One of the major responsibilities you have for maintaining your health after gastric bypass surgery is to monitor how balanced your diet is, since you are more susceptible to malnourishment. When eating considerably less, it’s easier to be lacking in certain vitamins or minerals.
Remember that your physician will not always be by your side to diagnose nutritional deficiencies, so it’s up to you to not only do your best to avoid it, but to identify the warning signs as early as possible, so you can take action.
Here are some symptoms to watch out for that may be a sign you aren’t getting certain essential vitamins or minerals:
Hair loss – While hair loss can be a normal response to the stress of weight loss surgery, it can also occur due to genetics, stress, or medical conditions. If hair loss continues for a year from your weight loss surgery or begins more than a year our from surgery, consider iron deficiency as one possible cause. If this is the case, you can address the problem with iron-rich foods such as meat, fish and leafy greens.
Vision problems – If you aren’t getting enough vitamin A, you run the risk of compromising your eyesight. Other symptoms include dry hair, eyes, and skin. While vitamin A deficiency is rare in the U.S., it’s more prevalent in weight loss surgery patients.
Decreased muscle mass – A lack of protein can cause a decrease in your muscle mass, but muscle loss can even happen in the natural process of losing a significant amount of weight. That’s why it’s so important to not only make sure you get your daily protein intake, but that you adapt some form of resistance training to maintain and even build muscle.
Headaches, dizziness, cold hands and feet – If you have any of these symptoms, you may be experiencing anemia, which comes about when you don’t have sufficient levels of healthy red blood cells or hemoglobin. Anemia can be caused by not getting enough folic acid and vitamin B12.
Decreased bone mass – Not getting enough calcium or vitamin D, or even hormonal changes can lead to loss of bone density.
Hyperparathyroidism – Severe calcium and vitamin D deficiency can lead to excessive parathyroid hormone production, which regulates blood levels of calcium. Bone and joint pain are common signs of the condition.
Nervous system damage – Insufficient levels of vitamin B12, thiamin, copper, folate, zinc, copper, vitamin A, and vitamin E may cause damage to the nervous system.
Dr. Bledsoe recommends his patients make a high-quality bariatric multivitamin, such as Bariatric Fuel, the centerpiece of their supplementation program. They are easily absorbed into your bloodstream and have all the nutritional elements you need to stay healthy. They also can save you money, since you can take more affordable B12 and calcium supplements.