With bariatric surgery comes many changes to both your life and your body. Have you noticed a change in body temperature regulation since undergoing gastric sleeve? If so, you are not alone. In fact, cold intolerance following weight loss surgery is pretty normal. Let’s discuss what contributes to this often unexpected, yet manageable, side effect below!
Cold Intolerance Following Sleeve Gastrectomy
Most patients lose about 60% – 70% of their excess weight with gastric sleeve. Patients tend to lose weight particularly quickly during the first few months post-op which subsequently leads to fat loss as well. Subcutaneous fat is the layer of fat directly beneath the skin that acts as a form of insulation against cold. As you lose weight rapidly, your entire body slims and so does this insulating layer of subcutaneous fat, making you more sensitive to the cold. Additionally, your metabolism slows with rapid weight loss which can also contribute to body temperature issues.
Should I Be Concerned?
Cold intolerance following bariatric surgery is nothing to be concerned about and typically resolves on its own with time. As your body gets used to less fat storage and less caloric intake, your body temperature should stabilize. This may take up to 18-24 months following surgery, as this is often how long it takes for patients’ weight to stabilize.
What To Do
Cold intolerance can be a little annoying, but it is a small temporary price to pay for an overall improved quality of life. Nonetheless, there are a few things you can do to help reduce any discomfort caused by this new cold sensation. Try out these simple tips to help you stay warm and cozy:
- You may want to switch to hot beverages rather than cold ones; try to hit your water goals by increasing your hot tea consumption rather than just cold water.
- If you are feeling particularly cold, you can remedy this by taking a hot shower or bath.
- Opt for warm and comforting meals like soups and stews and consider investing in self-heating plates and bowls to keep your food warm throughout the entirety of your meal.
- Layer up! Sweaters, hats, scarves, mitts, etc. will prove beneficial, especially during winter.
- Finally, make sure to keep your body moving as this will help with circulation.
Cold intolerance is quite common following sleeve gastrectomy, but luckily does not last permanently. As your body gets accustomed to all the physiological changes that occur due to surgery, your body temperature should regulate as well. If cold intolerance persists long-term, consult your bariatric team to try and uncover any underlying issues.