Unexpected Side Effects After Weight Loss
Reed started experiencing severe neck pain. She went to multiple healthcare providers, receiving various prescription medications, but nothing was helping. No healthcare provider could figure out exactly what was wrong, she said, and they started looking at her like it was all in her head.
“There were times when I didn’t know if I would wake up the next day because I was in so much pain,” explained Reed,
Then she had an epiphany.
“One day, we were in the bathroom, and my husband stood behind me and lifted my stomach. So, for the first time, I could see what I would look like if my stomach wasn’t covering my hips and everything else,” recalled Reed. “That was the first time that I didn’t feel the neck pain and all of the pain I had been feeling for months.”
She couldn’t believe she hadn’t thought of that before, but she had never heard anyone talk about the pain that comes with loose skin. Reed explained that people typically focus on the vanity of losing weight, not the complications that can come with it.
Her struggle with her skin didn’t stop there. Sometimes it felt so heavy that her arms would numb from holding it up.
Regardless of what others thought, Reed recalled knowing that she had every right to be proud of her body.
“I would rather have 10 times more skin than I have now than be 485 pounds back on my deathbed where I wasn’t able to do anything, such as even go to that theme park,” noted Reed.
Kids And Teens Are Turning To Bariatric Surgery To Fight Obesity
Her gastric band limits the size of her stomach, which lowers her tolerance of the unhealthy foods she once loved. But she knew she could still eat junk food even with the band, so she used it as a tool to completely change her lifestyle.
Before her significant weight loss, she ate McDonalds cheeseburgers, candy, soda and fries but after turning her life around, she gets her nutrients from protein shakes, fruit, granola and grilled chicken.
But losing the weight wasnt the end of her struggles. Now, she has folds of excess skin that droop off her body, which only limits her mobility more and causes pain.
My stomach is still there but its just not filled with fat anymore. It just hangs in a different way and has nowhere to go, she said. I was struggling to walk when I had the weight but now Im struggling to walk because I have excess skin, so the problem is still there. I feel like I have to hide it.
What Is After Weight Loss Surgery
Individuals who undergo significant weight loss are to be commended, having overcome a big burden in their life. Unfortunately, while their weight loss represents a huge accomplishment, some individuals will be faced with more frustrations. The new challenge is usually the hanging skin that resides on the body. Significant weight loss commonly leaves individuals with skin that cannot conform to the new shape. Regardless of where the hanging skin resides, plastic surgery is needed to correct the issue. Dr. Arun Rao, a board-certified plastic surgeon, offers after weight loss surgery for Tucson, AZ men and women. This can be a life-changing treatment at Rao Plastic & Hand Surgery and also serves as the final step of their weight loss journey.
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A Year And A Half After My Surgery I’d Lost 150 Poundsbut I Had A Lot Of Loose Skin
I was absolutely covered in it. I had arms that were heavy and hard to hold up, a belly that I was stuffing into my leggings to head to the gym, and pieces of my back that made clothing impossible to buy. I worked so incredibly hard for my weight loss and my new muscles, but none of it could be seen under the skin I was living in.
So I worked up the courage to go see another surgeon and we talked about my options. We decided on a brachioplasty , an abdominoplasty , breast augmentation, and an upper back lift.
My second surgery took place on November 27, 2018, and I had less than seven pounds of skin removed. The surgery took nearly seven hours and left me covered in scars, but my excess skin is gone.
I’m still healing from that surgerysince I opted for such an extensive procedure , my recovery was a little more intense. My body was pretty much useless for a few days I even had to ask my boyfriend to scratch my nose at one point.
My recovery isn’t quite yet overin January, I have to go back to the doctor to have an extensive scar treatment using lasers to help minimize their appearance. But I’ve already got a list of things I’m excited to do once I’m fully healed.
Overall, the decision to lose weight was the best decision I’ve ever made for myself. It hasn’t been easy, but it’s definitely been worth it.
Factors That Are Responsible For Loose Skin
As we know, the body structure, height, and weight of all of us are different, When we lose a large amount of weight, the looseness of our skin depends on the following factors:
What is our age, how much weight have we lost, in how many time periods we have lost weight, whether or not someone is intoxicated like smoking or drinking, and in what ways weight has been reduced?
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All Colors Of The Rainbow
Experts suggest adding as many colored foods to your diet as possible.
- Dark greens such as Kale, Spinach, Broccoli, Pok choy, Brussels sprouts
- Purples such as cauliflower, eggplant, turnips, cabbage
- Oranges and yellows such as bell pepper, carrots, Bananas, Squash, Pumpkin
- Reds such as tomatoes, red peppers, radishes
- Whites such as garlic, Turnips, Fennel, Celery and radishes
Each one of these is loaded with beneficial phytonutrients and antioxidants that help improve skin tone and may improve the elasticity of your skin.
