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 #102

October 1, 2006

Barbara Thompson
The Voice of Obesity

Hello Everyone,
As a speaker, I subscribe to a weekly newsletter called Speaker Net News. It is really good and contains a lot of terrific tips. The newsletter is free and for this free service, they ask that from time to time the subscribers contribute to the articles. I am asking you somewhat the same for my newsletter.

What people enjoy the most about my newsletter are the success stories.  They are very inspiring. I ask that if you havenít sent your success story in complete with before and after pictures, please do so soon. Everyone who gets the newsletter will greatly appreciate it.

And as an added bonus, you will get a free membership in the Obesity Action Coalition for 1 year, a $20 value. So take a few minutes and write up your story.  Donít worry about style or punctuation.  I will take care of the edits.  Thank you so much.

In This Issue


* More on Blood Iron Levels
* Oktoberfest Book and Audio CD Sale

* Research Article: Obesity Hormone
* Leg Cramps Continued
* Recipe: Apple Country Chicken
* Success Story: Sheila Howard.
* Spreading the Word

More on Blood Iron Levels

The following is from a good friend of mine and is a follow-up to the article that I included in my July 15th newsletter regarding blood donation.  Cheryl provides some valuable explanations about how the iron levels in our blood really work. 

If you are feeling particularly tired, yet your blood levels have tested OK, you might want to be sure that you include the tests that Cheryl recommends.

The article in your recent newsletter really struck a "chord" with me because I recently had a co-worker (a gastric bypass patient) who confided in me that she was feeling "so tired."  This girl was literally exhausted from walking down to our out-patient clinic to collect their samples and bring them back to our lab.  I asked her if she had ever had a Ferritin level done.  She had no clue what Ferritin was.  Her only symptom other than her feeling "painfully tired" was she was running a "low normal" Hemoglobin and Hematocrit.  I have seen this same scenario with at least four people very close to me over the past three years.  Each time the Vitamin B12 has been within a normal level and the Iron/IBC has also been normal.  The problem is if the "iron stores," i.e.: Ferritin, are not also tested, there is no way to tell if the body is compensating for the depleted iron by pulling iron from the iron stores/Ferritin.  Another test I always have checked is my Transferrin.  Iron levels are dependant on three very distinct things happening.  The iron has to be available to the body through food or supplementation and subsequently absorbed, the iron has to be "transferred"/ via Transferrin to the place it is stored within the body and it must be stored  (Ferritin) for future use.  All three have to be functioning properly or a problem can occur. 

The young lady I worked with called her doctor and asked him to order a Ferritin level for her.  He flat out refused!  He would only order a CBC and B12.  We called him and "persuaded" him to add the Ferritin.  The Vitamin B12 was normal and her Hemoglobin and Hematocrit were "low normal".  Her Ferritin was so low it was almost non-existent!  If we hadn't been persistent about having the Ferritin level checked, the problem would have been over looked. 

The physician in question is not familiar with gastric bypass patients who are multiple years post-op.  This is due to the fact that he is located in a rather remote area where there are a very limited number of people who have had gastric bypass surgery. 

I have seen this problem with people as early as 3 years post-op.  I can't help but wonder if it is occurring earlier and just not being caught due to the lack of knowledge.  Many of the people I have been in contact with are not having Ferritin included as a routine part of their post-op follow-up.  It seems the doctors responsible for following gastric bypass patients are not aware of this "special need" of their patients.

Cheryl Webb

Oktoberfest Book and Audio CD Sale

The leaves are falling, the air is getting cool and it's time to have a sale. 

During the entire month of October, you can purchase a book, audio CD, or any of our money saving packages at a savings of 10 percent.  This sale is exclusively for the subscribers of my newsletter. 

To get  10% off your entire order, enter the word October in the Discount Code box located directly above where you enter your credit card number when you check out.

To start saving 10%, click the button
(and don't forget the Discount Code: October.)

WebMD  Research Article: Obesity Hormone
A research article from Web MD points out one more reason to eat protein. Researchers from the University College of London have discovered that eating protein caused levels of a hormone called PYY to be released. And PYY reduces hunger.

The research at first showed that those who are obese had to eat twice as many calories to get the same levels of PYY to reduce their hunger as those of normal weight. However, they discovered that eating protein increased the amount of PYY released, so that the obese didnít have to eat as many calories to reduce hunger. This is yet another reason to eat protein.

To read the entire article, go to: http://www.webmd.com/content/article/127/116572.htm

Leg Cramps Continued
As a follow up to an article in the last newsletter issue on leg cramps http://www.wlscenter.com/NLArchive/sept_15_2006.htm several people emailed me to remind me that low potassium will also cause leg cramps. I am happy to know that the newsletter is read so carefully and that so many of you are willing to share information for the benefit of others. 

Apple Country Chicken

Tis the season when apples and apple cider are plentiful. Take advantage of this abundance and try this excellent recipe.

