Hands with vitamins

Vitamin Deficiency

Weight Loss Surgery

Vitamin deficiency after weight loss surgery

Because your food intake is significantly reduced after weight loss surgery, the vitamins and minerals you take in also are reduced. It is essential to eat foods your bariatric doctor has recommended in the prescribed quantities. Your doctor also will recommend which supplements you need to take.

Bariatric surgery patients could be at risk for deficiencies of water-soluble vitamins B12, B1, folate, and C; fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K; and the minerals iron, zinc, selenium, calcium, magnesium, and copper. Common symptoms of vitamin and mineral deficiencies include fatigue, loss of appetite, blurred vision, brittle skin and nails, muscle pain, skin rashes, dizziness, heart palpitations, and more. If you are following your doctor’s orders and still feel these kinds of symptoms, be sure to let your bariatric surgeon know.

The goal of weight loss surgery, of course, is to lose weight. Bariatric surgery is a tool designed to help people who have struggled and need to lose 50 pounds or more. While we want you to lose weight, we also want you to remain healthy. Your bariatric team will give you recommendations on adequate vitamin intake postoperatively.

After surgery, you will not be able to sit down and eat anything in any quantity you want. Your bariatric team will provide a list of foods and amounts to promote weight loss and good health. They also will help you determine the best multivitamins and supplements to prevent vitamin deficiencies. Each patient is different, so no one supplement works best for everyone.

Your altered digestive system and new diet are designed to help you lose weight, but the trade-off is that your body does not absorb nutrients as it did pre-surgery. By working closely with your bariatric team, though, you can enjoy the benefits of weight loss surgery without suffering the effects of vitamin deficiencies.

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