FAQs of vitamins and medications after Bariatric Surgery

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Can I go off some of my medications after weight loss surgery?

Many patients are able to stop using some medications.

Will I have to take vitamins after surgery?

You will need to take a multivitamin for life.

You may need higher doses of certain vitamins or minerals, especially Iron, Calcium, and Vitamin D. You will also need to have at least yearly lab checks. Insurance almost never pays for vitamin and mineral supplements but usually does pay for labs. You can pay for supplements out of a flex medical account.

Do weight loss surgery patients have serious health problems caused by vitamin deficiency?

As long as patients take their appropriate vitamins, it is rare to have health problems from vitamin deficiency.

Weight loss surgery can lead to reduced amounts of vitamins and minerals because people eat less and may absorb less in the intestines. Weight loss surgeries have different effects on vitamins and minerals based on how much change in absorption they cause. Deficiencies in vitamins, minerals, and protein can negatively affect health causing:

  • fatigue (feeling tired)
  • anemia (low levels of red blood cells that carry oxygen through your body)
  • bone and muscle loss
  • impaired night vision
  • low immunity (your body’s ability to stay healthy)
  • loss of nerve function (can affect your senses such as touch, taste, and smell)
  • mental function deficits (changes how clearly you think)

Fortunately, nutrient deficiencies following surgery can be easily avoided with a good diet and the use of supplements including vitamins, minerals, and sometimes protein supplements. Before and after surgery, patients are advised of the appropriate diet and vitamin supplement needed. Most weight loss surgery programs also require patients to have their vitamins and minerals checked on a regular basis after surgery. Nutrient deficiencies and any associated health problems are preventable with monitoring and patients following diet and supplement (vitamin and mineral) recommendations. Health problems due to deficiencies usually occur in patients who do not regularly follow-up to monitor healthy vitamin and mineral levels. Be sure you stay in touch with your weight loss surgery team for best results!

Source: www.asmbs.org

About Dr. Huacuz

Dr. Huacuz is a General Surgeon with a specialty in Bariatric Surgery, which is doubly certified by both the Mexican Council of General Surgery and the Mexican College of Surgery for Obesity and Metabolic Diseases, in addition to being a Regular Member of the ASMBS and IFSO.

He has more than 20 years of experience in the area of General Surgery and Training in Advanced Laparoscopic Surgery.

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