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What Vitamins Do I Need After Gastric Bypass

What Happens If I Dont Take Vitamins After Gastric Bypass


Not taking vitamins after gastric bypass surgery and skipping vital supplementation can be incredibly dangerous. Nutrients work together, not individually. The body relies on a steady supply of these essential nutrients together not independently. Thats why after gastric bypass surgery, you cant simply eat enough food and potentially absorb nutrients in the same way before surgery you need to supplement your daily healthy food intake with vitamins and mineral supplements.

So, what happens if you dont take supplements and vitamins after gastric bypass surgery? There are a number of specific conditions that can be driven by inadequate mineral and vitamin absorption after gastric bypass. These include:

Why Do I Need Vitamins After Gastric Bypass Surgery

Gastric bypass surgery is an incredibly effective weight loss procedure regularly performed in all states of Australia. A form of bariatric surgery, gastric bypass operations are used to treat morbid and extreme cases of obesity. For those undergoing gastric bypass surgery, lifelong nutritional support is a critical factor in successfully losing weight and keeping it off.

The nature of gastric bypass surgery means that a portion of the small intestine is bypassed, which forces the body to undergo neuroendocrine changes and absorb fewer nutrients from food consumed. While post-operative dietary requirements can often provide sufficient vitamins and minerals, most gastric bypass patients will need to supplement and take additional vitamins after surgery because of gastric bypass malabsorption.

The Purpose Of Bariatric Vitamins


  • Taking vitamins and supplements post-surgery allows each of the systems in your body to function at its full potential

It has become common knowledge that taking vitamins is beneficial to your health. But not many people really understand why we just do it because were supposed to.

Simply put, your body must have the right amounts of the right vitamins and minerals to function at its full potential. In addition to keeping you healthy, their benefits directly relate to achieving weight loss goals.

Vitamins regulate your bodys core processes such as

  • Appetite and hunger
  • Thyroid and adrenal function
  • Energy storage

Food is the best way for your body to get the vitamins and minerals it needs. Despite our efforts to create the perfect multivitamin, we have not been able to replicate the complexity of what is found in healthy foods.

Consider broccoli. It is extremely rich in vitamins and fiber which are completely integrated in to the molecular structure of the vegetable itself. The fact that it contains the individual Vitamins A, C, K and folate isnot the only reason that its healthy.

More importantly, broccoli is healthy because of how nature has built the nutrients into the broccoli. Nature has

  • Built in specific amounts of each nutrient
  • Made the healthy elements of broccoli accessible to absorption by your body
  • Plucking out the single Vitamins A, C, K and folate and taking them in a pill form can not reproduce the natural effect.

    Read Also: What Is In Men’s One A Day Vitamin

    How It Can Cause A Vitamin B12 Deficiency

    In the stomach, there’s a paper-thin layer called the gastric mucosa. This layer releases intrinsic factor that helps the stomach to absorb vitamin B12 from food. The new stomach pouch is so small that there is a decrease in gastric acid. When food is traveling through this small section of the stomach, the gastric mucosa is unable to provide enough intrinsic factor to allow vitamin B12 to be adequately absorbed.

    Vitamin Schedule For Pre


    *3rd Calcium intake is recommended for bypass patients only or women after menopause after either gastric sleeve or bypass.

    *Extra iron only if needed after having lab work done to confirm iron deficiency.

    Note! You may take vitamins throughout the day at your convenience , as long as you do not take Calcium and iron at the same time.

    Read Also: When To Take Prenatal Vitamins

    Calcium Citrate After Gastric Bypass

    To any who have had gastric bypass surgery or to those considering gastric bypass surgery, you should know that intestinal calcium absorption is effected by weight-loss surgery. Forty-eight percent of patients who have had malabsorptive bariatric surgery develop a calcium deficiency and may need calcium citrate after gastric bypass.

    Birth Control And Pregnancy

    We advise women of childbearing years to use effective birth control for the first two years after bariatric surgery. The physical demands of a pregnancy on your body could lead to fetal compromise and birth defects. Your ability to take in normal quantities of a balanced diet and rapid weight loss will impact your nutritional status. We strongly recommend against pregnancy for two years after bariatric surgery.

