If you’ve tried different fad diets or trendy workout routines, only to gain back whatever weight you’ve lost, you may be considering weight loss surgery. However, a bariatric procedure is only part of the equation. Increased activity and a proper diet, including bariatric vitamin B12, are also needed to safely lose the unwanted weight permanently.
We get many of the nutrients we need from the foods we eat as part of a healthy diet. However, many bariatric patients are often lacking the very basic nutrients the body needs to function properly and require supplements before and after surgery. That includes bariatric vitamin B12 supplements.
Vitamin B12 (along with folic acid) is needed to help the body grow and replicate cells within the body and help the nervous systems deliver messages from the brain throughout the body. A vitamin B12 deficiency can lead to numbness or tingling in the body, anemia (the reduction of red blood cells), depression, memory loss, and other issues.
In most cases, we get a lot of our vitamin B12 through the meat and dairy we eat. We lose those naturally occurring nutrients when we cut down or remove those foods from our diet after a bariatric procedure. But there’s another reason your body doesn’t get the amount of B12 it needs after gastric bypass surgery, duodenal switch, or other bariatric surgery.
The importance of Bariatric Vitamin B12 for Weight-Loss Patients
The process starts in the stomach, which breaks down vitamin B12. Intrinsic factor is a compound produced in the stomach that binds with vitamin B12 in the duodenum and allows it to be absorbed into the body. This happens in the small intestine via the ileum. Instead of being digested, B12 can then be sent to where it’s needed.
When the duodenum is shortened or otherwise made smaller, there’s less time for the intrinsic factor to bind with B12. Thus, your body gets less B12 and a deficiency occurs. Basically, there isn’t enough room for this important process to take place. Not only is the body getting less B12 than it needs because you’re not getting less through your diet, but it also has less room to work in.
With bariatric vitamin B12 supplements, you help your body perform as it should for years after surgery. A simple blood test can find out if you have a B12 deficiency. There are vitamin B12 injections patients can take, but oral vitamin B12 capsules or chewables are the most common ways to give your body more of what it needs.
In many cases, vitamin B12 for bariatric patients is needed in the weeks leading up to a procedure to get the body back to normal levels. Weight loss surgeons will often require patients to begin taking multiple supplements before surgery to prepare the body for the loss of nutrients that come from smaller meals. In some cases, vitamin B12 may be needed after surgery, as well.
WeightWise: Bariatric Surgery Experts
We have performed thousands of bariatric procedures since 2006 and our surgeons have decades of experience with weight loss surgery. But we believe duodenal switch, gastric bypass, or sleeve gastrectomy is just one part of the weight loss puzzle. Physical activity and a proper diet are absolutely necessary to reach your weight loss goals.
That’s why every bariatric surgery patient at WeightWise is given a dietitian and exercise physiologist to ensure your long-term weight loss goals are met. Along with bariatric vitamin B12 and other vitamins and minerals, you’ll be shown what and how much you can eat.
Our exercise physiologist will design a new workout regime to help your cardiovascular system, improve flexibility, and even increase strength. Some of our patients have gone on to run half marathons and even marathons! But it will take time. You’ll also want to check with your primary care physician before starting any workout routine.
WeightWise offers Bariatric Advantage Vitamin B12 1,000 mcg in our shop, along with other supplements specifically designed for bariatric patients. We also have lots of other drinks, treats, and snacks to help you on your healthy eating journey. For many patients, the diet is the hardest part of the process–we want to make it as simple as possible! Please contact your dietitian if you have diet or vitamin questions.