Vitamin Deficiency after Bariatric Surgery

In Gastric Bypass Surgery the small bowel section is bypassed. Most of the vitamins are absorbed by this small bowel only. With this surgery, stomach is divided into small pouches and some part of the stomach may be removed. It often provides permanent changes to the gastrointestinal system. Which may leads to vitamin deficiency and nutritional consequences.

Common Mineral and vitamin Deficiencies after bariatric surgery includes:

1. Vitamin B12

2. Iron

3. Calcium

4. Vitamin A

5. Vitamin D

Vitamin B12: For healthy activity of the nervous system and brain, vitamin B12 is essential. Vitamin B12 deficiency may lead to neurological disorders and pernicious anemia. Vitamin B12 is available in poultry, meat, egg, fish and milk products, but all these are not acceptable in starting months after the surgery. Even though vitamin B12 supplements are recommended for life long after the bariatric surgery. It is better to take the supplements in the form of injection and liquid instead of pill. It has to be swallowed so the absorption may be imperfect which may lead to vitamin B12 deficiency.

Iron: Transportation of oxygen from lungs to the blood stream can be done by Iron. This vitamin is available in seafood, meat and poultry. Organ meat and red meat are excellent for iron in diet. After the surgery, some patients never retain the ability of tolerating this food. Depending on the sex and age of the person, Iron Supplements are necessary after the Surgery. It can be taken in the form of pill. If the deficiency of iron is severe, frequent iron transfusions may require.

Calcium: It is essential for the proper functioning of cells. Such as muscle contraction, blood clotting, cellular communication and enzyme reactions. It gives strength to the teeth and bones. Calcium deficiency occurs after bypass surgery due to bypassing the duodenum in the process of surgery.

To fulfill the calcium requirement in the body, supplements are necessary. But the calcium supplement type is very important. Vitamin D with calcium citrate is a preferred form after the bariatric surgery. Mostly calcium supplements are available in the form of grocery stroes, pharmacies, and calcium carbonate, but they are not absorbed as much after surgery and should avoid.
Vitamin A: It contains retinoid which are essential for the visual activity, cell proliferation and immunological functioning. It is available from liver, green leafy vegetables, carrots, pumpkins and sweet potatoes. Vitamin A deficiency may lead to xerosis, night blindness, imperfect immunity.

Vitamin D: Need of phosphorus and calcium in the body can be regulated by Vitamin D. For the absorption of the calcium in the body, Vitamin D is necessary. Vitamin D deficiency can cause osteoporosis. It is available in milk products, tuna and samon.Vitamin D levels can be increased by sunlight.

At the time of bariatric surgery, small intestine is bypassed which absorbs the majority of calcium which may leads to vitamin D deficiency postoperatively.

Other than these Vitamin E, thiamin, selenium deficiencies may also occur after the surgery.

22. December 2011 20:08 by bariactric | Comments (0) | Permalink

About Bariatric Care Center

The Bariatric Care Center is dedicated to the holistic approach to morbid obesity. We believe that surgery is only a small fraction of the whole process of losing weight and a powerful tool when used appropriately. In order to achieve that, our team includes a specialized panel in Psychiatry, Nutrition and Exercise Physiology.

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