Vitamin B12 Deficiency After Gastric Bypass Surgery
The Benefits of B12 & Deficiency Symptoms
If you’ve recently taken the plunge and had life-changing bariatric surgery or you’re seriously considering doing so, congratulations on your road to better health!
At ProCare Health, we are all about walking your journey with you and keeping you up to date on the latest nutritional and supplemental findings and recommendations. Take vitamin B12 for example – oh how we love B12! It’s a vitamin superhero that is essential to life, yet 40-70% of surgery patients are deficient before and after surgery.
Keep reading to learn why you need B12, how much you need, how to get it, and what to watch for in case you’re not getting enough.
The Importance of Vitamin B12
Vitamin B12 is a water-soluble vitamin that you must obtain through diet and/or supplements. Its benefits to your health are numerous including bone health, healthy skin, hair and nails, nervous system function, immune system health, daily energy, mood regulation, and brain support, as well as preventing birth defects.
If you’ve had bariatric surgery, it’s now harder for your body to absorb vitamin B12. This is because B12 requires a mucoprotein enzyme called intrinsic factor to be fully useful to the body. Though some B12 can be absorbed in the mouth, it needs the intrinsic factor that’s made in the stomach to be fully effective. When B12 binds with this enzyme, it can then be absorbed in the small intestine. However, during gastric bypass surgery, the part of the stomach that makes intrinsic factor is no longer available to store and help digest your food.
The result is vitamin B12 is no longer well absorbed and the body can become deficient. Signs of a B12 deficiency include brain fog, depression, weakness in the limbs, poor reflexes, body odor, soreness of the mouth, shooting pains, nerve tingling, menstrual issues, chronic tiredness, irritability, and even schizophrenia-type symptoms. Vitamin B12 is also vital to the nervous system and helps metabolize fat, protein, and carbohydrates.
Prevention of Vitamin B12 Deficiency
Fortunately, a deficiency is fully preventable with proper diet and supplementation. Foods that are rich in B12 are mostly of animal origin such as chicken, beef, venison, liver, shrimp, tuna, salmon and scallops. In addition, kelp and fermented foods such as tempeh, miso, and kombucha, as well as fortified breakfast cereal also contain B12.
It is often recommended that gastric bypass surgery patients take 500-1000 mcg per day, any time of day, in a high-quality supplement that can be easily absorbed. If your healthcare provider suggests supplementation, it’s important to pick the one that’s best for you.
Prevention of Vitamin B12 Deficiency
ProCare Health vitamins are formulated especially for bariatric surgery patients and offer several choices. Our once daily multi has 1000 mcg of vitamin B12 in the form of cyanocobalamin and methylcobalamin. These methylated forms of B12 make for easier absorption in your tissues and allow the body to retain higher amounts.
Trying to Conceive After Bariatric Surgery?
ProCare Health offers the only bariatric prenatal vitamin on the market that is designed to meet the special needs of a weight loss surgery mother and her growing baby! Our new formula not only has B12 to provide natural energy and stress support but also contains folate which is shown to prevent birth defects. In addition to the vitamin B complex, our unique formula also contains the following:
- 5 billion CFU/gm shelf stable probiotics to promote healthy digestive functions; may reduce morning sickness.
- 8.3 mg of prebiotics, which are fuel for the good bacteria in your system.
- 30mg iron to provide energy and help transport oxygen throughout the body.
- Reduced vitamin A per prenatal needs.
- 1000mcg folic acid promotes healthy brain and spinal development.
- Potassium helps prevent muscle cramps, fatigue, and weakness.
- 90 mg gentle prenatal blend includes the superfood spirulina, as well as red raspberry, dandelion root and ginger to enhance digestion.
ProCare Health Believes Simplicity is Key
Compact and affordable, our once daily vitamins address the five complaints most people have about bariatric supplements; size, taste, texture, cost and daily doses. Our capsule size is on par with our competitors but only 1 is needed and our chewable option makes supplementation even easier. Our goal is to keep it as simple and convenient as possible. No more stacks of bitter, hard-to-swallow vitamins throughout the day!
ProCare Health’s multivitamin was specially formulated to be easily absorbed and meets updated 2016 ASMBS recommendations. To show our commitment to quality and elevate patient trust, every lot of our multivitamins is independently third-party tested with results that are available to everyone. No other company provides this level of transparency for bariatric patients.