After a gastric bypass, you will not absorb vitamin and minerals as well as you used to. Therefore you will need to take a number of vitamin and mineral supplements for the rest of your life. Taking the right vitamins is very important, because without the right vitamins you can develop very serious nutritional deficiencies. Not only do you need to take the right vitamins, you need to take them in the right way. Some vitamins enhance the absorption of other vitamins, while some vitamins interfere with the absorption of other vitamins.
The gastric bypass vitamin regimen begins with a daily multivitamin. The new US Dietary Guidelines suggest that every adult should take a multivitamin daily, and this is even more important for those who have had gastric bypass. After gastric bypass, vitamins must be either chewable or in liquid form because they can't be absorbed otherwise.
Vitamin B1 is another necessary gastric bypass vitamin. Vitamin B1 is also called thiamine, and it is necessary for the heart, digestive and nervous systems to function properly. It is also needed to convert carbohydrates and fats to energy. It is soluble in water, so even after gastric bypass, vitamin B1 can be taken as a pill.
Gastric bypass vitamin supplementation includes vitamin C. Vitamin C is necessary for many metabolic functions such as wound healing, cellular processes and immunity. After gastric bypass, vitamin C helps you absorb iron.
Minerals are also part of the gastric bypass vitamin replacement regimen. Iron is especially important. Iron is absorbed mostly in the duodenum, which has been eliminated from digestion. Iron can turn your stools black or green, and they will test positive for blood. When you're taking your post gastric bypass vitamins, don't take them with milk or milk products or antacids, because it will interfere with iron absorption. If you don't get enough iron, you may develop iron deficiency anemia because your body needs iron to make red blood cells.
Calcium is another mineral that will be part of your post gastric bypass vitamin routine. You need to take about 1000 mg of calcium per day. Without it, you are at risk for developing osteoporosis. Several foods impair calcium absorption and should not be eaten within a couple of hours of taking calcium. Calcium interferes with iron absorption, so it cannot be taken with the rest of your gastric bypass vitamins.
One of the most important post gastric bypass vitamins is vitamin B12. Gastric bypass eliminates much of your ability to make the enzyme (intrinsic factor) that is necessary for you to absorb vitamin B12 and it eliminates the duodenum, where most of vitamin B12 absorption occurs. Some physicians do suggest vitamin B12 pills, but after gastric bypass, vitamin B12 may not be absorbed well enough to prevent deficiency. For that reason, especially after gastric bypass, vitamin B12 is usually given by injection once a month.
Take your iron at least two hours away from any calcium, including your calcium supplement and any dairy products. To increase the absorption, you can take your iron with some vitamin C.
The most essential vitamins like Vitamin A, Vitamin B12 and Vitamin C are critical to the functioning of the body. Since the body does not have these in good quantities chances are that it will start affecting your bones and other critical organs.
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