A woman who lost 19 STONE thanks to quick-fix surgery admits to feeling less confident than when she was obese.
Kelly Urey, 30, who at her heaviest weighed 26st said NHS gastric bypass surgery left her with crippling stomach pains which have ruined her life.
Ms Urey shrunk from a size 30 to a size eight dress size in the space of just 18 months. Now weighing a skeletal seven stone, Ms Urey is malnourished and easily exhausted.
She said: “I might look good now – but I feel awful. I don’t have as much energy as when I was obese and I actually feel less attractive.”
Ms Urey began gaining weight when she was a teenager thanks to her habit of snacking frequently on crisps, chocolate and soft cheese between regular takeaway dinners.
She said despite her size she was confident in social situations.
She said: “People saw me as a larger-than-life character. I would often make jokes about my size so others wouldn’t get the satisfaction of making fun of me.”
When she reached her twenties Ms Urey realised her weight was causing noticeable health issues, including frequent shortness of breath. After consulting a GP and dietitian Ms Urey was put forward for gastric bypass surgery, going under the knife in October 2012.
She said: “I was nervous. Any surgery is nerve-racking but it was the end result which concerned me the most.”
After her gastric bypass Ms Urey was initially pleased with her weight loss, but as the pounds tumbled away she became less and less fond of her new physique and discovered even the smallest of food portions would leave her in immense pain.
She said: “I was happy with how quickly the weight fell off but alarmingly it never slowed down.
“I found every bite of food would knot my stomach in crippling agony and I had to pop a painkiller just to eat a small amount of scrambled egg.”
Ms Urey, of Bury, has been left with nausea, bloating, cramping, diarrhea, dizziness, and fatigue. She has also been left with unsightly and uncomfortable excess skin.
She said: “I’m just too weak. I thought I would have more energy but I’m in too much pain now. ”
When Ms Urey realised the extent of her discomfort she decided to seek medical attention.
She said: “I went to the GP but they said they couldn’t find anything wrong with me.
“I told them it hurt too much to eat but it was no use. Medics concluded the pain was all in my head. I felt helpless.”
Due to her stomach pains Ms Urey can only usually stomach soft foods, preventing her from getting all the nutrients she needs for a healthy diet.
Her typical daily diet now consists of two oat bars for breakfast, a piece of fruit and tub of yoghurt for lunch and some salad with flavoured humus or salted popcorn for dinner.
Despite her health issues Ms Urey is looking towards the future having enrolled in a hairdressing course at Bury College.
She said: “I needed a practical hobby and the hairdressing course gives me a few hours of the day to get away from it all and it will give me some job prospects once my health improves.
“I have stop over-thinking things, I have to stop looking at food and getting worried about the pain. I just need to make sure I eat my three meals.
“I still wish I had never had gastric bypass surgery.
“I want others to think it through before they go ahead with such procedures.”
The NHS recently reported that the number of gastric bypasses performed in the UK had gone up by 530 percent in the last six years.
A list of potential risks and side effects of gastric bypass surgery can be found on the NHS website.
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