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    Avoid The Risks Of Nutritional Deficiencies Post

    Research has shown that patients who undergo sleeve gastrectomy are at risk for nutritional deficiencies in iron, folate, and vitamins B12 and D.2-4 This is due to the fact that the sleeve decreases acid production in the stomach, which may affect iron and B12 absorption. Vitamin B1 deficiency could lead to Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome, a type of neurological disorder. Despite universal supplementation, the prevalence of vitamin D deficiency was the most commonly observed deficiency five years postoperatively in sleeve gastrectomy patients.

    Research also has shown that most bariatric patients do not adhere to their vitamin/mineral recommended protocol. We encourage you take your vitamins and minerals as recommended by your surgeon and doctors, and continue to get your annual checkups with your surgeons office in order to monitor for micronutrient deficiencies.

    • Consider a bariatric brand of vitamins/minerals, which may be more expensive, but will meet your needs post-surgery.
    • Set an alarm on your phone to remind you when to take your supplements
    • Continue with chewable/liquids if better tolerated or preferred
    • Take supplements after consuming a meal to decrease nausea and improve vitamin absorption
    • Consider a bariatric powdered vitamin/mineral supplement you can add to water

    Do I Need To Take Vitamins After My Weight Loss Surgery

    Vitamins you Need Post Gastric bypass weightloss surgery – and for the rest of your life.

    Its not uncommon for people to overlook taking their vitamins and minerals after their bariatric surgery. After all, their blood work looks good, and they feel better than ever why would they need vitamins? What many dont realize is that the body has enough stores of certain vitamins and minerals that, in some cases, it takes several years before these reserves are drained. The body also has effective mechanisms to compensate for deficiencies. Once deficiencies develop, the effects are sometimes irreversible. For example, B12 deficiency can lead to memory impairment and nerve problems, and calcium deficiency can result in a weak, decalcified skeleton.

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    What Types Of Vitamins Do I Need

    Before driving to the local Walgreens or CVS to stock up on vitamins youll need to know what type of vitamins you need. Not all vitamins are created equal.

    Lets start with some guidelines of what not to take:

  • No gummy vitamins.
  • Avoid childrens vitamins which are incomplete.
  • Consider additional supplementation if you take an all-in-one multivitamin with calcium and iron.
  • Choosing a Multivitamin

    • Depending on the brand and size of the vitamin youll need to take between 1 and 4 pills, or chewable tablets daily. Read the label to find out how many are required daily.
    • It should contain at least 18mg of iron. If you choose a multivitamin without iron, youll need to take iron supplementation separately.
    • Your surgeon or dietitian should provide guidance on how much iron youll need after surgery.
  • It should contain at least 400 mcg of folic acid.
  • At least 200% of the recommended daily intake for most, if not all, of the vitamins and minerals listed on the label.
  • It contains at least 2mg of copper.
  • Should contain 12 mg of thiamin.
  • At least 3,000 IU of Vitamin D.
  • Lets take a look at the label below.

    Choosing Vitamin B12

    • At least 500 mcg per day of Vitamin B12 .
    • B-12 that dissolves or chewable tablets are the most common choice for vitamin B-12 supplementation.



    Need Healthy Recipes During The Log

    Pick up a copy of The Bariatric Chef, an eCookbook designed for Bariatric patients who want sustainable weight loss while eating delicious foods. This unique digital cookbook includes 100 dietitian-created recipes for reaching your goal weight, staying there and living a healthy lifestyle.

    The Bariatric Chef delivers on variety and at the same time carefully calculated nutritional information so that you can mix it up without the consequences of stalled weight loss. Seriously, who wants to eat the same thing day after day?

    In fact, The Bariatric Chef does all of the work for you and delivers delicious meals with pre-calculated calories and macronutrients to keep you on track.

