Vitamins and Bariatric Surgery

Obesity is defined as having a Body Mass Index (BMI) of ≥ 30 Kg/m2. There are many medical conditions that are associated with obesity. Some of these conditions include, but not limited to sleep apnea, coronary artery disease, pulmonary disease, diabetes mellitus, venous stasis ulcers, arthritis, infections, sex-hormone abnormalities, hypertension, breast cancer, and colon cancer. Having bariatric surgery will help eliminate many of these risk factors. Nonetheless, many people worry about being deficient in many vitamins after bariatric surgery. So, is there such correlation? If so, which vitamins are you most likely to be deficient in?

One of the possible postoperative complications after bariatric surgery is vitamin deficiencies, which goes unrecognized in 50% of bariatric patients. The most common vitamin deficiencies are vitamin B12 and vitamin D. Thus, it is important to speak to you doctor about dietary supplementation immediately after surgery. There are several ways one may supplement vitamin B12 and D. Vitamin B12, which one may obtain from meat and dairy products, helps your nervous system to function properly. Vitamin D can be supplemented from dairy products, eggs, and the sun. Moreover, both of these vitamins, B12 and D, can be obtain over-the-counter from you local pharmacy.

All in all, after a bariatric sugery, patients should follow up with their primary care physician, gastroenterologist, or dietician to make sure that they are receiving the proper amount of vitamin needed to help their body function properly. The minimal amount of Vitamin B12 intake should be 350-500 μg/day and 800-1,200IU of vitamin D daily accompanied with 1,200-1,00mg of calcium citrate to help with absorption.

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