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  3. How Long and Which Vitamins and Minerals Will I Have to Take After Bariartric Surgery?

How Long and Which Vitamins and Minerals Will I Have to Take After Bariartric Surgery?

Would love your thoughts, please comment at the end of the post!

You will have to take lifelong vitamin and mineral supplementation. A stricter supplementation regimen will have to be followed in case you opt for Duodenal Switch or Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass.

Our Bariatric Nutritionist says:

Think of vitamins/minerals as life-long medications. Each year, get your labs checked to make sure everything is in the right range. Everyone is different and two people taking the exact same supplements can have completely different lab results. At certain points in your life you may need to take more or less of some vitamins and minerals.

Recommendations for Vitamins and Minerals

  • Thiamin (B1): at least 12mg, preferably 50mg from a B-complex supplement
  • B12: 300-500mcg daily if you take it orally, nasal as directed, or 1,000mcg intramuscular (injection) monthly
  • Folate: 400-800mcg daily and women of childbearing age should take 800-1000mcg daily. 800mcg for gastric bypass patients
  • Iron: 45-60mg of elemental (separate it from calcium and acid-reducing medications
  • Calcium: 1200-1500mg/day in divided doses of 300-500mg If calcium carbonate take with meals, if calcium citrate take with or without meals
  • Vitamin D: 3000IU daily
  • Vitamin A: 5,000-10,000 IU/day
  • Vitamin K: 90-120 mcg/day
  • Vitamin E: 15mg/day
  • Zinc: Gastric Bypass 100-200% of RDA or 8-22mg/day | Sleeve 100% of RDA or 8-11mg/d
  • Copper: Gastric Bypass is 200% of RDA or 2gm | Sleeve 100% of RDA or 1mg

Vitamins After Gastric Sleeve and Bypass

Check out this video in which she further talks about nutritional supplements after gastric sleeve and gastric bypass surgery:

Hi everybody. I’ve been getting questions about vitamins and minerals and people have been posting pictures of the labels to see if this is good enough to meet their needs which I love. I love all the communication and the dialogue that comes along with that…keep posting that, it is completely fine.

There’s No One-Size-Fits-All

I wanted to give more detail as to what to look for or just to bring, maybe, your stress down a little bit. So, the recommendations that we give are from the ASMBS which is the ‘American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery’. The recommendations that are given are basically what that they found through research that meets most people’s needs that have gone through the surgery.

  • It’s not going to meet everyone’s needs 100%. Someone who is 5’10” male and weighs 240 pounds might need one thing. Someone who is a male, 6’01” and 240 pounds might need something else.
  • The same way that we are all different shapes, colors, sizes it is the same way with our vitamins and nutrient needs.
  • We are given estimated guesses as to what meets the needs for most people and then as time goes on, we kind of adjust that to meet your specific needs.

That is why, it is really important to get regular vitamin and mineral checks to work with your physician and your nurse practitioner wherever you live and to get those labs done so that they can decide if you are too high in your B12 or you too low in Vitamin D or if your Calcium is just right and they can adjust it from there.

Individual Bariatric Nutritional Needs

Special Weight Loss Surgery Tip Nutritionist Tip – To Patch or Not to Patch

Very few vitamins can be absorbed through the skin in the amounts needed by the body for anyone, and especially after undergoing weight loss surgery. Maybe someday technology will get this far, but right now the studies that have been done with the patch are not showing enough absorption to be recommended.


Multiplicity of Nutritional Supplements

But anyways, so you really need to, you know, as time goes on get those labs checked and then maybe like I said you can go down in your B12 or you need to go up in your Calcium and Vitamin D. I know it is frustrating… you all just want to have a link to a vitamin which is good for pre-op or post-op and then in 2 months, you’ll maybe change something. You just want to have one thing that you go to and buy… it is not really how it works. It is kind of frustrating to find something but it is a part of the process.

  • Some people can do a capsule from day 1 post-op and have no issues whatsoever.
  • Other people can do a capsule until they are 2 months, 6 months, a year after surgery…they need the chewables and the liquid.
  • And sometimes, what you tolerate might not meet 100% of your needs…so, you might need to take two doses of some thing as opposed to just one dose as it is on the label.
  • You might need to take one dose of this product and maybe another dose of a different product to meet your needs.

It can be kind of frustrating and time consuming but it is not a one-in-done thing. And so, as time goes on you might use one product now and in six months from now, you might discover that it is not meeting your needs…you feel like you need something else or you are sick of liquid or the flavor of the chewable and you want to try a different product. It is one of those things that will kind of ebb and flow as time goes on.

Vitamins and Minerals After Weight Loss Surgery

So, keep posting the labels…I am more than happy to help you as you go on your internet searches. Definitely, you can rely on each other…ask one another what’s worked for someone. Maybe someone has a recommendation for something they did immediately after the surgery and something they are using now year or two years after the surgery. I love that communication, you get best from one another. So, keep posting on and I am here if you have any questions.

Importance of Iron Post Weight Loss Surgery

I wanted to go ahead and do a post today about iron. It is a very important nutrient. It is a very important vitamin to make sure you’re taking. Especially, if you have had issues with low iron in the past.

Some things to remember to do:

  • Always take it with enough fluids since we can’t gulp fluids anymore.
  • You want to make sure that you’re sitting down and really taking the time for some small sips every 30 seconds or so to make sure that the iron supplement goes down to your new pouch okay.
  • Also, take it with form of food or liquid that contains vitamin C. If you are early post-op, you’re not really going to want to take it with food but maybe having it with some diluted orange juice can work. That Vitamin C helps the body to absorb the iron.
  • You could also maybe eat a few strawberries with it or some clementines or a couple of orange slices. That will work as well.

How to Avoid Constipation Caused by Iron

Constipation can be another big issue for people.

  • So, make sure you can get enough fiber from fresh fruits, fresh vegetables, whole grains.
  • You could even take a fiber supplement because iron can be very constipating for some individuals.

So, if you have had any issues with iron, go ahead and post it in the comment section below. If you have some tips for how you got over your issues with iron supplements, we would love to hear from you as well and pass on such knowledge to other people.

I hope you are having a great day! So, let us know!


The time to take action is NOW! Here is a dose of weight loss motivation to keep you going. 

Act now quote

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