It’s no secret that obesity, diabetes, and heart disease are some of the pressing medical issues facing the healthcare system today. For people who continue to struggle with weight issues after trying diet, exercise, and medications, bariatric surgery can be a suitable alternative. There are countless patients who have seen their health improve following bariatric surgery. On the other hand, there are some complications following this procedure that people should know about. One of these is a vitamin and mineral deficiency. Which vitamins does the body need following bariatric surgery?
1. Vitamin B12
One of the most common vitamin deficiencies is vitamin B12. For those who may not know, this vitamin plays an essential role in the development of red blood cells and in the function of the central nervous system. People who are deficient in this vitamin often become anemic and complain of numbness and tingling. This vitamin is absorbed in the body almost exclusively in the terminal ileum, which is a part of the digestive tract that is sometimes removed during bariatric surgery. It is possible to lose the ability to absorb this crucial nutrient. Therefore, following bariatric surgery, you should be sure to take vitamin B12.
Iron deficiency is one of the most common mineral deficiencies in the world, and those who have had bariatric surgery are at an even greater risk for deficiency. Often patients undergoing bariatric surgery have a portion of the stomach or intestinal tract removed, which results in the body having less digestive surface area to absorb the nutrients and minerals that it needs. A common result of this is iron deficiency, which includes symptoms of fatigue, pale skin color, and weakness. Taking an iron supplement is an easy, preventative solution!
3. Vitamin D
Lastly, another very common vitamin deficiency following bariatric surgery is vitamin D. With or without surgery, many people experience the effects of this deficiency; in the U.S. alone, there are over three million cases each year. When someone has their intestinal tract shortened or has a duodenal switch performed, the chances of developing this deficiency are even higher than for the average person. Vitamin D is very important for building strong bones. Without this vitamin, the body struggles to use calcium properly. Oftentimes those with a deficiency experience little to no symptoms, which puts them at risk to develop more serious effects down the road such as constant fatigue, chronic joint pain, bone loss and fractures, and even depression. If you have had bariatric surgery, you should have your physician measure your vitamin D levels to determine whether or not you need a supplement.
These are only a few of the many different vitamin deficiencies that someone could develop after having bariatric surgery. It is always better to try and prevent these deficiencies from developing instead of trying to treat them after you’ve started suffering from symptoms, which can be a months-long process. Invest in your health in advance with a regular vitamin and mineral supplemental course from Bari Life. The high-quality products are developed by professionals and specially geared toward helping you continue on a healthy path after bariatric surgery.