According to a recent study, many patients are reporting changes in smell, taste and appetite after weight loss surgery. CBS News reports that researchers suggest that this could lead patients lose even more weight. The study evaluated 103 British patients who had Roux-en-y gastric bypass surgery. This surgical procedure involves surgeons who make the stomach smaller and shorten the small intestine path.
Nearly 97% of those evaluated said their appetite had changed following surgery, and 42% had changes in their sense of smell. Changes in taste occurred in 73% of patients especially regarding sweet or sour tastes. Participants also experienced changes in the taste of greasy food, pasta, rice, fast food, chocolate, chicken, beef, roast, pork, sausage, lamb and fish.
According to the study’s researchers, nearly ¾ of these patients developed a dislike for certain foods, especially meat. And the other one-third avoided chicken, beef steak, lamb, sausage, bacon, chicken or ham altogether, which resulted in greater weight loss.
Another 12% saw changes in the taste of bread, pastries, rice, pasta and dairy products such as eggs, cheese, cream or ice cream, 4% with vegetables, 3% to fruit and 1% for canned fish such as tuna.
The study’s researchers also discovered that patients with other dislikes for foods they once had lost on average 18 pounds after surgery than those who reported unaffected tastes. The study was published online in the Journal of Obesity Surgery.
Cause and effect were not investigated during this study despite researchers finding an association between bariatric surgery itself and changes in taste, appetite and smell. The study’s lead author, Lisa Graham of the Leicester Royal Infirmary, believes that these taste and smell changes may be caused by a combination of gut bacteria and changes in the central nervous system after surgery.
The study made clear that patients in this study were told about this possible loss of taste and smell during their initial weight loss surgery consultation.