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 #112

March 1, 2007

Barbara Thompson
The Voice of Obesity

Hello Everyone,
When we have weight loss surgery, we need to recognize that we are making a life-long commitment to ourselves to take the very best care of our bodies that we can. That means that we have to eat right, exercise and be checked to make sure that our bodies are responding in a healthy way to our new configuration. To do that, we must book follow up appointments with our surgeons. In an article below, I report on copper deficiency that is now being detected in some patients.  Your primary care physician will not know to look for things like this, but your surgeon will. Check back with your surgeon at least once a year.

In This Issue


* Paradise Cruise
* Research Article: Copper Deficiency
* Milwaukee Retreat
* Puzzle It Out
* Your Inner Child
* Recipe: Ginger Sweet Potato Casserole
* Success Story: Marie Worthen
* Spreading the Word in New York; Park Rapids, MN; Milwaukee; Greenville, PA; and                      the Western Caribbean

Research Article:
  Copper Deficiency

Copper deficiencies have been showing up as a side effect of weight loss surgery. It is however a rare occurrence, but one that you should be aware of.  Patients will show symptoms of numbness or tingling in the feet or hands. Although these symptoms are normally seen as side effects of B12 deficiency, patients will have normal levels of B12.

Copper is an essential mineral in the formation of blood and for the nervous system. Copper deficiencies have been found in studies done that included patients who had other kinds of stomach surgeries such as the removal of the stomach for medical reasons.

A lack of copper is linked to iron deficiency because copper is required in the proper absorption of iron. Low levels of copper can also cause osteoporosis. Copper can be found in oysters and shellfish and in bygone eras, the major sources of copper came from copper pipes from through which drinking water flowed.

Too much copper can cause nausea and vomiting, so it is not recommended that you take copper supplements without the advice of your doctor. There is a difference of opinion whether wearing a copper bracelet works or not. An Australian double blind study found these bracelets to be effective despite most doctors saying the contrary.

So if you are having tingling sensations and your B12 levels are fine, ask your doctor to check your copper levels. We are still learning what to look out for following weight loss surgery. The research continues.

Wu, Joanne, et al, “Copper Deficiency as a Cause of Unexplained Hematologic and Neurologic Deficits in Patient with Prior Gastrointestinal Surgery. Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine, 19:191-194, 2006. http://www.jabfm.org/cgi/content/full/19/2/191.

Walker, WR, et al., “An Investigation of the Therapeutic Value of the ‘Copper Bracelet’  - Dermal Assimilation of Copper in Arthritic/ Rheumatoid Conditions. Agents and Actions, 6, 454-458, 1976.

Puzzle It Out
If you like crossword puzzles, you’ll enjoy this.  Click here and test your knowledge of the basics!

Your Inner Child
She looked at the small pile of Hershey Kisses that were left over from Valentine’s Day.  They were the new kind that has the soft cherry cream center. Without thinking, she started to grab one, and then stopped. What was she thinking? But then that feeling came over her. She remembered that feeling of anger and hurt that she would feel when her father would tell her that if she didn’t lose weight, no man would ever want her. She had that same feeling now and she heard that little voice and thought, “I don’t care and no one is going to tell me what to do.”

Does this scenario sound familiar? Do you have an inner child that keeps you from exercising, drinking water or controlling grazing? Ignoring that inner child does little good. That child will eventually win out. She (or he) is extremely strong.

I recognize this scenario because I have an inner child myself. The more you try, the worse it gets. Your inner child is stomping her foot and saying, "No one is going to tell me what to do. If I want something, I'm going to eat it." Try to recognize that inner child and have a gentle loving talk with her when she appears. Tell her that you don't want to eat whatever it might be because it will hurt your body and you want to be good to your body and treat your body with love and respect. Try to get her to understand that.

The only way to control your inner child is through love and understanding; otherwise your inner child will control you and sabotage your best efforts.

If you would like to receive 6 months worth of tips like this, weekly lessons, telephone seminars and a community of people that you can turn to daily, join my Back on Track Internet Mentoring Program.

Click here for more information.

Ginger Sweet Potato Casserole
Ginger Sweet Potato Casserole

4 medium sweet potatoes (about 3 1/2 pounds), scrubbed
1 orange
2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
Salt and black pepper
1 tablespoon Splenda® or sugar substitute
2 large egg yolks
1/2 cup nonfat milk
Nonstick cooking spray
1/3 cup chopped pecans


Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with foil. Pierce potatoes with fork and place on sheet. Bake 75 minutes, until very tender. Remove from oven; cut in half lengthwise and let cool 10 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 375°F.

