When we launched Tespo, we started with multivitamins. Then, we began to hear requests from customers. One of the loudest voices we heard was from the Bariatric community requesting that we create a Bariatric Formula. We took this to heart and now, we are proud to introduce our Bariatric Formula.
Bariatric surgical procedures help people to lose weight by restricting the amount of food the stomach can hold. In the U.S., more than 150,000 people undergo some form of weight loss surgery each year. In 2013, the number of bariatric surgeries reported was 179,000.
We recently caught up with Antonia Namnath, CEO, and founder of the Weight Loss Surgery Foundation of America (WLSFA). WLSFA raises funds for grants to help cover the costs of Bariatric surgery when insurance is not available to a patient. Namnath talked to us about Bariatric Surgery, Tespo, and the specific nutrient needs of those who have undergone a bariatric procedure.
Tespo: Why are vitamins necessary after bariatric surgery?
WLSFA: As part of the preparation for surgery, Bariatric patients are told they have to take vitamins every day for the rest of their lives. If they don’t, they could suffer terrible effects on their health and even risk death. So for those of us in the Bariatric community, vitamins are not a luxury, they are life saving and keep us healthy. We are no longer able to absorb all of the nutrients we need through our food. After these surgeries, you’re eating less and the speed at which food goes through your body means it’s not fully digested, so you’re not digesting the same way as a person who hasn’t had surgery.
I take vitamins just like someone with a heart condition. We have to take all the same vitamins as everyone else, but in most cases double what other people take. B12, B3, and Iron, in particular, don’t absorb well after surgery. It’s not uncommon for people who don’t absorb well to have iron infusions.
When I saw this new formula in a liquid format, I was excited. Tespo is different and it’s one less pill to take. This isn't just about buying Tespo, it's just like food, you want to switch things up. Plus, your stomach can get sensitive to pills. Most pills are designed to dissolve in the stomach. If your stomach has less capacity to do its job, there are some pills that go in and out and are not being fully digested. There is a joke in our community, “I am full. I just ate my vitamins.” Some pills are huge and they take up a lot of space, whereas a liquid formula goes right through your pouch and doesn’t interfere or diminish your capacity to eat food. A liquid format can be easier to process and absorb.
I also love the idea of a physical machine on your countertop to remind you to take your vitamins. That is another thing that people get absent minded about. Having a machine, means you’re looking at it and seeing it every day. It becomes harder to skip that step.
And I love how Tespo tastes. If you have to do something every day, you get super critical of its flavor. So for us, it’s super important that it is an enjoyable thing that you’re doing and in my opinion a pleasant experience.
Tespo: What is Bariatric Surgery?
WLSFA: There are many forms of Bariatric Surgery. People choose the option that works best for them based on their health.
The most popular weight loss surgery is called the Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy (VSG), also known as Gastric Sleeve Surgery. With this surgery, approximately 85% of the stomach is taken out and a person is left with a banana-shaped stomach that has diminished capacity.
The next most popular bariatric surgery is a Gastric Bypass (GB). This surgery divides your stomach into two pouches. The main pouch or stomach is the size of an egg. The other portion of the stomach remains in your body and attached, so digestive fluids are still able to combine with whatever food you eat. Also, you can reverse this surgery if there are issues.
Lap-Band Surgery involves placing a band around a normal stomach (or a bypass or sleeve if a person loses restriction). This procedure simply constricts the stomach.
The Duodenal Switch (DS) is the most radical of all surgeries and the least common. It is performed on people who need the most intervention. It involves removing 70 percent of the stomach and rerouting a portion of the small intestine. In the end, it limits both caloric intake and the body’s ability to absorb fat.
These are the most common forms of bariatric surgery.
Tespo: Why do people have Bariatric surgery?
WLSFA: It’s a great tool for people who have obesity affecting their health and who need help. Obesity is really the root to many diseases. You can’t stress how bad it is, including cancer, arthritis, joint problems, back problems and diabetes. The surgery can actually change how a body handles insulin. A person can go from being diabetic to not.
The surgery helps control appetite. Some people have more of the hormone ghrelin, which tells us we’re hungry. In my case, I had lost the weight many times on my own but was incapable of keeping it off forever. Moreover, at a healthy weight, I was starving all of the time and slowly I would succumb to that. Now, as a result of the surgery, I have a much lower level of this hormone. Thankfully, I am not constantly hungry and when I eat, I feel satisfied and can go on.
Obesity has a lot of negativity and bias. There is not a lot of compassion for our community. But for the majority of people who get to the point of needing surgery, there is something else going on with their health—from hormone issues to medical reasons—that makes surgery necessary. So, when a company like Tespo says we are going to help, it means a lot to this community. We love that.
To learn more about the specifics of Tespo Bariatric Formula go here.