Can Bariatric Surgery Cause Vitamin Deficiencies?

by Cheryl Ann Borne Patient Advocate

As noted in a prior post, I had once experienced a dramatic depletion of energy after my StomaphyX surgery. After a period of exploration to discover what the cause might be, I was directed by a bariatric surgeon to begin taking [vitamin B12].

At an earlier consultation with my Endocrinologist (a diabetes specialist), [Vitamin D] had been recommended to increase energy. This was because my blood work showed that I was Vitamin D deficient. Vitamin D deficiency is a condition that is common after gastric bypass. Reports have identified deficiency of Vitamin D in bariatric patients to be as high as eighty-four percent.

Supplements After Gastric Bypass Surgery

The need for [vitamin and mineral supplements] following weight-loss surgery has been well-documented. Bariatric surgeries change the body's capacity to absorb vitamins, minerals and nutrients because the amount of food that is eaten will be less. Supplements are necessary to address gastric bypass vitamin and mineral deficiencies.

While there are a number of recommended bariatric [supplements], the focus of this post will be on three supplements that increase energy: vitamin B12, vitamin D, and ribose.

Sublingual Vitamin B12 After Gastric Bypass

Vitamin B12 for gastric bypass patients will be discussed only briefly in this post. For additional information please refer to my sharepost, "Gastric Bypass Patients Must Take Sublingual Vit. B12 Everyday for Energy." Vitamin B12 helps with blood cell formation and nerve function. Gastric bypass patients should take Vitamin B12 sublingually every day.

Vitamin D After Gastric Bypass

Most of the population is vitamin D deficient. Vitamin D deficiency is even more prevalent under the following conditions: colder climates, during months when there is less light, and among people who work indoors. This is because vitamin D is a product of sunlight. It is formed in the skin due to an action of ultraviolet light. Dietary sources are fatty fish, liver, eggs, and fortified foods.

Vitamin D also is needed for absorption of calcium and to maintain serum calcium to preserve bone mineralization. Calcium and vitamin D are critical for the promotion of bone growth as well as maintenance of the bones.

The health benefits of vitamin D include prevention of cancer, cardiovascular disease, hypertension, and diabetes.

Symptoms of vitamin D deficiency are muscle pain, bone fractures, fatigue, low immunity, depression, and problems sleeping. The highest level of vitamin D available in a bariatric supplement protocol is 1600 IU.

Ribose After Gastric Bypass

I found ribose useful to address my tiredness after gastric bypass. However opinions of ribose are divided between those who endorse it and those who do not.

Ribose is a kind of sugar that is produced slowly in the body and is not found in food at all. Many people who have low energy have difficulty producing and maintaining ribose because ribose is metabolized differently than regular sugar. It is not clear if metabolizing ribose is effected further by gastric bypass surgery.

Some people have found that ribose produces excess energy, and they complain of feeling hyper. These symptoms can be remedied by lowering the dose that is being taken or by taking the dose along with food.

Patients with diabetes or low blood sugar should speak to their healthcare provider before taking ribose. Ribose has been shown to decrease blood sugar levels and could interfere with diabetes medications that do the same thing.

While there is some evidence that Ribose can be effective for chronic fatigue syndrome, the evidence is not concrete. There also is some evidence that ribose can be useful to help address fibromyalgia, congestive heart failure, and coronary artery bypass surgery. Further research is needed to determine exactly how useful ribose is those areas mentioned above.

**WinkPlease give me a heart if you like this article and support weight-loss surgery topics on HealthCentral. Thank you!**** My Story...**

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.

Cheryl Ann Borne
Meet Our Writer
Cheryl Ann Borne

Cheryl Ann Borne, writing as My Bariatric Life, is a contributing writer and Paleo recipe developer. Cheryl is an award-winning healthcare communications professional and obesity health advocate who has overcome super obesity and it’s related diseases. She publishes the website, and microblogs on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. Cheryl is also writing her first book and working on a second website.