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Why do we feel cold after obesity surgery?

Body temperature stems from the heat your body produces and bruits. Even if the environment temperature changes, body adapts to keep its temperature in a narrow pitch. Normal body temperature is 37 degrees. Many patients report feeling cold more and even trembling after obesity surgery although the measured body temperature is normal. There are two main causes for this: the decrease in body isolation and energy consumption.

Fat is a very strong isolation material. Cold climate animals store much more fat in their bodies compared to their counterparts in warm climates. Thinning of subcutaneous fat tissues after the surgery leads to fall in this isolation and consequently feeling cold more.

Second reason is lower calorie intake and consuming less energy to survive than when you were overweight as your body gets small. We can explain this with a mixer example. Mixer works very well when scrambling eggs whereas it has a difficult time and gets hot trying to mix a dense dough as it tries to move a bigger mass. If we apply the same to our bodies, as the mass to move grows, it gets harder to work and produces more heat.

Our body has two perfect mechanisms for heat regulation: sweating and trembling. We have all seen that obese people sweat more. Sweating is the effort of body to cool itself. Body widens subcutaneous capillaries to detract the excessive heat and body tries to lose the heat from the top. Evaporating water of sweating makes body temperature fall.

Patients encounter second reason after the obesity surgery more, meaning trembling. Blood vessels crinkle to lower the blood flow to skin especially when we lose weight fast. When temperature goes down more, body uses muscles to generate more heat, that means trembling comes. This helps temperature rise after some time. However, that is a very good sign for you to wear a sweater. Remember that it is easier to wear something warm instead of fat isolation that you tried so hard to lose when you gripe about cold.

Body temperature regulates after weight stabilization in most obesity surgery patients. That means, everything gets normal after 12-18 months. Your body thermostat needs some time to adapt your weight loss. Let me remind that weight loss patients who exercise experience less cold-trembling compared to those who do not. I wish everyone a healthy, moving and less shaky days.

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