After a gastric bypass surgery, the food intake has to be reduced, and this may sometimes lead to malnutrition and other complications. So the patients are advised to take vitamin supplements.
Gastric bypass surgeries are performed on obese people, who have failed to lose weight through the conventional methods. The surgery involves reducing the size of the stomach and bypassing a major portion of the small intestine. The reduction in the stomach size helps in curtailing the amount of food intake, and the shortcut of bypassing the small intestine reduces the level of absorption of nutrients. This condition may lead to malnutrition that can be dealt with through an ideal post-surgery diet, a healthy lifestyle and regular exercise. However, such nutrient deficit can be compensated with supplements.
Bariatric Vitamin Supplements
As mentioned above, a gastric bypass surgery may cause malnutrition. One reason is the reduction in the amount of food intake, which means a lesser supply of nutrients; but they too skip a large part of the small intestine, which has a high absorption capability. Most of the nutrients are discarded from the body without being absorbed. Hence, supplements play a major role in maintaining the health of those people who have undergone gastric bypass surgeries.
It has been observed that, conditions, like anemia, pernicious anemia, vitamin deficiencies, and osteoporosis, are common in people who have undergone this surgery. Nutritionists, who advise people regarding post gastric bypass surgery diet, are aware of this fact; and they plan the diet accordingly. Health experts recommend certain food items, like spinach, peas, fish and meat, etc., They are good sources of vitamins and minerals. However, intake of nutritious foods may not be a viable solution for the problem, since the patient is not able to consume large quantities of the food required to derive sufficient nutrition. The nutrients may not be absorbed properly, due to the bypass. So supplements and vitamins for gastric bypass patients are unavoidable.
- The most important among the supplements meant for gastric bypass patients is iron. Men should take a daily dose of 100 to 200 milligrams of ferrous sulfate or ferrous gluconate, whereas menstruating women should take 300 to 350 milligrams per day. It has been observed that, the efficiency of the body to absorb iron is enhanced by the presence of vitamin C. So a daily dose of 60 milligrams of vitamin C is also recommended. If you are already anemic, you may need a daily dosage of 500 milligrams of vitamin C.
- Vitamins from the B group are also essential, especially vitamin B12. This vitamin is necessary to prevent pernicious anemia; and to avoid the consequences of high levels of homocysteine, a naturally occurring amino acid. This amino acid is beneficial to the body, if present in small quantities. In large quantities, they hinder some bodily reactions, which are responsible for the removal of neural toxins. Low levels of vitamins in the body result in large amounts of homocysteine, which can affect memory power and thinking ability. According to experts, a weekly dose of 1000 micrograms of vitamin B12, a daily dose of 300 milligrams of vitamin B6, and 5 milligrams of folic acid should be taken for two months.
- While calcium is essential to prevent osteoporosis, vitamins D and K are also equally important. Vitamin D regulates the level of calcium in the body and ensures that the mineral is used to make the bones strong. This function is also undertaken by vitamin K. Without these vitamins, bones cannot make use of the calcium in the body. You can get vitamin D from some food items. It is also produced in the skin, as a result of sun exposure. There is no supplement for vitamin K, as it is produced in the body itself, but its production can be triggered by some food items. While an alkali diet may help you with vitamin D and K, a daily dose of 600 milligrams of calcium is needed for the health of your bones.
In short, gastric bypass patients must adopt a proper post-surgery diet that is rich in nutrients. Apart from that, they need vitamin supplements to combat malnutrition, that may develop in some patients. Consult a physician regularly, and check the levels of essential nutrients in your blood. The nutritionist may alter your diet accordingly and prescribe some supplements, especially multivitamin and vitamin B12. In case you face any difficulty in tolerating such supplements, contact your doctor at the earliest.
Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice. Visiting your physician is the safest way to diagnose and treat any health condition.