, you’re assured there will be something to eat that aligns with your lifestyle.
  • You’ll have some favorites to rely on if you try out recipes now.

Don’t Skimp on Sleep

A lack of sleep can thwart your weight loss efforts in several ways.

  • Increased appetite.
  • More cravings for simple carbs.
  • Less likely to exercise.
  • Lowered metabolism.

Be Accountable

  • Weigh yourself regularly. Whatever works for you – once a day or once a week.
  • Track food and exercise – if you can’t squeeze it in daily, then three times a week.
  • Share your plan with a friend, family member, or accountability partner. Other weight loss surgery patients work great for this role.

Enjoy Non-Food Ways to Celebrate

The holidays are a time for celebration. Talk to friends and family about starting new traditions that don’t involve food. You could attend holiday concerts or shows, volunteer, make crafts (instead of cookies), attend church services, play games, or have a holiday exercise competition.

Find Joy While You Stay True to Healthy Habits  

It can be challenging to stay true to healthy habits over the holidays. You may feel that people expect you to bake cookies, drink eggnog, or splurge and eat larger portions or foods you usually avoid. Staying true to healthy habits is staying true to the #1 reason you had surgery in the first place.

Reach Out for Support

What works well for one may not work for you. If you get off track, don’t let it completely derail you. Reach out if you need to – your Barix team is here to support you as you reach your dreams and goals. Making it to January without weight gain may not be easy, but it is possible. We’re here to help.

Have a Joyful Holiday Season

Having a plan can help you feel in control. It can help you relax and enjoy the people and activities that make the holidays special. We at Barix wish you and your family the best as you learn new ways to find joy and meaning this holiday season.

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Take these 7 steps to get the most from your Weight Loss Surgery

Surgery is the beginning of a new way of living – one that makes health a top priority. And the benefits are nothing short of amazing! When surgery is combined with seven specific behaviors, the rewards are multiplied. Consistently putting effort into these steps can pay off in a big way.

Download OnTrack with Barix: Take these 7 steps to get the most from your Weight Loss Surgery

Step 1: Track

Tracking provides valuable insight into current behaviors. It highlights what we are doing right and shows us opportunities for improvement. Over time, it can help us reach our goals. Studies show that people who track food intake and exercise are more likely to be successful in losing weight and keeping it off. Reasons why it works:

  • Tracking keeps us aware of what we are eating and how much we are moving.
  • When we track foods, we can weed out the foods we thought were “pretty healthy” but turned out to be higher in calories or added sugar than we realized.
  • Tracking may cause us to pause before eating and consider if the food helps us meet our goals.
  • Whatever numbers are vital to you; tracking provides them. You may track calories, protein, steps taken, vegetable servings, water intake, consistency of supplements, or other relevant numbers.
  • Tracking allows you to see how shifts in your intake and lifestyle impact your weight over time.
  • Portion distortion is a real thing. Tracking makes it clear that, although the portion size listed for almonds is 24 nuts, 15 almonds may be the portion you need if you’ve allotted 100 calories for a snack.

Setting, tracking, and meeting goals gives you a sense of accomplishment and encourages you to do more. 

Step 2: Eat Right

It’s easy to rely on fast and convenient highly processed foods. But these foods hijack your appetite and can limit your success after surgery.  You’ll eat better and consume fewer calories if you free up time to prepare foods at home. Start with a plan and then prep on your day off. You may want to put foods into single-serving containers for future meals and snacks. 

Eat the right foods.

  • Start with lean protein-rich foods and fresh vegetables. Add fresh fruits, small servings of whole grains, and healthy fat.
  • Eat mostly fresh, unprocessed foods.
  • Strive to meet your protein goal daily. It helps you maintain muscle and feel more satisfied. Initially, most protein will come from protein drinks. After you’ve healed, most protein should come from food.
  • Limit simple carbs – foods with added sugars, crackers, granola bars, rice, pasta, potatoes, and bread.
  • Choose carbs from low-fat dairy, fresh veggies and fruits, and small amounts of whole grains.
  • Keep between-meal fluids calorie-free. Milk and protein drinks count as a meal or snack. Avoid sugar-sweetened beverages. Alcohol can also contribute significantly to caloric intake and may slow weight loss.
  • Log food intake to be sure to meet nutrition goals.
  • Eat six small meals.
  • Eating small frequent meals can help to maximize weight loss.
  • Eat every 2 ½ to 3 hours.
  • Keep portions in check. Eat ¼ cup to 1 cup of food per meal/snack.
  • Take 20 minutes to eat, then stop and put the food away. Don’t eat or drink calories between meals.
  • Sip on calorie-free and non-carbonated beverages starting 30 minutes after each meal.

Step 3: Move More

Regular exercise will help you to reach your goal weight and reduce your risk of weight regain. But the benefits go beyond weight control and include:

  • Exercise boosts mental health by improving outlook, reducing stress, and lowering anxiety.
  • You’ll lower the risk of heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, osteoporosis, and cancer.
  • The capacity increases for physical activity, even simple things like walking up a flight of steps.
  • Sleep improves.

The benefits of regular exercise work in synergy to help improve results after surgery. After all, you’re more likely to make positive lifestyle choices when you feel better, and it’s not as hard to move.

Use your current fitness and comfort levels to set goals. Start small, track, and be consistent. You’ll be amazed at how quickly your body responds. Keep it as simple as counting steps or have a different activity each day – it’s up to you. As you lose weight and improve your fitness, you’ll need to increase your effort to get the same benefits. The more you put into it, the more you’ll get out.

Step 4: Supplements

Taking the right supplements after surgery is crucial. You’ll need a multivitamin, calcium citrate, and vitamin D3. Talk with your surgeon or nutritionist for individual recommendations.

Step 5: Manage Stress and Emotions

Chronic stress can increase weight by releasing hormones, including cortisol and insulin. Hunger is increased, and fat storage is maximized. Regularly practicing stress management techniques can help reduce the stress response. Methods can be as simple as a breathing exercise or a stroll around the block.

Many of us have learned to eat in response to emotional highs and lows. Celebrating, grieving, happiness, and sadness all involve food when food isn’t what we really need. Celebrate with dancing, music, sharing the news with someone close, or a non-food reward. Find comfort with a warm bath, a cup of hot tea, a call to a friend, or a walk around the block.

Eating in response to stress and emotions can limit success with weight loss surgery. If you graze all day, feel that your eating is out of control, or continually make poor food choices, you may want to engage the help of a trained therapist.

Step 6: Sleep

A lack of quality sleep contributes to weight gain. Crazy, but those with poor sleep habits often eat less, exercise more, and still gain weight compared to those with adequate sleep. Who knew? Most of us need 7-9 hours of sleep a night to function at our best.

The bottom line is– good sleep is crucial. Here are some ideas to consider for getting the most out of your nights:

  • Go to bed at the same time each night. You’ll sync your body’s circadian rhythm (natural sleep cycle).
  • Keep your bedroom as quiet as possible. Use white noise or earplugs for unavoidable sounds like neighborhood dogs and traffic.
  • Sleep in the dark – light interrupts the circadian rhythm.
  • Keep your room cool and well-ventilated.
  • Put a bedtime routine in place to let your body know it’s time to unwind.
  • Turn off the television, cell phone, and computers an hour before bedtime.
  • Avoid alcohol, excessive fluid intake, heavy meals, greasy foods, and spicy foods in the evening.
  • Caffeine is for the morning—even an early caffeinated drink can impact your sleep.
  • You may want to include a light snack as part of your evening routine.
  • Exercise in the morning or early afternoon promotes a restful night’s sleep.
  • Use relaxation techniques like meditation, deep breathing, or visualization if stressful thoughts keep you up.

Step 7: Stay Connected

Over time, the natural tendency is to become complacent with our new eating and exercise habits. Old habits creep in here and there. One way to stay on guard is to be connected with other people who have had weight loss surgery. The Barix Clinics Facebook Support Group is an excellent way to do just that. It’s inspiring to see amazing before and after transformations. It’s motivating to read exercise posts.

Stay connected to your nutritionist and surgeon’s office too. We are here to help and support you along the way. Reaching and maintaining a healthy weight isn’t a once-and-done feat but a life-long trek.

Additional Steps

  • Medications and medical conditions can affect your weight loss. Work with your primary care physician to manage medical conditions to minimize their impact on your weight loss. Medical conditions that can impact your weight loss include:
    • Low thyroid.
    • Medications can slow weight loss.
    • Joint pain can slow you down.
  • A probiotic supplement may reduce digestive discomfort, maintain higher vitamin B12 levels, and increase weight loss.
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Gastric Sleeve Surgery Recovery Time Guide

You’ve done your research, attended a consultation, satisfied the insurance requirements, and now you have a surgery date! You probably feel both excitement and apprehension. After all, gastric sleeve surgery is life-changing. Clear expectations can help you more confidently navigate the first days and weeks after surgery. To help you prepare for life after surgery:

  • This blog post outlines expectations for the first weeks and months after surgery during your gastric sleeve recovery time.
  • Use the resources provided by Barix Clinics nutritionists to gain familiarity with the nutrition plan to follow after surgery.
  • Gain insight and inspiration from the Barix Clinics online support group. There, people who have already been through surgery are ready to answer your questions and help as you recover from gastric sleeve surgery.

Hospital Stay After Gastric Sleeve Surgery 

Most people have some anxiety about the procedure itself. Rest assured, Barix Clinics has over 30 years of experience providing bariatric surgery – and it’s all they do. They’ve earned the CareChex Safety Award 5 years in a row. You’re in good hands with highly skilled surgeons and support staff working in a specialty hospital.

