If you’re reading this blog, you’re likely considering weight loss surgery. Perhaps it’s already booked. Did you know that taking vitamins both before and after the surgery is critically important?
Most foods today aren’t from small farms that use few chemicals. As agriculture in America has moved to agribusiness, many foods aren’t as vitamin- and mineral-rich as they were 100 years ago.
And you may be eating processed and other foods that don’t have nutritional value, like cakes and cookies. Add weight loss surgery, which shrinks the amount of nutrients you’re able to consume and absorb, and the result is inadequate nutrition.
At Turnquest Surgical Solutions, we educate our patients about the critical role of vitamin supplementation in weight loss surgery. Before any surgery, you want to be as healthy as possible so your immune system handles the invasive procedure and gets you back on the road to better health.
Our protocol includes having you take specific vitamins and minerals before surgery and requiring lifelong intake after surgery.
Vitamin supplementation and gastric surgery
Research shows that most people thinking about weight loss surgery aren’t getting enough nutrients through their food before the operation.
One study noted that deficiencies in nutrition were common in patients awaiting gastric bypass surgery, with the recommendation that patients should supplement their nutrition well before the surgery to lessen the chance of post-op complications.
Research also shows that many patients who had gastric bypass surgery were deficient in vitamins D, E, C, folate, and calcium, magnesium, and potassium one year later. They needed supplementation with vitamins and minerals to ensure proper nutrition.
Taking vitamins and minerals after weight loss surgery
At Turnquest Surgical Solutions, we explain that once you have bariatric surgery, taking vitamins isn’t an option; it’s a requirement. If you don’t follow your vitamin supplementation plan after surgery, you can become seriously ill.
We follow up with blood tests every three months for the first year after your surgery and test you at least annually thereafter to ensure you have proper levels of necessary vitamins and minerals for good health.
After some gastric surgeries, such as the gastric sleeve, you aren’t able to consume enough food to get the necessary micronutrients. Gastric bypass surgery changes your ability to absorb all the vitamins you need for proper nutrition.
There are different combinations of vitamins for different bariatric procedures. We provide you with a list of vitamins and minerals and instructions for taking them
You take certain vitamins on a set schedule — for example, morning and/or night — and you take some vitamins with food and others without food. For instance, you can’t take calcium within two hours of iron.
Some vitamins are fat-soluble and others are water-soluble. You must take fat-soluble vitamins, like vitamin D, with food that contains fat. On the other hand, water-soluble vitamins absorb best on an empty stomach.
In addition to a multivitamin, you likely will need to take B12 and/or other B vitamins if the multivitamin isn’t sufficient, as well as calcium and vitamins D and E. You might also take iron and other vitamins and minerals if your levels are low.
After your surgery, you’re more at risk of being deficient in vitamins B1, B12, A, C, D, K, folate, and minerals iron, zinc, selenium, and copper.
Contact us at Turnquest Surgical Solutions today for expert care for your general and bariatric surgical needs. We have two locations in Houston, Texas.