I have stated in many prior posts that gastric bypass surgery in not free ride. At the risk of being redundant, I will make the case again: gastric bypass surgery is not a free ride. The point is worth repeating.
We are the quick fix generation, seeking only the route that the crow flies. This straight as an arrow, point A to point B, as soon as possible, “sweat and blood is for the other guy” approach is the mindset that got us to where we are: an overweight society with diabetes promising to become the new normal.
Why walk about the mall when all that is online is at my fingertips?
Why lend the time to preparing a healthy meal when fast food restaurants line the roadways, each one falling over the other to ensure us our fair share of high cholesterol?
Why exercise when the remote is so close, and Paula Dean is swimming in an ocean of pan-fried heart attack?
And so on and so on until we cannot stand it anymore but press forward anyway. We step brightly toward the stroke or cardiac arrest that waits for us as patiently as a cat waits at the bars of a bird’s cage.
The weight loss surgery is relatively simple; that is the bariatric surgeon’s labor. Our labor is maintaining the loss; therefore, we must ask ourselves whether we are the stuff of the quick fix or are we the stuff of the long-term solution?
If you select the long-term, congratulations. Let the self-monitoring begin. Our sample of self-supervision for today will be an alert about mineral deficiency following gastric bypass surgery.
The Importance of Minerals
Minerals are the medium for a number of biological actions in the body including: muscle response, transmission of information through the nervous system, the creation of hormones, digestion, and using the nutrients in food. Only a small amount are needed for important bio-chemical reactions. These trace minerals are important for immune system function, energy, metabolism and antioxidant protection.
Several studies have shown that absorption of iron is impaired after gastric bypass surgery and can lead to iron deficiency anemia. Iron in the red blood cells decreases and they become smaller and less efficient in moving oxygen throughout the body.
Among the minerals used by the body are magnesium, chromium, copper, selenium, and zinc. All have specific and important biological assignments.
Magnesium regulates neurotransmitter activity of the heart and maintains a standard heart rhythm. It also turns blood sugar into energy. Personally, I use magnesium citrate powder in my water every morning. It helps regulate my bowels and, more importantly, avoided the need for spinal injections to relieve some mystery numbness and tingling in my leg.
Chromium helps to metabolize sugar and maintain blood sugar levels (BSL), cleans arteries, and controls appetite. I take chromium picolinate every day. It does seem to curb my appetite. And my BSL is great (I am diabetic) although I do not know how much of that can be attributed to chromium.
Copper is needed for absorbing and using iron, helps to form an important component of muscle fiber, helps to from red blood cells, and helps bone formation and maintenance.
Selenium protects cell membranes and decreases potential for cancer and heart disease.
Zinc helps to heal wounds, the activity of male hormones, and the function of normal tissues.
Addressing and Preventing Mineral Deficiency After Gastric Bypass Surgery
A consultation about vitamin and mineral deficiencies after weight loss surgery is necessary. Daily bariatric multi-vitamin and mineral supplements may be recommended. Some testing may be required to test for mineral levels. Changes in diet also will be recommended by your health care professional.
Minerals originate in the soil and cannot be made internally by living things. Plants absorb the minerals from the soil and animals absorb minerals eating the plants. The greater portion of minerals that humans receive come directly from fruits and vegetables or indirectly from animals. Poor soil conditions affect the plants’ ability to absorb minerals, which in turn affects the portion of minerals we recieve.
Mineral supplements that are sometimes recommended for gastric bypass patients are ferrous gluconate as an iron supplement, as well as supplemental zinc and copper chelates. Some chelated minerals are best absorbed from the digestive tract where they are attached to other substances. Chelated minerals are simply those minerals that are bonded to an amino acid or some other organic compound to better promote absorption.
The importance of post-weight-loss surgery maintenance cannot be over-emphasized. While some simple guidelines have been painted here, the best suggestion I can make is to engage with your surgeon after bariatric surgery and plan a full spectrum approach for aftercare. Do not become a bystander in your own life. Get active, get well, be happy, and live long. Best luck.
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You can read about my decision to have weight loss surgery back in 2003 and my journey to maintain a lifetime of obesity disease management since that time. My wish is to help you on your own journey of lifetime obesity disease management with shareposts along the way to help you navigate that journey successfully.