What does a gastric bypass patient do when they feel food stuck – trapped – balled up – in their gastric pouch or stomach, or even further down in the intestine?
Sometimes we walk it out, sometimes change positions rapidly hoping the food shifts, oftentimes we lay on a certain side and get all fetal-curled and try to work the food down… we do countless things to relieve the pressure of a stucked.
However, many times it is just easier to break up a stuck, and many of us know this because we have been doing it for years intuitively because STUCKS!! HURT!!
Before you ask — "What Does A Stuck Feel Like?" You'll know it when it happens. You will also know it if it has happened to you.
You may have another word to describe it — too. I often describe it as oncoming death. I may or may not have sent myself to the ER once with a stuck because it felt like a heart attack, panic attack because the squeezing in my chest made me anxious — bad combination. Too much of the wrong, sticky, fibrous food, trapped in the gut PLUS anxiety over the malcontent = OMG I AM DYING. I am dying right now. Am I really? OMG.
I know better now. I avoid it.
DISCLAIMER — THIS POST IS NOT INTENDED NOR CONSTRUED AS MEDICAL ADVICE. I AM A 10.6 year post GASTRIC BYPASS PATIENT WITH ZERO PROFESSIONAL CREDS. DO NOT LISTEN TO ME. This is JUST my personal experience, mmmkay? YES I AM YELLING CAUSE Y'ALL DO NOT LISTEN.
Some of us whom grew up as baby bariatric patients not following our rules — learned something early on.
Carbonated liquids fix stucks, because it forces the food through. This relieves the pain, and clears the gut. You might notice something about those of us willing to tell the truth about our (bad) habits. We tend to drink a LOT of Diet Coke, Diet Pepsi, and have for years since our weight-loss surgeries, some of us more than we did before WLS.
"Diet Coke and Coke Zero worked just as well as the sugared versions because they contain the same basic ingredients."
BECAUSE IT FEELS GOOD.
Bubbles fix the stucks.
Stucks are technically called bezoars or phytobezoars which means FOOD BALL – a gastric concretion formed of vegetable fibers, with the seeds and skins of fruits, and sometimes starch granules and fat globules. It's basically a GREASE TRAP of things that we might not have been able to digest due to our WLS arrangement – and the diet soda goes down and acts as Liquid Plumbr.
Hey, it's not my study, but it is my pre-treatment — and has been for at least ten years -
Not exactly THIS way – but – y'know –
Drinking Coca-Cola appears to be an effective treatment for gastric phytobezoar in 50% of cases, and combining the soda with additional endoscopic methods may lead to resolution of as many as 91.3% of phytobezoars, according to a newly published review.
Spiros D. Ladas, MD, from the Gastroenterology Division, First Department of Medicine–Propaedeutic, Medical School, Athens University, Laikon Hospital, Greece, and colleagues presented the results of their systematic literature review in an article published online December 17, 2012, and in the January 2013 issue ofAlimentary Pharmacology and Therapeutics.
The authors searched the literature for the combined keywords "phytobezoars treatment" and "Coca-Cola lysis" and reviewed 24 articles published during a 10-year period between 2002 and 2012. The articles included 46 patients. The authors note that the majority of the articles included in the review did not have patient follow-up, and therefore the review cannot speak to patient relapse.
Although most of the articles were case reports, one was a retrospective study of 17 patients. In their review, Dr. Ladas and colleagues found that only 4 patients (8.7%) who received Coca-Cola treatment went on to develop small bowel obstruction that required surgical treatment. Despite the need for surgery, 3 of the 4 patients still had partial dissolution of their phytobezoars from the Coca-Cola treatment.
The researchers also report that the soda was able to completely dissolve gastric phytobezoars in half of the patients. Although they were unable to state the mechanism of action with certainty, they posit that the soda's pH of 2.6 played an important role in fiber digestion.
Diospyrobezoars (persimmon bezoars) are one of the more difficult types of bezoars to dissolve. They are formed after persimmon ingestion and are characterized by a hard consistency. The authors found that diospyrobezoars were less likely to be completely dissolved by the soda than were phytobezoars (60.6% vs 23%; P = .022).
Physicians seek conservative treatment options, such as dissolution therapies and endoscopic fragmentation techniques, for bezoars, to avoid surgery. The reviewers suggest that Coca-Cola ingestion should be the treatment of choice for gastric phytobezoars because it allows for reduced patient stay in the hospital and may not require endoscopies or equipment. "Moreover," they conclude, "availability, low cost, rapid way of action, simplicity in administration and safety renders Coca-Cola a cost-effective therapy for gastric phytobezoars."
Low-cost effective therapy for stucks. Um, yeah? Considering the alternative, I'll avoid the pain —