Post-Op Nutritional Supplements and Monitoring
ATLANTA BARIATRIC SUPPORT GROUP
J K CHAMPION MD
POST-OP NUTRITIONAL SUPPLEMENTS AND MONITORING
Problems with nutrition or malnutrition can develop after surgery for morbid obesity. The absorption or intake of vitamins, minerals, and nutrients may be reduced enough to adversely effect your health. These problems can usually be corrected with supplements if detected early. This is why we emphasize periodic nutritional monitoring with blood tests for life, so deficiencies can be addressed. Occasionally (1/200) nutritional problems fail to respond to supplements and a reversal of weight loss surgery is indicated, although there is increased operative risk with subsequent surgery.
The purpose of this newsletter is to emphasize the importance of taking vitamin and calcium supplements after surgery and having routinely yearly blood monitoring by our office to try and avoid complications. We are seeing a lot of patients not taking supplements and refusing to keep follow-up appointments, or be monitored by their local physician, despite everyone signing a contract to comply. Permanent irreversible damage to your health, or even death can result from failure to follow post-op instructions.
Lets review our recommendations for nutritional supplements and monitoring:
Vitamins are organic chemicals needed in small amounts to assist in normal metabolism that cannot be manufactured in the body. They must come from outside. They assist our body to function normally and severe irreversible damage can occur from deficiencies
B vitamins; thiamine B1, riboflavin B2, niacin B3, pyridoxine B6, cobalamin B12
These are needed for metabolism and effect cardiovascular and nervous system function. Deficiences can cause permanent nerve damage, which is irreversible, anemia, cardiovascular disease and heart failure, and birth defects in pregnant women.
Folic acid; needed to form genes and promote growth
Vitamin C; antioxidant
Vitamin A; important in vision and skin, also antioxidant
Vitamin D; needed for calcium absorption
Vitamin E; antioxidant and important for fertility and muscle function
Minerals are non-organic chemicals we need to function normally
Iron; required to form red blood cells which transport oxygen in our body
Calcium; for bone formation and chemical messenger in heart and nerve tissue. Deficiencies cause osteoporosis
Phosphorus; important for cell activity as energy source
Magnesium; required to assist other proteins to work
These vitamins and minerals can be obtained in a good multivitamin with iron such as the Flintstones chewable we provided in the office. Other examples of good vitamins include one-a-day, Centrum, Theragram. All should include additional iron. Calcium supplements are required with 1000 mg per day. Examples are 3 Tums, os-cal , caltrate, and viactiv. These may include additional vitamin D to aide absorption.
The problems we usually encounter after weight loss surgery are with B vitamins, iron and calcium deficiencies. We monitor a complete blood count (CBC), comprehensive chemistry, iron and B12 level at 6 months, 12 months and then yearly to assess nutritional needs and make adjustments to maintain good health.
DO NOT FAIL TO TAKE YOUR SUPPLEMENTS AND BE MONITORED ON A YEARLY BASIS, OR PERMANENT IRREVERSIBLE DAMAGE COULD OCCUR!