Each bariatric operation is different and each therefore has a tendency to affect the body’s requirement for vitamins and supplements differently. In theory some operations are much more likely to affect the body’s handing of minerals and vitamins.
It is important to know that many patients who suffer from obesity also have a relatively nutrient poor diet and many are seen to be deficient in minerals and vitamins pre operatively. This is often checked and correction began prior to surgery.
Gastric banding is an operation, which reduces food intake by slowing the speed of eating and promoting a feeling of fullness after a smaller meal. Eating good quality, fresh food in “normal” amounts is encouraged after this operation. There is no effect on food absorption after the food leaves the stomach, so in theory patients who stick to a good diet should not have any problems with vitamin deficiency.
A similar theory applies to sleeve gastrectomy. Patients eat normal food, but in smaller portions so again digestion of minerals and vitamins should be normal.
After a gastric bypass, the majority of the stomach and a varying amount of small intestine no longer comes into contact with food. Although this is not usually clinically noticeable, it is possible for this to lead to a tendency for micronutrient malabsorption.
Despite this theory (or because of it, most practitioners will monitor the levels of vitamins and minerals in their patients after bariatric surgery. In addition, the use of supplements is recommended to many people. This is because with marked weight loss it is important to be aware of subtle deficiencies, which may not be clinically obvious but may harm people in the long term if not detected.
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