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    Work With Your Dietitian To Avoid Vitamin Deficiencies


    • You should meet with your dietitian to discuss your diet so you can avoid vitamin deficiencies

    A big part of choosing the right bariatric doctors and bariatric weight loss center is to make sure they partner with or employ a good dietitian or nutritionist.

    As a team, your bariatric doctors should have a process to thoroughly understand your specific dietary needs, including an exam for or discussion about your

    • Existing health problems
    • The total cost ranges from $20 to $125 per month, depending on which procedure you have

    The amount you spend on vitamins depends on three things

  • Which surgery you have: Youll probably need the most bariatric vitamins after duodenal switch surgery. Its not uncommon for DS patients to pay $125 or more per month following surgery. Gastric bypass is next in line at around $35to $55 per month . The restrictive procedures will usually cost you between $20 and $35 per month.
  • Your body and any preexisting deficiencies: If you already have vitamin deficiencies before surgery, you may need more afterwards to get your body up to the right levels. Some patients bodies metabolize vitamins differently whichrequires additional supplementation of certain vitamins.
  • Which Vitamins Do I Really Need

    Gastric Bypass Bundle (3

    Spring 2010

    To view a PDF version of this article,

    After weight-loss surgery, one of the things that most people have to adopt as a new habit is taking vitamins every day. While there are general things that might be the same between what your doctor recommends and what another doctor recommends, some things might be different.

    When answering the question, What do I really need to take?, the first and most important answer is Take what your doctor recommends. Somewhere along the way, your bariatric surgeon, or the dietitian in the office, probably gave you a list of the vitamins you needed to take after surgery based on your procedure.

    Also, if your doctor looked at your labs, you might have been given some very specific recommendations just for you. Either way, this is where you should start. If you have not seen your bariatric surgeon in many years, it is also wise to call the office and find out what the current recommendations are knowledge about nutrition has changed a lot in recent years and they might have new recommendations that you were not given.

    Generally speaking, taking supplements after surgery is for three reasons:

    • To make sure you get adequate vitamins and minerals even though you are eating less food
    • To help prevent deficiencies that you are at greater risk for because of your procedure
    • In some cases, to treat a nutritional deficiency

    The most common types of supplements taken after surgery are multivitamins, calcium, vitamin B12 and iron.


    Also Check: What Vitamin Supplements Should A Vegetarian Take

    Gastric Bypass And Gastric Sleeve Vitamin Requirements

    Weve put together a number of combinations that will meet your requirements for post-op gastric bypass and gastric sleeve patients. Choose an option that best fits your lifestyle.

    Option 1

  • All-in-one multivitamin that contains both calcium and iron*
  • Youll likely need to chew 4 tablets of this type of vitamin daily.
  • *Calcium inhibits the absorption of iron, so even these all-in-one multivitamins have everything in on tablet you may not be getting as much iron as you need.

    Option 2

  • Multivitamin with 18mg of iron and 500 mcg of B-12*
  • Calcium Citrate 1500 mg per day.
  • *If your surgeon recommends more than 18mg of iron per day, you can find a bariatric multivitamin with 36mg of iron or add an additional iron supplement.

    Option 3

  • Multivitamin with 18mg of iron*
  • Calcium Citrate 1500 mg per day.
  • Vitamin B-12 500mg per day.
  • *If your surgeon recommends more than 18mg of iron per day, you can find a bariatric multivitamin with 36mg of iron or add an additional iron supplement.

    Option 4

  • Multivitamin
  • Patients With Low Vitamin Concentrations

    As an exploratory analysis, we reviewed the 10 patients with the lowest vitamin concentrations in two ways. First, we reviewed electronic medical records to check whether patients’ clinicians had noted any clinical signs and/or symptoms of vitamin deficiency. Second, we reviewed whether vitamin concentrations at the subsequent clinical visit were within the normal range. Possible biochemical signs of deficiency were not considered. Only patients with vitamin concentrations below the lower reference range were considered, and therefore at some time points fewer than 10 patients were reviewed.

