Supplements After Weight Loss Surgery: What You Need to Know

Weight loss surgery patients face a number of significant lifestyle changes after their bariatric procedure to reach their goal weight and improve their health. In addition to restricting calorie consumption and increasing physical activity, you will need to take vitamin and mineral supplements after weight loss surgery every day. This is especially critical if you have had a malabsorptive procedure, such as gastric bypass surgery, as your body cannot obtain the nutrient it needs from the foods that you are eating, no matter how healthy your new diet may be.

Getting Started
Supplements after Weight Loss SurgeryYou will want to begin taking vitamin and mineral supplements immediately after surgery, the first morning that you are back home again. You may want to look at the supplements offered by companies that specialize in nutrition after weight loss surgery nutrition, such as Bariatric Advantage or Celebrate Vitamins. These manufacturers specially formulate the pills for bariatric patients, which will help ensure that you are getting the correct dose in the correct form. They also offer chewable forms, which are most suitable for the liquid diet phase immediately after surgery. If you are purchasing standard over-the-counter supplements, you should crush pills or cut into very small pieces to ensure that they can pass through your new anatomy and be fully absorbed into your system.

Basic Guidelines
If you have weight loss surgery with Dr. David Provost, you will be given very specific instructions about what supplements to take, as well as a dietary guidelines to follow for the first weeks and months after surgery. In general, most bariatric patients need the following supplements:

  • Calcium
  • Iron
  • Vitamin B-12
  • Vitamin D

Calcium supplements should be taken twice a day in smaller doses. Be sure to take your calcium and iron supplements at least two hours apart, as they interfere with the absorption of each other. Your iron supplement can also best be absorbed with food. Chewable forms or under-the-tongue lozenges are recommended for bariatric patients.

For vitamin B-12, you will need to get a monthly injection from your physician, use a weekly nasal spray (e.g., Nascobal®), or take sublingual lozenges or drops that dissolve under your tongue. Be sure to follow your doctor’s guidelines regarding the proper dosage and frequency for B-12 that you take orally.

Maintaining Your Regimen
In addition to the above supplements, you also should take one multivitamin twice daily (for example one in the morning, one mid-afternoon) to maximize your absorption of each vitamin. You should discuss any vitamin and mineral supplements with your bariatric surgeon, as you may need additional nutritional supplementation based on the type of surgery you had and your specific physical needs.

Weight loss surgery can resolve numerous health issues, but if you don’t take the necessary vitamins and supplements after weight loss surgery, it can also lead to serious health complications. Always be sure to follow your bariatric surgeon’s dietary guidelines, and when in doubt, don’t be afraid to ask questions. Your long-term health is worth it!

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One Response to “Supplements After Weight Loss Surgery: What You Need to Know”

  1. cyndi underwood February 17, 2015 at 5:26 pm #

    I was in the office today & noticed the bariatric advantage vitamins. Can you tell me how much of each vitamin I should be getting each day. had gastric bypass about 12 yrs ago.

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