Question: What vitamins and minerals should I take before and after weight loss surgery?
Answer: Before weight loss surgery it is recommended that all patients start on a daily adult multivitamin, along with any supplements recommended by a treating physician. It is also recommended that you have blood work done to check for any deficiencies before weight loss surgery. This will allow time for treatment of any deficiencies, and prepare your body for weight loss surgery.
After weight loss surgery taking required vitamins everyday must become a habit that continues for the rest of your life. By taking these supplements, you can assure that your body is getting the nutrients it needs. Below you will find a list of vitamins required for weight loss patients.
1.) Multivitamin: The surgeons at Rocky Mountain Associated Physicians (RMAP) do not recommend a certain brand in vitamins. Find your vitamins where it is most convenient for you, your local pharmacy or grocery store are great options. For about the first four months after surgery, all large pills will need to be cut into smaller halves, or in a chewable or liquid. Taking children’s vitamins is okay, as long as you take the recommended adult dose as indicated on the bottle.
**Avoid gummy multivitamins as they lack in B vitamins, a vital mineral you need after surgery.
2.) Sublingual Vitamin B-12: 1,000 mcg/day. Take sublingually (a small pill that is placed under the tongue and absorbed directly into the bloodstream) daily or by intramuscular injections, monthly. Take at a time that can become habit for you.
3.) Calcium Citrate: 500-600 mg three times a day. Our bodies only absorb a small amount of calcium at a time. This is why it’s required to take in divided dosages to get in surgery, this pill cut into smaller halves, or in a chewable or liquid. Calcium Citrate Chews are okay to use, but be aware of any extra added sugar.
**Do not take your calcium supplement until you are drinking at least 64 oz. of water.
4.) ADEK: Duodenal Switch (DS) patients are required to take a supplement high in vitamins A,D,E and K. This vitamin needs to be fat-soluble and contain 10,000 IU of Vitamin A, 2,000 IU of Vitamin D, 22.5 IU of Vitamin E, and 300 micrograms of Vitamin K. This supplement can be difficult to find. ADEK vitamins can be purchased at RMAP’s front office: 1160 E 3900 S, Salt Lake City, UT 84124.
5.) Iron: All females having a regular menstrual cycle should be taking a pre-natal vitamin (contains iron), or an additional iron supplement. This may be prescribed by your surgeon at a later date, if needed. Take at a time that can become habit for you, but with one stipulation: Iron must be taken at least 2 hours apart from the calcium supplement, as they compete for absorption sites in our bodies.
6.) 3000 IU Vitamin D3:
As you can see vitamin supplementation is very important. This is because restrictive and malabsorptive procedures like the gastric band (LAPBAND, Realzie Band), gastric bypass, sleeve gastrectomy, and duodenal switch carry risk for nutritional deficiencies. Severe complications can result if vitamins are not taken as directed.
Please contact Rocky Mountain Associated Physicians if you have any questions regarding vitamin supplements before or after weight loss surgery.
Find more answers to Frequently Asked Questions here.
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