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    Vitamins After Gastric Sleeve

    When undergoing a gastric sleeve, the outer curve of the stomach is removed , making the space for food much smaller. The feelings of hunger then sharply decrease because the hunger hormone is largely housed in the part of the stomach that is removed. The main reason why you need to take supplements of vitamins and minerals after your operation is that in addition to eating less, you now have a very limited amount of hydrochloric acid in your stomach which is needed for the activation and absorption of various vitamins and minerals. Based on current research, supplements are required for the rest of your life after your sleeve. If you are taking Baricol® Complete, you will need either 2 Powder sachets, 2 Effervescent, 3 Chewable, or 5 Tablets. These contain all of the vitamins and minerals you need after WLS according to the Nordic guidelines. Please consult your doctor.

    Gastric Bypass Malabsorption Guide


    Vitamins After Gastric Bypass – Your Guide to Gastric Bypass Malabsorption

    Gastric bypass surgery is a minimally invasive bariatric procedure that permanently changes the digestive system in an effort to support weight loss. Given the nature of the procedure, patients who have undergone gastric bypass surgery are at risk of gastric bypass malabsorption.

    Bariatric surgery requires a long-life commitment to a healthy lifestyle to garner successful and healthy weight loss results. It is common knowledge that following bariatric surgery, patients will undergo strict changes to diet and exercise. So, why do patients also need to consider the intake and absorption of vitamins after gastric bypass surgery?

    Also Check: How To Measure Vitamin D Levels

    The Dangers Of Not Taking Vitamin And Mineral Supplements After Bariatric Surgery

    Fall 2017

    To view a PDF version of this article, please

    Do you ever think about how you felt on the day you had bariatric surgery? Most people celebrate the day and may even refer to their surgeryversary as their new birthday. But have you ever stepped back and thought of the flood of emotions that came on that day?

    Fear.Will this surgery work for me?

    Anticipation.I hope the surgeon is on time, Im really thirsty!

    Fear.What if I dont wake up from surgery?

    Disbelief.I cant believe this day is here. All of that prep work to get to this spot, and now Im here.

    Fear.What if I can feel the surgery happening?

    Hope.This is it! I will do anything they tell me to do now that Ive been given this shot a new lease on life.

    Hit the fast forward button and life is moving along. Your new normal continues to shock you at times, but the initial transition period is over and your day-to-day activities are undoubtedly different than they once were. Perhaps youve acquired a new taste for foods that would have never touched your plate before. Maybe some of your old favorites are now simply distant memories. Relationships may have changed you may have a new job a new circle of friends. Whatever has happened in your life since surgery, theres a good chance that things look different!

    What Do the Guidelines Say?

    Current Available Guidelines for Micronutrient Supplementation

    What Vitamins Were You Told to Take?


    Bone Disorders

    Neurological Disorders

    Muscle Health

    Just Remember:

    Nutritionist Recommended Vitamins After Gastric Bypass Surgery

    Losing substantial weight is the goal of gastric surgery, but this loss should result in enhanced health rather than a decrease in health. To promote health while quickly losing weight, incorporate gastric bypass vitamins as a regular part of your daily life. The basic regimen of vitamins will be the same for most bariatric patients, but each individual patient should follow the gastric bypass vitamins list prescribed by his or her medical team.

    The importance of your vitamins after gastric bypass should not be overlooked. Its imperative that you take them and that you return regularly for blood work to make sure that youre taking the right ones at the right levels. The consequences of not taking vitamins after gastric bypass are too dire to be ignored.

    The vitamins for gastric bypass are necessary to ensure that your lessened intake of food and altered anatomy dont result in a vitamin deficiency, to help you avoid issues that youre more prone to experience after the procedure, or to treat an existing deficiency thats occurred due to nutritional limitations or health concerns. As part of your pre-op education, you should have a clear understanding of the answer to the question: What vitamins do I need after gastric bypass?

    Vitamin D

    The regimen of vitamins needed after gastric bypass surgery includes Vitamin D. Not only is it vital for absorbing calcium, it also prohibits the development of breast, prostate, and colon cancers and dementia.


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