WLS Center E-Newsletter

A FREE publication from


Hosted by Barbara Thompson
Author of:
Weight Loss Surgery:
Finding the Thin Person Hiding Inside You.

Issue #123

August 15, 2007

Barbara Thompson
The Voice of Obesity

Hello Everyone,
My research article below highlights problems that have been identified with a vitamin B deficiency. This underscores the importance of having regular check ups with your surgeon. I have a PCP that I just love who doesn’t know anything about the needs of gastric bypass patients and who isn’t reading the latest research in the field and looking for things to watch out for in patients. Your PCP is probably the same.  One of the best ways to stay healthy is to keep in contact with your surgeon.  Weight loss surgery is not only a life-long commitment, but a life long relationship with your surgeon.

In This Issue


* Research Article: Getting in Your B’s
* Survey Results
* New Century Club Program
Understanding the Obesity Stigma
* Blogging Along
* Recipe: Chilled Cantaloupe Soup
* Success Story: Diane Gentner
* Spreading the Word in Danville, PA

Research Article: Getting in your B’s

When we have gastric bypass or duodenal switch surgery, we have to make a commitment to taking vitamin supplements for the rest of our lives. The stomach and the first part of the small intestines is where a lot of vitamins and nutrients are absorbed from the food that we eat. Taking vitamins to offset this malabsorption is extremely important and something that we have to take very seriously.

A new study from the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences finds that 5% of patients are deficient in B vitamins, some with very serious consequences. Dr Sami Harik, Chair of the Department of Neurology noticed that weight loss surgery patients were coming to see him with symptoms of tingling in their hands and feet. This led him to do a study of 150 weight loss surgery patients who came in for treatment. Of those, 26 had neurological symptoms directly related to their surgery and were deficient in B12 and iron. Most of the affected patients had not been taking their B vitamins.

Don’t wait for these symptoms to show up. Take B vitamins and have your B levels checked through blood tests. And for information about the vitamins that I take, click here http://www.wlscenter.com/Vitamins.htm

Survey Results

In the last newsletter issue, I included a survey. Thanks to all who responded  Here is a summary of the results.

The majority of you have had problems with your iron levels, and unfortunately the majority also have not reached their goal weight. But the good news is, that those who did reach their goal weight, about half have been able to maintain that goal weight. The majority of people have regained some weight, but not an excessive amount. And your sex life has improved for slightly more than half of you.

To see the specifics, click here

Again, thanks for your responses and please keep submitting those questions to me at Barbara@WLScenter.com.

New Century Club Program
Due to popular demand, I have decided to revive the Century Club.  For those of you who have lost 100 pounds or more since your surgery, I have created a new program for you to celebrate your success. 

Here is how it will work.  You will need to write two success stories and submit before and after photos.  One story will be the length of a typical success story in my newsletter and will possibly be in a future newsletter.  The other story will be a very condensed version of your success story that will be immediately posted on my website in the Century Club section with a length of no more than 150 words.  You can include any contact information you want at the end of your story but remember that this will be posted on the internet for everyone to see.

All condensed stories will be posted on my website.  If I select your newsletter length story for posting in my newsletter, I will send you an official Century Club ribbon that I give out during my speech presentations. 

Submit your two success stories and photos to Frank@WLScenter.com along with your name, mailing address, and email address for our use only to contact you.

Understanding the Obesity Stigma

You’ve had your surgery, your weight is getting down to normal, but you know there is still so much discrimination toward the obese. Even if you are no longer the target, haven’t you cringed hearing someone talk negatively about the obese, not knowing that was you just a year or so earlier? And consider the story that I wrote about in my blog about the man who was denied the privilege of adopting his cousin’s baby because he is morbidly obese.

If you have ever wondered how you could help, The Obesity Action Coalition has a wonderful brochure called Understanding the Obesity Stigma which you can download or order copies free of charge. The brochure discusses the damaging effects of weight stigma such as depression, social rejection by peers, low self-esteem, employment discrimination and much more. Consider ordering some and placing them around your work place.

It's Time to get Back On Track

If you’re not happy with your weight loss, then join the
Back on Track with Barbara Internet Mentoring Program.

Back On Track with Barbara is a 6-month or a 12-month membership program that provides an internet mentorship for those who are struggling with weight regain after weight loss surgery.  It also benefits those who have never reached their goal weight after surgery

Here is a recent comment from a new member:
I have gotten so much form the Back on Track Program. I have learned so much from the lessons and from reading everyone’s posts on the yahoo group. I want thank you all for your honesty, guidance and support. I think we're all experts when it comes to dieting and exercise. But it's rare to be able to talk about how we feel. You've provided me with a safe haven and I will never forget you guys for that. I believe the best way to find peace is to connect with others. I've been able to do that here.

For more information or to join the Program, go to


Blogging Along

Check out my Blog and be sure to leave your comments. Since the beginning of this month, there are new articles there about:

* Safety at Larger Hospitals

* The Fat Penalty

* Ghrelin

* Finding Your Ideal Weight

If you especially like a specific post in my Blog, be sure to email it to a friend.

