A study from the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center suggests that obese teens may have nutritional deficiencies the likes of which are usually found in bariatric surgery patients. This is true even if the teen has not had weight loss surgery.
Obesity is among the most serious health concerns of our society. It takes a toll on physical, psychological, and social well-being, and effects about 35 percent of the adult population. In total, 68 percent of adults are overweight or obese. And obesity can be even harder to treat than the illnesses it causes.
But among the most useful tools to combat obesity and its related illnesses is bariatric surgery. It is not a free pass, however, and comes with the responsibility for continued diet and exercise. In addition, bariatric surgery may lead to vitamin deficiencies. It is not unusual to experience such deficiencies, particularly in malabsorption procedures such as the gastric bypass surgery.
Vitamin Deficiencies in Obese Teens
The study reported that although teens and young adults who underwent gastric bypass surgery maintained impressive weight loss 5-years post-op, they were at risk for nutritional deficiencies. The study found that the subjects had particular deficiencies in iron and vitamin D, which are common deficiencies following gastric bypass surgery.
Data garnered from the study also showed obese teens who did not undergo gastric bypass surgery had low iron and low vitamin D, as well as low levels of protein in their blood. It had been believed, prior to the study, that nutritional deficiencies in previously obese teens had been the result of the weight loss surgery. The study now suggests that severely obese teens could suffer nutritional deficiencies at any point, and they should be screened whether or not they have had weight loss surgery.
Iron and Vitamin D Deficiency Symptoms
Iron deficiency is the most common nutritional deficiency in the United States and can lead to anemia. Women are among those who are at greatest risk. Iron is important for the production of hemoglobin, the protein that helps red blood cells deliver protein throughout the body.
Symptoms of iron deficiency include fatigue, weakness, pale skin, shortness of breath, dizziness, and cravings for non-food items such as dirt, ice, and clay.
Vitamin D is a steroid hormone meant to be obtained primarily from the sun and not through diet. It is important for bone health and may help in protecting against colds and fighting depression.
Symptoms of vitamin D deficiency include depressed mood, aching bones, head sweating, and troubles in your gut. If you are 50 years old or older, you are at increased risk for vitamin D deficiency because your skin does not make as much vitamin D in response to sun exposure.
Living larger than ever,
My Bariatric Life