The process of undergoing gastric sleeve and rapidly losing a significant amount of weight causes a range of physical and psychological changes. Some of these changes are easy to anticipate (e.g., a slimmer-looking body, improved general health). Other changes are less predictable and may cause some patients to be concerned.
According to Dr. Guillermo Alvarez of Endobariatric, feeling cold all the time is considered the No. 1 side effect of gastric sleeve surgery. If you have had gastric sleeve and experience cold intolerance, it may be uncomfortable. You may also wonder whether this is a sign that something is wrong with your body.
Dr. Alvarez is here to put your worries to rest. Read on as he explains why cold intolerance occurs and why it is not a major issue.
Loss of Fat Leads to Feeling Cold
Gaining weight leads to the accumulation of a layer of fat deposits right underneath the skin, known as subcutaneous fat. This fat layer serves as protection against extreme weather; think of it as insulating your body from the cold.
After gastric sleeve surgery, you can expect to consume less calories and lose weight steadily. As you lose weight, the insulating layer of fat will progressively thin out. Without the normal layer of insultation, you are likely to become much more sensitive to cold temperatures than you were before surgery. You may find yourself shivering or getting goosebumps or chills in the car, office, classroom or doctor’s office.
This is nothing to be concerned about, and it is usually temporary. For many patients, this feeling eventually goes away as their body becomes accustomed to the lower fat storage. Do not be surprised if it takes months after surgery for your body temperature to stabilize.
A Small Price To Pay for Better Health
At first the intolerance to cold may be uncomfortable or irritating. However, you will soon realize that this side effect is a small price to pay for the cosmetic and health benefits of having surgery.
If the cold sensation really bothers you, layer up or bring a sweater with you when you go out. Depending on how cold you get, you may even need to purchase a few warm hats and mittens. Keep a pile of cozy blankets in your living room. Take warm showers or baths and enjoy soups and stews.
Over time, you may not even notice the feeling of being cold any longer. If the cold intolerance persists long-term and you are still concerned, talk to a member of the Endobariatric team.
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“Changing lives…one sleeve at a time”.