Can You Lose Weight And Not Have Saggy Skin
Whether you can lose weight without loose skin depends on how much weight you shed. If you lose a small or moderate amount, then it’s certainly possible to have no loose skin after weight loss.
But skin sagging is far more likely when you lose a large amount of weight quickly , which is often the case if you have bariatric surgery or follow a medically prescribed very-low-calorie diet, according to the Cleveland Clinic.
That’s because after your skin stretches to accommodate a larger body size, it often doesn’t maintain the elasticity it needs to bounce back, per UConn Health.
Your age also plays a role in whether you’re able to lose weight without excess skin. When you age, your skin naturally starts to lose elastin and collagen, per the Cleveland Clinic. And the less elastin and collagen you have, the less resilient your skin will be .
The following traits can also factor into whether you’re able to lose weight without loose skin:
- Your genetics can influence your skin health , per July 2012 research in âDermato-Endocrinologyâ.
- Too much sun exposure can be harmful to your skin and potentially contribute to looser skin, according to Harvard Health Publishing.
- Smoking can damage skin elasticity and lead to sag, per the Mayo Clinic.
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Factors That Influence The Loss Of Skin Elasticity
Several factors contribute to loose skin following weight loss:
- Length of time. In general, the longer someone has had overweight or obesity, the looser their skin will be after weight loss due to elastin and collagen loss.
- Amount of weight lost. Weight loss of 100 pounds or more typically results in a greater amount of loose skin than more moderate weight loss.
- Age. Older skin has less collagen than younger skin and tends to be looser following weight loss (
In a controlled study, skin elasticity, along with texture and hydration, increased significantly after 12 weeks of taking a liquid collagen supplement. The drink also contained vitamins C and E, as well as biotin and zinc .
Collagen hydrolysate is also known as hydrolyzed collagen. It comes in powdered form and can be purchased at natural food stores or online.
Another popular source of collagen is bone broth, which provides other health benefits as well.
Loose Skin After Weight Loss Is Totally Normal But There Are Ways To Fix It
Losing a bunch of weightwhether it’s through diet and exercise, surgery, or a combination of different approachesisn’t all glitter and smiling “after” photos. If you shed a significant number of pounds, having loose skin is normaland extremely common. Also normal? Feeling a little bummed about it.
This is a legitimate concern that patients have when seeking obesity surgery, says Vivek Prachand, M.D., a bariatric surgeon and associate professor of surgery at The University of Chicago Medicine.
Why does loose skin after major weight loss happen? The maybe-a -little-downer truth: If you were in a larger body previously, excess fat likely stretched out your skin. Couple that with the fact that collagen and elastin in the skin naturally decrease as you age, and you’ve got a recipe for excess skin, explains Manish Shah, M.D., a board-certified plastic surgeon in Denver.
There may not be sufficient elasticity for the skin to contract back down to your new, smaller body size, says Constance Chen, M.D., a board-certified plastic surgeon in New York City.
Stretch marks are one sign of skin being, well, stretched past the point of no return: Once you see them, its much more likely that significant weight loss will result in loose, hanging skin, says Dr. Chen.
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Factors That Influence Skin Loosening During Weight Loss Include The Following:
- Age: As you get older, your skin becomes less elastic.2
- Amount of weight you lost: Weight loss of 100 pounds or more typically results in a greater amount of hanging skin.
- Genetics: Genes influence how much firmness your skin retains as you get older. Some people are just more susceptible to sagging skin than others.
- How long you’ve been overweight: If you’re overweight for a long period of time you’re skin may not be able to fully contract back into its smaller shape down when you lose weight.
- How quickly you lose weight: When you lose too much weight too fast, such as with weight loss surgery, your skin’s elasticity doesn’t have time to catch up. The result is loose skin.3
- Nutrition and water intake: Your skin may not be as healthy or firm if you aren’t getting balanced nutrition, vitamins, and minerals and staying hydrated.4
- Smoking: Smoking can speed up the normal aging process of your skin.
- Sun exposure: Your past, present, and future exposure to the sun can damage your skin.
Women Share Pics Of Loose Skin After Weight Loss To Prove How Common And Normal It Is
Anyone who’s seen an Instagram feed knows that social media is full of weight loss before-and-after photos. But these images typically showcase only one element of what it’s like to lose weight. So a lot of Instagrammers are coming forward to share that when you lose weight, a lot goes on with your bodyand some of it isn’t necessarily well understood.