From orange, grate 1 tablespoon zest. When cool enough to handle, scoop flesh from potatoes into bowl of food processor. Add orange zest, ginger, salt, and pepper; process to combine. Taste, add Splenda® as desired. Add yolks to mixture; process to combine. With motor running, pour milk through feed tube and process until blended.

Coat a 1 1/2-quart casserole with nonstick cooking spray. Spoon potato mixture into pan; spread to an even layer with a spatula. Sprinkle evenly with pecans. Bake 30 minutes, until hot and topping is browned.

Nutritional Information:
156 calories: 4 g protein: 22 g carbohydrate

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:
  Marie Worthen

I want to offer a special thanks to Marie Worthen. Here is her story:

I never had a weight problem growing up.  But after the birth of my third child my thyroid became under-active and I had to go on medications for this and for other health reasons. One of the side effects of these medications was weight gain. 

My son was born with a serious heart disease and I spent a lot of time in the hospital.  My emotional eating really started to take off.  At 5’ 5’’ my weight topped off at 283 pounds.  Dieting then became a part of my life.  I would lose 40 pounds then gain 60 pounds, lose 30 pounds and gain, etc. 

For 1 ½ years I researched weight loss surgery, went to the meetings and lost the 15 pounds required in order for my surgeon to approve me for surgery.  Fortunately, my surgery was covered by my insurance.  The day of the surgery my weight was 235 pounds. 

At my pre-op appointment, the nurses said to me “I can’t believe you’re having the surgery you’re not that fat.”  The nurses and the aids on the floor had the same sentiments.  I couldn’t believe they were saying that to me.  I had met all the criteria to have the surgery and was morbidly obese.

I had my surgery in November 2004.  The night of my surgery which was a Monday, I started getting violently ill.  By Thursday the doctors finally did tests and found out that my old stomach had wrapped around my new intestines.  I was barely aware of my husband and family being with me.  Every time I opened my eyes I would throw up horrible stuff.  I thought that I wasn’t going to make it through.  I was brought back to surgery to correct the blockage. Following my second surgery, I was feeling much better and went home after a few days.

When I went home I followed the eating plan exactly but I couldn’t keep anything down, not even an ice cube.  I ended up in the hospital a couple of times. The last time they kept me until I was able to keep something down.  I was in the hospital for a month and the doctors did every test but couldn’t figure out why I was having this problem.  They had to start feeding me through a special tube in my arm. 

My attitude and spirits were positive through all of this.  I didn’t really lose any weight during this time because of all the calories they were giving me.  Finally I was able to keep some liquid down and went home.  Once home I followed the food guidelines and I have lost 143 pounds from my heaviest.  I now weight 140 pounds and have never been so healthy.  I really watch what I eat and exercise 4 to 5 times a week. 

Last summer I did my first horse back riding class at the age of 45.  I have been having so much fun with my horses.  It’s so wonderful to be able to cross my legs, have pants with a zipper and be able to feel comfortable in a bathing suit.  I’m glad that I had the surgery even after the bumpy start.

I would recommend anyone that is having the surgery to take your measurements before and then weekly after.  That suggestion Barbara made helped me not get discouraged. When I didn’t lose weight, the inches were still coming off.  Barbara, thank you for all your work in educating people.

Marie Worthen
Moultonborough, NH

Congratulations Marie

You achieved your goal, be proud and tell the world.

I am running low on success stories.  If you have a story to share, are at least 1 year post-op and have before and after  pictures, please send them to me at Barbara@wlscenter.com so that I can include them in a future issue.

Spreading the Word in
  New York, Park Rapids, MN,
  Milwaukee, Greenville, PA
  and the Western Caribbean

I have several engagements coming up which you will be able to attend.

Wednesday March 7th, 7 PM to 8:30 PM, New York Presbyterian Hospital, Whitney 117, 525 East 68th Street, between York Avenue and the East River. Call Liz Goldenberg, 212-746-5294 for information.

Saturday April 14th, 10 AM to 11:15 AM, sponsored by Dakota Clinic, Park Rapids, MN. Call Laurie Hanson, 218-732-2829 for information.

Wednesday May 23rd (tentative date) 6:00 to 8:00 PM, Thiel College Auditorium, sponsored by UPMC Horizon, Greenville, PA

Please Note: I am asked very often about coming to speak for various practices. If you would like me to speak, I am sponsored to speak by either the Hospital or by a corporation. Call me for details 877-440-1518.

Attention Nurses

If you are a nurse and would like for me to speak on positive patient outcomes, patient satisfaction, or obesity sensitivity for your State Nurses Association, please have the conference planner for your State Association contact me. I have a corporate sponsor who will pay my fee and expenses so it is free for your Association. I also speak for many hospitals on the same topics. 

Contact me at Barbara@WLScenter.com or 412-851-4195.


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