Taking vitamins is very important, especially when it comes to the pre-op and post-op stage of weight loss surgery. Here are some facts and information on regular vitamin intake.
Why take them?
It is crucial for the healing process that the body has enough nutrients to heal and maintain normal health functions. Remember in weight loss surgery the body is readjusting to its new sleeve, pouch, or bypass. Eating alone does not fully provide enough nutrients to the body, and if your diet is being restricted, supplements become necessary.
Vitamins can help regulate functions of the body like appetite, metabolism, energy and even brain activity based on the micronutrients within the vitamin. It is important to take vitamins to prevent nutritional deficiency; bariatric patients are more vulnerable to deficiency due to your body’s inability to absorb vitamins or the inability to hold much food.
According to bariatric surgery source, 80% of bariatric patients don’t get enough vitamins before surgery. Most bariatric patients are recommended to take one of the followings: multivitamin, calcium citrate with vitamin D, iron, folate and vitamin B 12. Most doctors will instruct certain bariatric patients to at least take a multivitamin and vitamin B 12. But this will vary between patients and the procedure. Ask your doctor which vitamins are best for you before you take them.
How do I know which ones to take?
As mentioned above, talking to your doctor or dietary professional is the best way to figure out what your body needs. Allowing your doctor to take a blood test before and after surgery can be a sure way to figure out what is needed to prevent vitamin deficiency. Let your doctor know if you have any symptoms that are of concern. Each vitamin deficiency will have the body react different ways.
Examples of Vitamin deficiencies
This is one of the most common deficiencies on our list. Symptoms include chronic low energy, poor digestion issues, anemia, often getting sick, canker sores in the mouth and development of gray hair prematurely.
Vitamin D Deficiency
Though the symptoms sometimes go unnoticed, this is another common deficiency that can lead to extreme health hazards. According to WebMD, “low blood levels of the vitamin have been associated with the following: increased risk of death from cardiovascular disease, cognitive impairment in older adults, severe asthma in children, and cancer. Some of the symptoms linked to vitamin D deficiency include a weakened immune system, fatigue, bone and muscle pain, and depression. If you have these systems be sure to speak with your doctor to be sure these symptoms are not correlated with other disease or illness.
Vitamin B 12 Deficiency
In order to find out if you have this deficiency, a doctor will have to test your blood. Symptoms include fatigue, breathlessness, numbness, poor balance, and memory trouble.
What vitamin can I take?
Depending on your pre-op or recovery stage of bariatric surgery most health professionals will ask that your vitamins come in dry chewable or liquid forms. Gummy vitamins and time release vitamins are not water-soluble meaning the body cannot break it down, especially after weight loss surgery. Also, gummy vitamins are so not FDA regulated and contain other potentially unhealthy ingredients that make it taste and look like candy. Sticking to what your doctor recommends is the best way to make sure you are receiving the proper vitamins needed for your body.
Can I overdose on vitamins?
Yes, you can but only on types. Vitamins that are fat-soluble, meaning they are often stored in fat cells, can only be taken in the most minimal amount possible. An excess number of fat-soluble vitamins such as vitamins A, D, E, and K can be toxic to the body. According to WebMD, overdose has been associated with liver problems, weakened bones, certain cancers, and premature death. Other nutrients such as iron can also be overdosed, which is why doctors highly recommend reading the instructions when taking iron supplements.
Can my vitamins react with one another?
Yes, they can. For example, if a doctor prescribed iron supplements to be taken, it cannot be taken together with calcium. If taken together one vitamin may interfere with the body's absorption of another.Doctors will recommend in a case of iron and calcium, to take each supplement at different times of the day to avoid interference. Be sure to always read instructions on how much you should be taking and what cannot be taken alongside it.
What exactly does each of these vitamins do?
Each has a different effect to help your body function properly before and after weight loss surgery.
According to the National Institute of Health, this nutrient makes sure the body’s nerves are healthy and making the genetic material in our cells. This prevents anemia, which makes you fatigued due to lack of red blood cells in the body.
This vitamin has required helping the body absorb calcium from food and other supplements. It also helps the body fight bacteria and viruses by strengthening the immune system. Without it, your body can develop tender skin and bones.
This mineral is needed when transporting oxygen throughout the body. A lack of iron the body also lowers the amount of healthy red blood cells and can also cause anemia. Iron also helps the body maintain healthy skin, hair, nails, and cells.
Folate, another B-vitamin, is used to help make DNA and other genetic material. It is needed to help the body’s cells to divide.
Calcium is needed to support strong bones and teeth. It helps keep them hard and structured. It is needed to help the muscles move and carries messages between the brain and your body.
Most of these can be found in a multivitamin form or can be taken separately based on your nutritional needs.
Is this strictly for bariatric patients?
Not necessarily. It is important to take vitamins regularly, even if you aren’t having extreme weight loss surgery. Taking at least a multivitamin a day can increase your health and keep you on track to achieving a better lifestyle.
Where can I buy good bariatric friendly vitamins?
Look no further, we also carry vitamins and supplements that can help you on your weight loss journey. We carry multivitamins, B 12, iron and many other vitamins in your favorite flavors.
Browse our store and find the vitamins and supplements you need at an affordable price.