Apple Country Chicken

2 teaspoons curry powder
1 golden delicious apple, cored and chopped
1 onion, finely chopped
1 tablespoon lemon juice
4 ounces mushrooms, sliced
1 teaspoon chicken bouillon granules
2 cups apple juice, or apple cider
1 1/2 pounds skinless chicken thighs
1 tablespoon flour
2 tablespoons sliced green onions
1/4 cup low-fat sour cream

Place curry powder in a wide frying pan and stir over medium heat until slightly darker in color. Add apple, onion, lemon juice, mushrooms, bouillon and 1 1/2 cups apple juice. Increase heat to high and bring to a boil. Rinse chicken and pat dry. Add to pan. Reduce heat, cover and simmer until meat near bone is no longer pink (about 30 minutes). Transfer chicken to a platter and keep warm. In small bowl, blend flour and remaining 1/2 cup apple juice. Gradually add to sauce in pan, stirring constantly and cook until sauce is thickened. Pour over chicken. Garnish with green onions and sour cream. Serve over rice.

Makes 4 servings. Each serving:
Calories 299; Protein 30 grams; Carbs 29
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

  I Love Good News
If you have a success story to share along with before and after pictures, please send it to me at Barbara@WLScenter.com so that I can include it in future issues.

Success Story:
  Sheila Howard

I want to offer a special thanks to Sheila Howard.  Here is her story:

Dear Barbara,
I have been overweight since I was 17 years old. Iíve tried many, many diets and all to no avail. Then I started having more and more health problems and knew I had to do something if I wanted to live a healthy life.

I started my weight loss surgery journey at a weight of 283 pounds. I received my letter on November 1, 2004 that I would be having my consultation with Dr Taewan Kim at the State University of New York, Upstate Medical Center in Syracuse.

I went to my first appointment on December 2, 2004. When the day came for my consultation, I was very nervous. The nurse practitioner came in to see me first and she told me that I would have no problem having the surgery. There were some tests that would have to be run, EKG, psychological evaluation, and an upper endoscopy. The nutritionist came in next and she told me what I would and wouldnít be able to eat after surgery, which was a good thing because I wanted to stop eating the "bad" foods well before my surgery.

I had my first part of my psychiatric evaluation on December 28, 2004. The psychiatric evaluation was sort of hard. The psychologist asked me some questions and then I had to answer 550 true/false questions on paper. I was scheduled to go back on January 5th for part 2 of the psychiatric evaluation. However, because of being admitted to the hospital on January 1, 2005 with Influenza A, I had to reschedule part 2 of the psych evaluation for January 26th.

My endoscopy was scheduled for January 21st. They found numerous polyps in my stomach and they put me on the medication, Protonix for the next 8 weeks. Then I had to have another endoscopy done to see if the polyps were gone.

The second part of my psych evaluation lasted only15 minutes and the psychologist told me I was a good candidate for the surgery. My second endoscopy was scheduled for March 15th.

My surgeon submitted the paperwork to the insurance company on March 3, 2005 and on March 14, 2005 I got a letter from my insurance company stating that Iíve been approved for weight loss surgery. My surgery was scheduled for June 17, 2005 at 7:30 am. My pre-testing was on June 9, 2005.

I started out at 283 pounds and when I went in for my surgery I was down to 243 pounds. Itís been a long rough road, but Iím very glad that I had the surgery. I do not take any medicine other than my daily dosage of multi-vitamins, calcium, iron and potassium.

When I first starting eating I could not tolerate beef at all. Now I donít really have a problem with any foods. I eat more chicken and fish, but I did before surgery as well. I drink lots of fluids.

I was one of the lucky ones and had no complications at all after surgery. Well, I did have one bout of "bowel impaction". And believe me after you have that once, you will make sure to get all your liquids in because you wonít ever want to feel like that again! Believe me!

So I had the surgery on June 17, 2005 and itís now October 1, 2006. I weigh 130 pounds. I canít believe how good it feels to wear normal ladies clothes and not the ďbig clothes.Ē I was wearing size 3x when I had surgery and now I can wear size 6 to 8 pants and size small blouses. Even my feet have shrunk! Itís just so amazing.

I would do this again in a heartbeat! However, now that Iíve been through the surgery and Iím where I want to be with my weight, I would never let myself go back to the way I was before the surgery. But in order to maintain the weight Iím at now; it does take hard work and determination. Your hunger definitively comes back and you must have the will power to stop eating when you feel full. And believe me, one bite too much will have you running for the bathroom!

Best wishes to everyone!

Sheila M. Howard

Congratulations Sheila

Spreading the Word in
  Erie and Los Angeles
I have public speaking dates coming up when you will be able to hear me speak. Here they are:

Erie, PA: Wednesday Oct 4th from 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM I will be speaking for the Hamot Bariatric Center at the Ambassador Conference Center, Courtyard by Marriott in Erie, PA. Call (814) 877-6970 for more information.

Orange, CA: Tuesday Nov. 21st 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM I will be speaking for Dr. Nguyenís practice at UCI. The location is the hospital campus, 101 The City Drive Bldg 53 Auditorium, Orange, CA. Call Pamela Didur at (714) 456-8173 for more information.

Patient Education Opportunity

If your practice is a customer of US Surgical products, please let me know.  They are interested in sponsoring me to speak at patient education programs.

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

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 Thompsonís free e-newsletter featuring helpful information and research material to help patients succeed following weight loss surgery.
Subscribe at http://www.barbarathompsonnewsletter.com/

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