One of the things these women want to raise awareness about? Loose skin. When someone loses a significant amount of weight , they can end up with loose skin on their stomach and other parts of their body. This is super commonand totally and completely fine. It’s what a lot of bodies do, but that doesn’t mean everyone talks about it. These Instagrammers are hoping to open up a conversation about loose skinboth because it’s a common part of the weight loss experience and because it’s nothing to be ashamed of.
One Instagram user, Caleh Cristler, dedicated an entire post to loose skinand she’s not the only one to do so. “Please do not let the fear of loose skin, stretch marks, cellulite, or anything else stop you from reaching your goals,” she wrote. “What if you have loose skin? Girl, what if you uncover an amazing warrior who is the strongest mentally, physically, and emotionally that she has ever been? Are you going to let some jiggle stop you? Don’t you dare. Don’t you dare hold your potential hostage because you’re worried what someone might say or think.”
This content can also be viewed on the site it originates from.
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How Long Does It Take To Tighten Skin After Weight Loss Is It Even Possible
Unfortunately, theres no definitive answer to this.
Our bodies are unique and each one has different biochemistry, DNA, genetics, diet, nutrition and lifestyle habits, all of which play a key role in determining how soon our skins regain their lost elasticity.
In some cases, getting rid of loose skin may take years, which can affect a person psychologically especially ones self esteem.
There are people who have successfully lost over 100 lbs., but are forced to cover themselves up in public using compression garments, because they feel disheartened with the extra skin sagging there and tainting ones body image.
How Much Weight Loss Causes Loose Skin
Theres nothing more motivating than seeing before and after photos of a successful weight loss journey.
It establishes the fact that weight loss is not unachievable, as it is often touted to be.
Its just a matter of applying some basic rules and sticking with them until you achieve your desired body weight.
But, theres one aspect of weight loss thats rarely spoken about, if ever.
Loose, saggy excess loose skin that hangs off your body after a drastic transformation never makes it to social media, does it?
But sadly, excess skin is an unavoidable aspect of weight loss that youve got to deal with.
The question is, how much weight loss causes loose skin?
Is it 10 lbs., 20, 50, 100?
Unfortunately, theres no clear consensus out there about how much weight loss will leave you with an excess loose skin.
We figured that it was time to add our two cents to this debate.
As always, we are going to provide only fact-based information& back up any claims with references .
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How Much Weight Did You Lose And How Soon
This is one of the most important aspects that affect the elasticity of your skin. It makes sense to have someone who had a gradual weight loss of 30 lbs. over the span of 6-8 months having a lower risk of excess loose skin, as opposed to someone who experienced a massive weight loss of 100 pounds over the same period of time.
The skin needs time to adjust to the change in body mass. When it does not have that time, it starts to sag and lose its normal skin quality. We will talk more about this in a bit.
Fill Any Gaps With The Right Supplements
Nutrients can work wonders in building skin elasticity, but its harder to get them through a normal diet. One such example is gelatin, which has been shown in some studies to increase elasticity in skin. Another example is fish oil, as one of its multiple benefits includes improving the skin elasticity in women.
Collagen is a key protein for the elasticity of your skin. Taking a collagen supplement can help to strengthen its elasticity and ability to hold its firmness and form even after significant weight loss.
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Where Does All That Skin Go See For Yourself
Franklin Santana, a 29-year-old who lives in the Bronx, had gastric bypass surgery in October 2011, and before the surgery, he weighed 395 pounds. Two years later, as of late last year, he was down to 170. To the public, he seemed like a trim, even skinny, guy. But underneath the clothes, he said his sagging skin reminded him of a deflated balloon.
Im wearing a fat suit I feel like Im a thin person inside wearing a body thats twice the size of mine.
To me, it looks gross, said Santana. You know how a pumpkin looks, at the beginning of October? And then, at the end of October, its all sad and saggy and deflated. I guess you could say it looks like that.
Fantana had done his research before getting the surgery done, and he knew that hed probably be saddled with loose skin after it was over.
Deborah Olmstead, who first had weight loss surgery done in 2001, knew to expect it, too she just didn’t know how awful it would make her feel.
“I was not really comfortable even looking at myself in the mirror, with all the excess flesh,” said Olmstead, who lives in New York state and had cosmetic surgery in Manhattan, led by Wallach, to remove the sagging skin in 2004. “You’ve done all this work, you’ve made this big, massive change that you see on the scale, but you don’t necessarily see it in your clothing, or the way you feel about yourself.”
Why Some People Have No Loose Skin After Losing Up To 150 Lbs
There can be a lot of reasons why this can occur.
This, or they are some genetic outlier bestowed with the most amazing stretchy skin aka Mr. Fantastic.
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