Importance of Bariatric Vitamins and Minerals
Vitamins and minerals are essential for nearly all biochemical processes. Vitamins and minerals are needed to produce energy, fight disease and repair injured tissue. People who have undergone gastric bypass surgery and other weight loss surgeries have an increased need for bariatric vitamins and minerals.
Vitamin and Mineral Deficiencies
It is not unusual to have vitamin deficiencies following weight loss surgery. Bypassing the small intestine in gastric bypass surgery decreases the amount of calories absorbed from food and aids weight loss. Since most vitamins and minerals are absorbed in the small intestine, a lesser amount will be absorbed when the intestine is shortened.
As a gastric bypass patient, I have experienced both iron deficiencies and overloads of Vitamin B12. And have suffered the health consequences resulting from them.
Deficiencies you will want to check for include, at minimum, iron, calcium, vitamin B12, thiamine, and folic acid.
In the long-term, taking too little bariatric vitamins and minerals may increase the risk for chronic diseases, including cardiovascular disease, colon cancer, bone fractures and birth defects. Taking too many bariatric vitamins and minerals may increase the risk for cancer, heart attack, osteoporosis, and stroke.
Here are easy-to-read versions of the ASMBS Nutritional Supplements Guidelines for each bariatric surgery. I suggest you carefully read the Supplement Facts label on your bariatric vitamins and compare it to these ASMBS guidelines.
Bariatric Vitamin and Mineral Deficiencies
Patients who have had weight loss surgery should anticipate taking bariatric vitamin and mineral supplements for the rest of their lives. In addition to a nutritious diet, iron, calcium, vitamin B12 sublingual, and a multi-vitamin are recommended by bariatric surgeons. However, this is a minimum requirement and you likely will need additional bariatric vitamin and mineral supplements to achieve optimal health. Read, “Vegan Protein Powder for Weight Loss.”
Bariatric patients should receive annual lab testing to check vitamin and mineral levels in their blood. Labs should be done sooner if fatigue and/or shortness of breath are present. These could be signs of deficiencies.
Deficiencies you will want to check for include, at minimum, iron, calcium, vitamin B12, thiamine and folic acid.
Bariatric Vitamin and Mineral Needs
Iron and vitamin B12 needs differ from person to person. It is only by checking blood levels that you and your healthcare provider will be able to determine the dosage that is right for you, along with any other supplements you may need.
I had to go through a series of blood tests over the course of a few months to get my iron and B12 dosage right. Too much or too little iron and B12 can have serious health implications. You will want to be sure that you are giving yourself the best chance for optimal health.
Living larger than ever,
My Bariatric Life