After gastric sleeve surgery you will need to get the best possible nutrition for your metabolism and health. While eating less will help you to lose weight, you will be getting less nutrients in your diet. To help make sure you have optimal nutrition, your doctor will recommend taking certain bariatric vitamins.
A multi-vitamin is important because it ensures that you ingest the complete array of vitamins and minerals your body needs. Since your body’s diet and digestive system have been altered to facilitate weight loss, most doctors recommend 1 multi-vitamin tablet daily (some may recommend two multivitamins during the first 6 months after surgery). Ideally the the multi-vitamin should be in liquid or tablet form for its ease on your newly formed stomach and being in liquid or chewable form means it will be easier to take. Whichever type of multi-vitamin you choose make sure it contains iron and folate to supplement the amount you’re getting in your diet. There are also specialized bariatric multivitamins available and typically contain vitamins A, D, and E as well.
The multivitamin you take probably will contain some calcium, but probably will not be enough to compensate for the losses in your diet. You need calcium for healthy bones and teeth, and a calcium supplement that contains 1,000 to 1,500 mg of calcium will help provided enough to meet most individual’s calcium needs. Try and buy a calcium citrate product, which is better absorbed after gastric sleeve surgery. Your body can only absorb about 500 mg of calcium at a time, so try spread out your supplements into two or three servings over the course of the day.
Vitamin D is necessary to your body to absorb calcium. For a large percentage of people vitamin D is difficult to get in your daily diet and even harder after bariatric sleeve surgery. Most doctors will recommend 1000 IU - 2000 of vitamin D supplement each day to ensure proper levels.
Vitamin B-12 is necessary for all sorts of metabolic, brain and blood cell functions. This vitamin combines to intrinsic factor, which is secreted by the stomach, for absorption. After gastric sleeve surgery, the lesser amount of intrinsic factor decreases the amount of vitamin B-12 the body is able to absorb. To compensate your physician will have you take a vitamin B-12 supplement that is liquid or sublingual (dissolves on / under the tongue). Take at least 500 micrograms of vitamin B-12 a day to ensure your vitamins B-12 levels are up to par.
Without proper amount of iron your will start to feel weak and tired. Iron supplements can cause stomach distress so a person should choose an iron supplement that contains ferrous fumarate, ferrous sulfate or ferrous gluconate, which the body does a better job absorbing. Also because iron can affect suppress calcium absorption, its important to take these supplements at different points in the day and at least two - three hours apart.