Why is Iron Important after WLS

wls iron

Iron for WLS Post-op Patients

As you should already know, one thing you need to be aware of after weight loss surgery is the vitamin deficiencies you might have. This is something you need to take very seriously because it can be dangerous if you let it get too far. As a bariatric patient, it is critical that you are proactive in this and take your vitamins every day. One of the deficiencies that you need to be aware of is iron.

Iron deficiency and anemia are common after weight loss surgery, especially if you are a woman. It is more common in people who have gastric bypass, instead of the sleeve or lap band. This happens because iron is absorbed in the first part of your small intestine (duodenum). When you have gastric bypass, food bypasses the duodenum so you are unable to absorb iron. Although this deficiency is more common with gastric bypass patients, it is still something all weight loss surgery patients should be aware of. The most common people at risk for an iron deficiency are women who have the surgery after menopause. It can happen in more than half of women in this age group. If you are a man, you can still have this deficiency as well.

Iron is an important vitamin that you need to make sure you have after weight loss surgery. Finding a good bariatric vitamin supplement that has iron is critical after weight loss surgery. Iron is extremely important for your body, so this deficiency must not be ignored. Iron plays a role in the health of your hair, skin and nails. It also helps make hemoglobin, which is the red blood cells that carry oxygen throughout your body.

If you are struggling with an iron deficiency, you might have the following symptoms:

  • Lack of energy                                                       
  • Headache
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Hair loss
  • Pale or yellow skin
  • Shortness of breath
  • Craving ice or clay

As a bariatric patient, it is critical that you stay on top of your bloodwork. Follow your surgeon’s guidelines and get your bloodwork checked every 6 months to make sure you are managing your deficiencies.  Make sure you are eating a well-balanced diet with red meat, poultry, leafy greens and other foods rich in iron. You might still get deficient even if you are doing everything right, but you will be a lot better off if you make sure you are eating these foods and taking your supplement every day. Remember, this is a journey and you must take the steps to ensure you stay as healthy as possible. Take responsibility for your health and you will be on the right path towards success.

 

If you'd like to learn more about common complications after weight loss surgery, we recommend checking out this guide: Complications and Risks After Weight Loss Surgery

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