Why do gastric bypass patients need to take vitamins for life? Because the same bypassing of intestines that helps us absorb less fat and calories also keeps us from absorbing enough vitamins from our food that our bodies need. According to the American Society for Metabolic & Bariatric Surgery, iron, calcium and B vitamins are the most likely to not be properly absorbed after RNY.
Soooo, how do we keep from becoming deficient? Supplement, supplement, supplement! Taking your vitamins for LIFE cannot be stressed enough! There are so many of us who get a few years out, and start to slack on this (yup, I was one of them!)
Around three years out, I started “forgetting” my vitamins more often than not, and you guessed it, my iron got super low, and my B12 levels dropped. I got lazy, and got sick and cranky until I got back on track. I don’t forget anymore, and I get my levels checked every year with my regular blood work.
Here is the list that most surgeon’s recommend:
- multivitamin-liquid or chewable for the first couple of months, then pill form if desired.
- B12-sublingual (under the tongue)
- Iron-remember don’t take calcium or eat cheese, milk, or calcium fortified cereals within 2 hours of taking your iron.
- Vitamin C
- Calcium citrate with Vitamin D
There are tons of brands out there, pick one best suited to your budget. Set yourself up with a schedule, and stick to it, such as take half with breakfast, half with lunch…this will keep you from forgetting and missing doses. Trust me, deficiencies aren’t fun, and some can be downright dangerous and land you in the hospital…not worth the risk!