After weight loss surgery, making sure you get the right vitamins is crucial to your long-term recovery and health as a whole. Weight loss surgery can reduce your effectiveness at absorbing nutrients, whether through the procedure itself (such as absorption control procedures) or by restricting the amount of food your body can take in (such as a dietary sleeve or stomach constriction).
While these procedures are very effective in helping you reach your health goals and lose weight, they can lead to vitamin deficiencies if you are not taking appropriate supplements. These vitamin deficiencies can have long term health consequences if left untreated so it is vital to follow up with your surgical team regularly.
Why Do Weight Loss Surgery Patients Need to Take Vitamins?
Vitamins and minerals ensure your body can carry on its vital functions such as regulating metabolism, thyroid function, brain activity, appetite, energy and more.
Eating nutritious foods is the best way to get vitamins and minerals. Bariatric patients, however, need to supplement their diet with additional vitamins and minerals. After surgery you will be eating less food. In addition, your body won’t absorb nutrients as before.
Some procedures, such as gastric bypass and duodenal switch, are restrictive as well as malabsorptive. With these surgeries, you risk malnourishment if you don’t take supplements.
What Kind of Supplements Should I Take After Surgery?
Choosing the correct vitamins after surgery is important. Our dietitians will work closely with you so you understand what vitamins are required, the best forms of vitamins (chewable, capsule, etc), and some of the best brands on the market. Some of the more crucial bariatric vitamins you need to ensure you’re on the path to a healthful recovery are iron, calcium, B12, and vitamin D. While it is possible to gain these minerals from a well-balanced diet, after weight loss surgery, your body is more restricted in its food intake, which in turn can leave you susceptible to dangerous deficiencies, such as bone problems, anemia, and more severe issues with your health. Taking bariatric vitamins after your procedure can help prevent these issues, and allow you to heal faster and more fully than you would if your body was lacking these vitamins.
Why Do I Need Bariatric-Specific Vitamins?
Vitamins can be hard on the digestive tract. This is true for anyone, not just weight loss patients. Since the digestive tract is more sensitive after surgery, it’s important to take supplements that are easy to digest and free from sugars. WeightWise carries a number of complete, highly digestible supplements.
What Happens If I Don’t Take Supplements?
You risk developing a vitamin or mineral deficiency if you don’t take the supplements recommended by your dietitian. This is as true ten years after your surgery as it is in the weeks following your procedure. Your digestive tract will never absorb nutrients in the same way as it did before it was altered. To maintain energy and health, you must be dedicated to good nutrition including taking vitamins and minerals.
Here are some of the problems associated with deficiencies of the following nutrients:
- Vitamin A: problems with eyesight and infections
- Vitamin B12: fatigue, anemia
- Calcium: osteoporosis
- Vitamin D: liver, kidney and bone problems
- Vitamin E: anemia, neurological problems
- Vitamin K: osteoporosis, heart disease, bruising
- Iron: anemia, fatigue, hair loss
- Thiamin: problems with heart, digestive and nervous system
- Zinc: hair loss, brittle nails
Can I Take Gummy Vitamins?
This section was written by Stephanie Moore MS, RD/LD
It’s not an uncommon question I hear in my office. Why not a gummy vitamin?
Vitamins can be tough on the stomach. Even the chewable bariatric vitamins can sometimes give people fits. But before you switch to a gummy vitamin, let’s try a few other options.
Our concern with a gummy vitamin is the lack of complete vitamins and minerals. To make it still “gummy” manufacturing needs to eliminate lots of key minerals. The other concern is in the ingredients list. The first ingredient- sucrose….also known as sugar.
Bariatric vitamin companies are constantly working towards vitamins that settle well, and taste good. We carry Bariatric Advantage in Berry, Orange, Tropical and Vanilla. We also now carry Celebrate vitamins in Pineapple Strawberry, Grape and Mandarin Orange.
Not loving the chewables? Next option…Bariatric Advantage Multiformula Capsules. These are bariatric specific capsules that are smaller and quick to absorb. After a weight-loss surgery we have to be picky, because over-the-counter capsules/tablets/gels are not as well absorbed in the small pouch. A bariatric specific capsule, however, we don’t have to worry.
One more option you may consider- crystals. Bariatric Advantage makes a Mixed Berry Crystal that can be mixed in water and provides both the multivitamin and the calcium for the day. 2 scoops per day and you are covered. Just add in the iron, B12, probiotic (and if you are in need of Vitamin D).
Weight loss surgery in Oklahoma
If you are looking to gain more information on weight loss surgery, or are looking to get bariatric vitamins shipped directly to your home, look no further than our website. We pride ourselves on providing up-to-date and in-depth information on weight loss procedures, as well as offering an e-store stocked with the essential vitamins to make sure you stay healthy on your road to recovery.
If you have any questions regarding your weight loss surgery or bariatric vitamins, feel free to contact WeightWise and speak to a weight loss professional about your goals. After all, getting in shape is only the first step to self-care, and maintaining a healthy, balanced diet is the best way to keep you and your body healthy and happy.