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Added by Klaudia Grabowska
Bariatric surgery is a life-changing moment in our lives. Once you decide to have it, you commit yourself to all the changes it entails. Of course, a special post-op diet and physical activity guarantee significant weight loss, but there are some other aspects of a post-op life that need to be mentioned. In this article, we will focus on Vitamins after weight loss surgery.
Generally, any bariatric surgery makes patients eat much less food, they need to follow a special diet for the first months (it is very restricted) and their stomach capacity is significantly reduced. Being able to eat so little, they still need to provide themselves enough nutrition. Proper nutrition consists of macroelements, microelements, and water. The post op diet is constructed in a way that patients drink enough water and eat enough macronutrients (proteins, fats, and carbs). Unfortunately, it is almost impossible to provide all the necessary micronutrients eating so little.
Micronutrients, that is minerals and vitamins after bariatric surgery, are as important as water and macronutrients. Bariatric patients are advised to supplement them for the rest of their lives. Below, we will explain the importance of after bariatric surgery vitamins and minerals supplementation.
Patients after weight loss surgery must follow a new healthy diet, but it is also important to remember that they need to take vitamins, sometimes for the rest of their lives
Vitamins are present in food and eating healthy meals with many fruits and vegetables is the best way of getting vitamins and minerals. When we follow a healthy diet, there is usually no need to take additional supplements. The situation is different for bariatric patients. Why do we need to take vitamins after weight loss surgery? Well, the number of calories is greatly restricted and food absorption is changed, so there are products that must be avoided – the post-op diet is generally highly limited especially at the beginning, so it is impossible to get all the nutrients from food and vitamins levels after bariatric surgery are extremely low.
The main role of vitamin and minerals is ensuring that the body functioning is proper, there are hundreds of vitamin roles – they eg. regulate metabolism and appetite, enable brain activity, protect thyroid function, give energy, maintain skin and hair condition.
Below, we present a full list of vitamins and minerals and their function in our bodies.
FOOD SOURCES (examples)
Vitamin A and Carotene
Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)
Vitamin B3 (Niacin)
Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic Acid)
Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine)
Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin)
Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid)
Vitamin B9 (Folic Acid)
FOOD SOURCES (examples)
As we can see, vitamins and minerals are responsible for the most important body functions. But are there any extra vitamins needed after bariatric surgery or are vitamins required immediately after bariatric surgery? We will explain it in the following paragraphs.
After the surgery, a dietician with the help of the surgeon prepares an individual plan of supplementation for the patient that will meet nutritional needs. The plan depends on many factors and it is different for different patients
Hair loss after bariatric surgery is a very common side effect. It is usually temporary – appears about 2-3 months after the surgery and after a few months, it is resolved. However, patients are usually advised to take vitamins to prevent hair loss after weight loss surgery – these are usually: Biotin, Iron, Vitamin C, Vitamin D, and zinc.
If you wonder when can you start taking vitamins after bariatric surgery, you should know that your bariatric surgeon together with a dietician should prepare an individual plan of supplementation that will meet your nutritional needs. Such a plan depends on the surgery that you had, your age, health condition, sex, and will be modified once you will be entering new diet steps – so you should not buy anything in advance without consulting the doctor. If you are taking supplements on a daily basis before the surgery, you should also ask the surgeon if you can take them (some substances may disturb the surgery). The role of your individual supplementation would be preventing nutritional deficiencies, so you would start it just after the surgery. There are some norms and generalized Vitamin and mineral supplementation for bariatric patients, the thing is that you do not know which of them your organism will need and what dosages you will have.
What are the best vitamins to take after bariatric surgery? Well, it depends on some factors, so we cannot say what are the best vitamins after bariatric surgery, but we can say what are the most popular vitamins and minerals needed after bariatric surgery among bariatric surgery patients.
These are multivitamins, Vitamin B12, Iron, and calcium.
Of course, these are not the only recommended supplements, they are just the ones that all bariatric patients must take. Again, it is a surgeon or dietician that confirms which supplements to choose. Also, if you take any other tablets – for hair loss, skin, nails, allergies, any multivitamin, mention about them – the surgeon will surely take it into consideration and will choose such supplements that would cover all your needs.
