Gastric sleeve procedures can help those suffering from obesity to find freedom and new life. Obesity can be directly linked to a variety of physical and emotional health problems, and many patients find the time and money invested in weight loss surgery to have priceless rates of return. Much of the experience, however, happens after the surgery. You will need to commit for the rest of your life to taking vitamins after gastric sleeve surgery in addition to completely transforming your outlook on diet and exercise.
Maintain healthy weight loss by incorporating the best vitamins for gastric sleeve patients into your everyday life. Real, dangerous consequences can follow if you fail to supplement appropriately.
Malabsorptive Weight-Loss Demands Vitamin Supplementation
The gastric sleeve procedure promotes weight loss by restricting absorption of food and nutrients. Understanding that the after-effects of the procedure can mean vitamin deficiencies in addition to weight loss should lead you to ask yourself the question: “What vitamins should I take after gastric sleeve surgery?”
Vitamins for After Gastric Sleeve Surgery
While the following list is a great reference for a daily vitamin regimen following gastric sleeve surgery, the specific needs you face may differ slightly, and you should always follow the prescribed vitamin instructions from your dietician. It’s also important to continue with annual blood draws to evaluate vitamin levels and identify any additional supplementation or vitamins for gastric sleeve patients that might be needed.
- Multi-Vitamin – The multi-vitamin you choose should include at least 18 mg of iron, 400 mcg of folic acid, copper, zinc, and selenium. For the initial three months, you should make sure to keep up with your daily regime given by your doctor.
- Vitamin D – The dosage for Vitamin D should be 400-500 IUs (International Units) twice per day. An alternative is to take a combination vitamin D/calcium vitamin.
- Calcium – Preventing bone loss due to calcium deficiency will require 1,200-2,000 mgs of calcium per day. Dividing these does into two or three separate doses will promote absorption. It was always recommended to take your calcium two hours apart from Iron to avoid absorption issues.
- Vitamin B12 – This supplement should be taken as a liquid under the tongue or a crushed tablet, and the dosage should be 500 mcg per day. Alternatively, you could have an injection once per month for adequate B12 supplementation.
For the best supplemental results, remember to take chewable or liquid forms initially after surgery. They are recommended because they are easier to digest. If you are going to do a capsule form, make sure it’s an easy digesting veggie capsule. Discuss with your dietician and physician the best options for your particular situation.
Avoid Preventable Complications
Not taking vitamins after gastric sleeve surgery leads to fully preventable complications. Deficiencies of each item on the gastric sleeve vitamins list create real problems. Understanding the cause and effect for each can provide the needed encouragement to take the supplements you need.
Vitamin D, the sunshine vitamin, is essential to bone health, mental health, and cancer prevention.
Without Vitamin D, your body will have difficulty absorbing calcium, leading to osteoporosis and other bone malformations. Vitamin D is so critical to health that the US fortifies milk with it.
Vitamin D deficiency can also lead to dementia, depression, and certain cancers. The best bariatric vitamins for after gastric sleeve surgery usually include 2,000 IUs each day, but if labs indicate a substantial deficiency, additional supplementation will be needed.
Calcium works in tandem with Vitamin D. It’s absolutely essential for bone health; other processes that require calcium include the following:
- Muscle contraction
- Maintaining blood pressure
- Regulation of heart rate
- Nerve transmission
- Some aspects of immunity
Following bariatric procedures, the inability to absorb enough calcium from food can lead directly to bone density loss for men as well as women. Vitamins for after gastric sleeve surgery prevent these complications.
The recommended dosage for gastric sleeve patients is 2,000 mg of calcium each day, separated into three or four separate doses of 500-630 mg. Since the procedure allows for less stomach acid and it’s required for absorption of most types of calcium, experts recommend calcium citrate, which doesn’t require stomach acid.
As a precaution, remember that calcium has an interaction with iron, so you should time the calcium dose to occur two hours apart from the multivitamin with iron to make the most of your calcium and iron intake.
Gastric sleeve surgery limits the accessibility of stomach acid during digestion, which in turn limits the body’s ability to transform iron from dietary sources to the absorbable form. Even after you return to eating meat, nuts, greens, and other iron-rich foods, you’ll still require some iron supplementation.
Iron primarily transports and stores oxygen. Other key functions include detoxifying, wound healing, metabolism, and the creation of red blood cells. A lack of iron can lead to the following symptoms:
- Shortness of breath
- Heart palpitations
- Pale, grey skin
- Hair, skin, and nailbed changes
- Brittle, dry, dull hair
- Inability to tolerate cold
- Predisposition to infection
Multivitamins for gastric sleeve patients should include iron daily. Women who are still menstruating should discuss with their doctor whether addition iron would be appropriate.
While nutrients come from both dietary and supplemental intake, knowing what vitamins to take after gastric sleeve surgery is essential to avoid preventable consequences that are negative for your health.
The deficiencies that might occur aren’t always easily identifiable. Always take the prescribed gastric sleeve post op vitamins and follow through with doctor’s and dietician’s appointments for labs and exams.
As you lose weight following your gastric sleeve procedure, embrace a fully healthy lifestyle. Part of your post-op lifestyle is asking the question: “what vitamins do I need after a gastric sleeve?” and following through on the answer. Your vitamin regimen will play a big part in an overall diet and exercise revolution in your life. Your approach to food and health must be changed because your body will require adjustments. Otherwise, you risk your health as well as failure of the surgery to provide you with satisfying results.