Bariatric surgery produces drastic weight loss. As patients lose weight, hormones change. Obesity increases estrogen production in men and women (Reduced-Calorie Dietary Weight Loss, Exercise, and Sex Hormones in Postmenopausal Women: Randomized Controlled Trial). Rapid reduction of weight reduces estrogen. While losing weight at a fast rate in the months after surgery, patients often struggle to manage their emotions. The new restricted diet along with the re-balancing of hormones can produce irritability and emotional instability. For some patients this is a minor inconvenience, others do not notice any emotional changes. But for some patients the months after surgery can be difficult.
Self-perception, self-worth, and inter-personal relationships can change.
Acknowledging the potential for an emotional struggle and preparing for it can be helpful. The Emotional First Aid Kit is one of our top recommendations and worth a read for patients before or after bariatric surgery.