Importance of Vitamins
After weight loss surgery, one of the most important things to remember is to take your vitamins. It can be annoying to take so many supplements, but it is critical that you start a good regimen. Deficiencies are very common in bariatric patients and it can be dangerous if you don’t take it seriously. It is best to start a regimen before surgery so you are used to it after the procedure. As a bariatric patient, you will struggle with deficiencies. With Gastric Sleeve, 75% of your stomach is removed, which means you will not be able to eat as much to get the appropriate amount of nutrition. Gastric Bypass takes it even a step further because you not only have restriction on how much you can eat, but you also have malabsorption. Deficiencies are more common in Gastric Bypass individuals, but all weight loss surgery patents are at risk for it.
Vitamin B and D are the most common deficiencies for bariatric patients. Iron, folate, zinc and calcium are also deficiencies to look out for. For me personally, I have struggled with a vitamin D and iron deficiency. It can be really scary if you do not know the symptoms to look out for. Your body will show you signs that you are deficient so pay attention to signs such as fatigue, hair loss, depression, heart palpitations, dizziness, etc. These symptoms could be associated with something else, but it is important that you rule out any deficiencies. Deficiencies can lead to greater health issues, such as anemia. If you do not recognize the signs from your body, you will be at risk for developing even more serious problems.
The best thing to do to prevent deficiencies is to make sure you are eating a well-balanced diet that is full of key vitamins and nutrients. In addition, adding in supplements to make up for the gap is necessary. One thing that you should make sure you are doing after surgery is going to your surgeon and nutritionist. This will help you stay on track and make sure you are getting the appropriate amount of vitamins. It is also helpful to have occasional bloodwork done to monitor your deficiencies. This helped me tremendously on my journey because I was able to see the improvement of my deficiency as I made healthy changes.
Remember that this is a journey and you will more than likely be at risk for deficiencies the rest of your life. Stay on top of your nutrition and make sure you find the appropriate supplements you need for your lifestyle. Everyone is different and may experience different deficiencies, so make sure you listen to your body and do something about it if you find out you are deficient.
- Kimberly H.