Pop Quiz: Attercopus, lime Skittles, Bruce Jenners man-bits and the lunch hour…What do all of these things have in common? Come on think about it, don’t just say ‘I don’t know’…this is easy. Omgosh, I’m dying here: they have all gone the way of the dinosaur! Gone, extinct, kaput! (Some people are having a bit of an issue with the Bruce Jenner thing…”but he was an Olympic decathlete” they say! “He still holds that title and maybe some altered parts” I say!).
Take the last one though, this idea of a ‘lunch hour’. When was the last time you looked at the clock at work and thought ‘oh I’d better go take my lunch hour’. Or turned to your co-worker at 12:00 and said ‘I’m going for lunch, see ya at 1!’. CAN YOU IMAGINE? She would likely choke on the PB&J that she is scarfing down at her desk! It’s a shame but such luxuries are long gone. (Granted an entire hour out of a work day for a meal might be a bit extreme but 30 min? That’s not unreasonable).
I remember when growing up dinner was referred to as ‘dinner time’. It was family time. Dad got home at 5:30, dinner time was at 6 and we sat around and ate, talked and argued for the better part of an hour. Now it seems we are always rushing, be it for a sport, a tutor, a class…dinner seems not so much an event but a function that has to get ‘done’.
The thing about being banded is that you CAN’T rush your meals. You MUST eat mindfully. This isn’t a luxury. This isn’t something that ‘should be done most of the time’, but something that has to be done all of the time. Now and for the rest of your life.
I know I have written about this before but I truly think it is something that needs to be brought forward and addressed every once in a while…pouch dilatation (scary music in the background please). Pouch dilatation sucks. It means not only yucky symptoms (persistent heartburn, reflux, no sense of satiety, weight plateau or weight gain), but also most often a whopping big defill followed by a painfully slow refill to control hunger with the hopes that the symptoms don’t return. IF the pouch dilation is excessive the band may need repositioning (i.e. surgery) so all in all a very bad path to go down, and one which for the most part can be avoided by: taking small bites, chewing well and eating slowly.
I really hope that pouch dilatation is also starting to go the way of the dinosaur. Maybe banking on its extinction is a bit optimistic, but I CAN say the incidence of pouch dilatation is decreasing dramatically at many clinics. ‘Why is this??’ you curious readers ask 🙂 :)…well two reasons are #1. the introduction of modest adjustments and #2. educating banded individuals on the importance of eating slowly (Dr. Paul O’Briens rule #3: “Eat Slowly”).
So what does eating slowly mean? It means taking at least 30-45 seconds between bites of food. It means savoring your food, eating mindfully and it’s really how all of us, banded or not should be eating.
Eating slowly does three things:
- It prevents food from getting caught
- It allows that connection to occur between the stretch receptors in the stomach and the brain that signals satiety
- And it prevents pouch dilatation
Back in ‘the old days’ when I first started in this business it was believed that a meal stayed in the pouch above the band and sloooowly trickled across. We were militant about enforcing the ‘one cup of food’ rule because we thought going above that one cup lead to pouch dilatation. We NOW know that it is a series of esophageal contractions that moves a bite of food down the esophagus and across the band in about 30-45 seconds, doing its work on the stretch receptors at that point. If a person consistently eats too quickly, especially after they’ve had a few adjustment, then with time they risk developing pouch dilatation.
Now before you get scared, pouch dilatation rarely occurs before 12-18 months post banding and always presents with signs/symptoms of some sort. So if you are new to the game and don’t have any symptoms you don’t have it. That being said…be forewarned! If you are having symptoms of any sort that seem out of the norm contact your clinic…that is what they are there for.
Being well-educated on this wonderful tool that you own is one of the keys to success in life with the band. Lets hope pouch dilatation becomes ENTIRELY extinct. As for the other extinct items: Given my rather severe spider phobia I am not the least bit sorry that ugly Attercopus is kaput…sayonara sucka. The extinction of lime skittles was a GOOD thing as they were replaced with the far superior green apple flavour 🙂. And as for Bruce, more power to him for having such courage and don’t we all wish him the very best? Especially after having to deal with all those crazy Kardashians…
Yours in Health, Happiness, and Living Mindfully,