When you have surgery to remove your colon and to get an ostomy, your body sometimes reacts in unexpected ways. I can’t explain why it does what it does, but when you majorly alter your body’s normal functions, then it is going to impact other things, as well. I’m sure it reacts in different ways for different people, but there’s a good chance your body will undergo some big changes, one way or another. This was something I wasn’t quite ready for prior to my surgery.
I have debated talking about this because it does not always seem acceptable for a thin person to talk about weight issues. You usually get dismissed as either being ridiculous for worrying about your weight or as bragging about how skinny you are. That’s not my intention here. I think this is an important topic and something that changed for me over the past few years that I did not necessarily expect when I first decided to have this surgery.
Simply put, I’m just kind of a small person. I was before my surgery and I still am afterwards. I am only 5’2″ (and 3/4″!) and for most of my adult life, I have weighed between 100-110 lbs. Of course there are a few outliers in there and to be even more specific, my range was really between 103-108 lbs and would fluctuate between those fairly often. That was my sweet spot. And I knew that if I got below 103 lbs that I was losing too much weight and needed to put a little more on, and if I got over 108 lbs I would start noticing it (in my face mostly) and would do what I needed to drop a pound or two. Even once I got up to 109 or 110, without weighing myself, I would know that I was a little higher than I liked to be.
But after my surgery, things started to change pretty quickly. Within just a few months, I started to notice my weight going up. The funny thing, though, is that I didn’t feel like I was gaining weight. I didn’t notice it when I looked in the mirror or think that I should lose a few pounds. (Although, I do have a couple of pairs of skinny jeans from prior to surgery that I still am unable to get on.) I finally settled in around 111-115 lbs. And that’s where I’ve remained for the past couple of years.
What I came to realize is that the previous weight I was before my surgery was not the weight I was supposed to be. My ideal weight was never where it should be and even when I gained weight, it did not go to the places where it was supposed to go. But after surgery, my body started absorbing all of the nutrients it is meant to absorb and putting them to good use. I also began running and working out just a few months after my surgery and when you increase your muscle mass it also increases your weight. So that’s weight I do not mind putting on.
My point here is to show that very quickly after having my colon removed, I gained about 8-10% of my previous body weight while changing very little else. And while this is how my body reacted, I’m sure there are many different stories from other people. I’m sure there are people who lose weight after finally being able to get off steroids and by feeling good enough to be more active. And other people who put on a ton of weight now that they are able to eat like a normal person again and because their body is actually absorbing nutrients like it should
Not having a colon will change the way your body behaves. Also, not having the inflammation surging inside of you will change it even further. So be prepared for however your body might react and whatever direction your weight might go. But also realize that putting on a few pounds is not always a bad thing and could be a sign of your body getting healthier.
How has your body changed after your surgery? Did you notice any significant shift in your weight? Or your shape?