The Truth About Bariatric Surgery You Must Know; Part 3

Disclaimer: Results are not guaranteed*** and may vary from person to person***.

In the final part of my look at how bariatric surgery affects your nutrient levels, I look at the aftermath of surgery. What are your risks, and which nutritional supplements should you consider?

Following “Biliopancreatic Diversion” (BPD) surgery, patients commonly suffer bone disease, severe malnutrition and difficulty absorbing fats. A “Laparoscopic Adjustable Gastric Banding” procedure rarely has the same side effects,, although it does raise the risk of gallstones. The “Short Limb Roux-en-y Gastric Bypass” (RYGB) surgery commonly leads to gallstones, bone disease, fat absorption problems and, less commonly, severe malnutrition.

Still, this last effect is likely the most serious nutritional complication of bariatric surgery. Afterward, patients usually can’t tolerate red meat. Thus, they must alter their diet to get protein from legumes, poultry, fish, eggs, and dairy products. The problem with absorbing fat will show up with greasy stool floating in the toilet water. (Sorry for the unpleasant image.) The problem is that many vitamins are fat-soluble — including A, D, E and K. These are common deficiencies and need to be balanced out.

So now we get to some answers. Here are the recommended supplements following certain surgeries:

1. Protein — BPD, RYGB
2. Multivitamin/mineral — VBG, RYGB
3. Iron — BPD, RYGB
4. Vitamin A –– BPD
5. Vitamin D — BPD, RYGB
6. Calcium — BPD
7. Vitamin B12 — BPD, RYGB
8. Prenatal multivitamin/mineral — BPD

Here are the nutrients that patients should supplement with (and dosage) after gastric bypass surgery, according to the University of Cincinnati Medical Center.

1. High-potency chewable multivitamin each day that contains folic acid.

2. 1,500 milligrams (mg) of calcium citrate and 800 to 1,200 mg of vitamin D a day.

3. Vitamin B12: either 1,000 micrograms (mcg) injected each month or 500 mcg taken each day.

4. 65 mg of elemental iron a day for menstruating females.

5. Vitamin B, 50 mg orally every day, stopped after the first six months.

Be safe!