All patients need to take vitamins after gastric sleeve surgery. If you want to get the best vitamins after gastric sleeve, just ask your surgeon or dietician for recommendations.
What vitamins should I take after gastric sleeve surgery? Usually, they include:
Vitamins after gastric bypass are poorly absorbed, so definitely you need to supplement them. Not taking vitamins after gastric bypass would deteriorate your health very fast. Thus patients must be particularly careful about taking vitamins needed after gastric bypass. The surgeon should recommend the best vitamins after gastric bypass that would prevent any deficiencies. What vitamins and minerals do I need after gastric bypass?
Usually, they are:
The gastric band does not affect food and Vitamin absorption, so it is easier for patients to get micronutrients from food. Yet, the supplementation might be needed when medical tests show some deficiencies.
The usual gastric band vitamins include:
Duodenal switch is a combination of gastric sleeve and bypass, so naturally, it is a very complex surgery that affects nutrients absorption. The surgeon will tell you what vitamins to take after the duodenal switch, and you must follow this advice to avoid health problems. What vitamins do you take after the duodenal switch?
Not taking the vitamins after weight loss surgery may have a huge influence on the general health condition of the patient
Taking vitamins after weight loss surgery is something that patients commit to before having the operation. It is an indispensable part of post-op life. The possible side effects from not taking vitamins after weight loss surgery may be very dangerous – both for physical and mental health.
See what happens when you don’t take vitamins after weight loss surgery:
If you experience any sign of malnutrition, you should visit a doctor and adjust supplementation because apart from the symptoms that you are experiencing, the vitamin and mineral deficiency affects the organs, functioning, and processes inside your body that you do not feel at the beginning.
Bariatric surgery patients are particularly exposed to nutrition complications, but the individual plan, effort, motivation, and commitment may successfully prevent it. A weight loss surgery is a dramatic experience and considerable change for your body and mind, so you should remember not to burden yourself with vitamin and mineral deficiencies. What we suggest is that you make the supplementation a part of your daily routine and focus on living your new life to the full!
“Post-Bariatric Surgery Vitamins and Supplements.” UPMC, www.upmc.com/services/bariatrics/surgery-process/post-surgery/diet/vitamin-supplements.
Publishing, Harvard Health. “Listing of Vitamins.” Harvard Health, www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/listing_of_vitamins.
Staff, written by OC. “Vitamin Guidelines After Bariatric Surgery.” Obesity Coverage, www.obesitycoverage.com/bariatric-vitamins-guidelines/.
“Vitamins & Minerals After Bariatric Surgery.” The Dietologist, www.thedietologist.co.uk/vitamins-minerals-after-bariatric-surgery.
“Vitamins and Minerals.” HelpGuide.org, www.helpguide.org/harvard/vitamins-and-minerals.htm.
WeightWise, and Name *. “Your Guide to Bariatric Vitamins After Weight Loss Surgery: WeightWise.” WeightWise Bariatric Program, 21 Jan. 2020, weightwise.com/blog/bariatric-vitamins-weight-loss-surgery/.
“Which Vitamins Do I Really Need?” Obesity Action Coalition, www.obesityaction.org/community/article-library/which-vitamins-do-i-really-need/.
Klaudia started to work for Clinic Hunter many years ago, just after graduating from the John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin in Poland and since that time, this job has become her biggest passion and inspiration.
She has gained necessary expertise and experience by serving patients from all over the world (mainly the UK, Scandinavian countries, and the USA), taking an active part in numerous live and video trainings with clinics in Poland, Hungary and Turkey, participating in international medical tourism conferences and events, and completing internal Clinic Hunter courses. Now, Klaudia is an accomplished patient advisor specialising in such fields as dentistry, plastic and bariatric surgery and hair loss treatment. Her main idea is helping people nad making their lives better, that is why this job brings her so much satisfaction and joy.
In private, Klaudia is a bike-tour lover. She travelled to over 25 countries and many of them she visited by bike. However, now she spends every spare moment with her little son.
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