The nurses here are the absolute best!  –Amber S.

If you’re wondering, “How long does the gastric sleeve surgery take?” the procedure itself generally takes under an hour. There will be some small incisions on your abdomen. Most people will spend one night in the hospital before continuing to recover at home.

Although individuals respond differently to pain, discomfort after surgery is typically moderate – managed at first with IV pain medication and later with oral medications.

While in the hospital, your diet will progress from nothing by mouth, to ice chips, to a clear liquid diet. You’ll be on a full liquid diet when you are discharged and can return home.

Frequent walking for short distances is encouraged and will help you feel better.

You’ll be discharged with a list of instructions and phone numbers to call if you have questions.

Gastric Sleeve Recovery at Home 

Most people are happy to continue their recovery in the comfort of their own homes. It’s not unusual to experience a wide range of emotions in the first days and weeks after surgery.

Continue to take frequent walks, increasing distance and speed as tolerated. You can add other forms of exercise six weeks from surgery when restrictions are removed by your surgeon.

As you increase activity at home, pain may also slightly increase. Patients often experience the most pain between days 3-6. Most discomfort is usually located at the larger incision site. If your current pain management is not controlling pain adequately, contact your surgeon’s office.

Your top nutrition priority is drinking at least 64 ounces of fluid daily. You’ll also want to use protein drinks, low-sugar yogurt without fruit, milk, and other protein-rich full liquids to meet your protein goal. Your diet will progress in the coming weeks. Follow the guidance of your Barix Clinics nutritionists.


How Long Does Gastric Sleeve Surgery Take to Heal? When to Go Back to Work

You’ll want to take enough time away from work to rest and recover. Those who work from home or have sit-down jobs may be ready to go back to work sooner than others. Some people will need more time. Almost everyone is back to work within 4-6 weeks. Your surgeon can give you more specific guidelines based on your situation. 

As You Continue to Recover and Adjust to a New Lifestyle

Seeing the rapid weight loss in the first weeks and months following surgery is encouraging and energizing. Most will lose 5-10% of excess weight two weeks from surgery, 10-15% within six weeks, and 20-35% within three months. Joint pain often subsides, and many health conditions see improvement.

You’ll continue to adjust to a new way of eating and drinking:

  • It’s common to have less interest in food yet still crave some favorite junk foods.
  • You’ll find simple meals and snacks often work best when relying less on convenience foods.
  • You’ll still need to be mindful to drink adequate calorie-free and noncarbonated fluid between meals. As you heal, it gets easier since you can drink a little faster.
  • Eating six small protein-rich meals is an adjustment for most. This eating style is easier if you do some planning and prepping.
  • Taking small bites and chewing foods well takes practice until it becomes automatic.
  • You’ll identify foods that taste good and are easily tolerated. It’s fun to explore new nutritious foods – ones that you can make at home like these delicious black bean brownies.

Activity as You Recover from Gastric Sleeve Surgery

After six weeks, your surgeon may remove lifting restrictions opening up more exercise options. You may decide to expand your exercise program with something like water aerobics, lifting weights, exercise classes, working out at the gym, or a combination of activities. Increasing the duration and intensity of activities will help you build endurance, lose more fat, and maintain muscle. 

Follow-up Appointments after Gastric Sleeve Surgery 

A commitment to follow up with your surgeon and the Barix Clinics nutritionists regularly after surgery is essential. Generally, appointments are scheduled for two weeks, six weeks, three months, six months, nine months, twelve months, and then annually after surgery. If you’re doing great, it may be tempting to skip these appointments, but they are a vital part of your success. In addition to answering your questions, your surgeon and nutritionist will provide support to make sure you:

  • are on track with your weight loss
  • are meeting your nutrition goals and are making healthy food choices
  • have implemented behaviors that support a healthy weight
  • are taking appropriate vitamins
  • have lab values within normal ranges

Support After Gastric Sleeve Surgery 

Life happens. The holidays happen. Covid 19 happened. Complacency happens. Continued support can help you navigate successfully through uncharted territory.  At Barix Clinics, support can come from your surgeon and their staff, our team of nutritionists, and other patients through our online support group. You don’t need to do it alone. We are all here to help you continue and get back on along the path to success.

If You’re Considering Gastric Sleeve Surgery

Perhaps you found this post, and you’re not scheduled for surgery but are researching and thinking about it. If so, know that gastric sleeve surgery is life-changing. It empowers people to live a better life. The team at Barix Clinics will guide you through the steps before surgery and recovery and help you put lifestyle habits in place that support a healthy weight. The first step is to attend a consultation. You can submit information on our website, and we’ll call you with more information, or you can call us directly at 800-282-0066.

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