Visit my Blog at http://WeightLossSurgeryBlog.net and leave a comment.

 Chilled Cantaloupe Soup

I just love soup however, when the temperatures are this high, piping hot soup is a little less appealing.  Why not try a cold soup.  Here is a recipe for a cold soup made with cantaloupes which are delicious and reasonably priced right now.

Chilled Cantaloupe Soup

1 cantaloupe – peeled, seeded and cubed
2 cups orange juice
1 Tablespoon fresh lime juice
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon

Place cubed cantaloupe and and half the orange juice in a blender or food processor. Cover and process until smooth. Transfer to a large bowl. Stir in the lime juice, cinnamon and the remaining orange juice. Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour. Garnish with mint if desired.

Makes 6 servings

Nutritional information per serving:
70 calories; 16 carbs and 1.4 protein

If you have a recipe that you would like to share in future issues of this newsletter, please send it to me at Barbara@WLScenter.com

Success Story:
   Diane Gentner

I want to offer Diane Gentner a special thanksHere is her story:

I have been overweight for as long as I can remember.  Both my parents were overweight and I have been successful on every diet plan I could afford.  And I always gained the weight back.  I began to research weight loss surgery in 2004.  I had heard so many horror stories and was hesitant to do something so permanent.  Conventional wisdom told me that I should be able to reduce calories and increase exercise and get myself to a healthy weight and size.

In November of 2005 I was diagnosed with Endometrial Carcinoma and scheduled for a total hysterectomy in December.  My research and my GYN Endocrinologist told me that the cancer was estrogen-driven and that body fat increased estrogen.  The only steps I could take for myself to reduce the recurrence of the cancer was to lose weight.  In addition to that, my pre-op blood work indicated “impaired glucose tolerance.”  I was headed toward Type-2 Diabetes.  My mother was diagnosed with diabetes at age 62 and died of a heart attack within 2 years.

Coming up in June 2006, I would be turning 60 and I had a strong desire to live longer than my mom.  I contacted my surgeon at Wright Patterson Air Force Medical Center and told him that I was ready for gastric bypass surgery.  Four months after my hysterectomy, I had laparoscopic Roux-en-Y. 

That was April 4, 2006.  Now almost 16 months later I have lost 110 pounds, my blood sugar, cholesterol and blood pressure are all within normal ranges.  I am taking only a small amount of blood pressure medication and hope to be off of that before long.  I take much less medication for joint pain and no longer have to sleep with a C-PAP machine.

The biggest part of my success is the change in my lifestyle.  I can do so much more – go for walks with my dog, sight-see with my family on vacation.  I also sing with a small professional chorus.  For the last few years I have had to sit on a stool to perform at the concerts.  This last May I stood for the whole concert.  That was a huge success for me.  And my breath control and singing have improved so that my voice sounds 10 years younger.  That has been an unexpected benefit.

I have more weight to lose to get to my ideal weight.  And I am struggling not to return to pre-surgery habits.  But the miracle that weight loss surgery has brought to my life and health is already a success story.

Diane Gentner
Dayton, Ohio

Congratulations Diane


I Need More Success Stories!!

If you have good news, a success story to share, or inspiration, please send it to me at Barbara@wlscenter.com so that I can include it in future issues. See the article about the new Century Club program above.

Spreading the Word in Danville, PA

On Saturday Sept. 8th I will be speaking in Danville, PA for Geisinger Medical Center’s Celebration of Success. Call Christina Hartman (570) 271-6709 for details.

Would you like for me to speak for your support group?  If your support group has 80 people or more who attend and you would like for me to speak, have your support group leader contact me for details. Have them email me at Barbara@WLScenter.com

If you are a bariatric coordinator and your hospital needs obesity sensitivity training, I have a sponsor who often covers my fees and expenses. Email Barbara@WLScenter.com or call for details 877-440-1518.


Permission to Reprint
You may reprint any items from this newsletter in your own print or electronic newsletter. But please include the following paragraph:

Reprinted from Barbara Thompson’s free e-newsletter featuring helpful information and research material to help patients succeed following weight loss surgery.
Subscribe at http://www.barbarathompsonnewsletter.com  ”

Subscription Corner

Did someone forward this newsletter to you? Would you like to receive a personal notification  when it is ready for you to read? It's simple! Just go to http://www.barbarathompsonnewsletter.com  and scroll down to the subscription form. After filling out the form and submitting it, watch for an email that asks you to CONFIRM your subscription. 

Your subscription is not complete until we get this confirmation back!

If you like this newsletter, please pass it on to your friends and family and have them signup for our notification service.

Do you want to unsubscribe? Go to the bottom of your newsletter notification email message and click the unsubscribe link.  You will be automatically deleted.

If you have any problems with this process,
call our office toll free at (877) 440-1518.



Copyright © 2000-2013 Barbara Thompson All Rights Reserved