Vitamins and Supplements
Weight loss surgery is designed to restrict the volume of food that you can consume and consequently this reduces the amount of nutrients that your body can take in and absorb. Additionally, if you have a gastric bypass, certain vitamins are no longer absorbed as the section of your stomach and bowel responsible for absorption is bypassed. To ensure that you avoid nutritional deficiencies which can have serious long-term effects, it is essential that you add a multivitamin supplement daily.
As a clinic we recommend using a specific weight loss surgery multivitamin that has been developed particularly for the nutrient needs of someone after surgery. These vitamins are higher in iron, vitamin D, calcium, and thiamine (Vitamin B1) than general over the counter multivitamins. As a clinic there are several multivitamins that we recommend, and the dietitian will discuss your specific needs and requirements at your pre op and post op appointments. No matter what multivitamin you choose, we advise starting the vitamins from two weeks after surgery to allow the stomach time to settle. There is no harm in starting earlier, however some people experience slight nausea with the chewable preparations if taken directly after surgery. Multivitamins cost around $30 to $40 per month. It is important to factor this in after surgery
Vitamin B12 for gastric bypass patients
Vitamin B12 deficiency is a known risk after gastric bypass surgery as the vitamin can no longer be absorbed efficiently. There is a need to replace B12 and the most effective way for your body to absorb the vitamin is by an intramuscular (IM) injection every 3 months. You can have your injection administered at your appointment with the surgeon or Bariatric GP or at your own GP. Vitamin B12 is purchased over the counter without a script and one box contains 3 doses and costs around $10 for 9 months’ supply.
Protein is an essential nutrient and part of a healthy diet after weight loss surgery. As the volume of food is restricted, achieving your daily protein target is difficult initially without a supplement. Protein is an important building block for bones, muscles, cartilage, skin, and hair and helps repair muscles, curb appetite, and builds lean muscle. Your dietitian will work with you to establish your daily requirement of protein and discuss ways to achieve it and whilst we recommend certain supplements, any protein that has at least 30gms per serve will work as a supplement. It is a matter of finding one you like the taste of.
Recommended stockists of multivitamins, protein supplements and weight loss surgery accessories: