Post Bariatric Surgery: Why is B12 important for bariatric patients?
Following Bariatric Surgery, you’re probably well aware that with a decreased stomach size, you’re unable to consume as much food as you we able to in the past.
The obvious positive is the reason you decided to have the procedure done in the first place: you’re going to lose a lot of weight. But you also need to consider what you are losing with decreased food consumption and other effects that come from a smaller stomach size, or if part of the stomach has been removed.
B12 is an essential vitamin for nerve and blood cell health and it helps prevent a form of anemia that makes people feel tired and weak. It is especially important for bariatric patients to monitor B12 intake and that’s what we’ll tackle in today’s blog.
So why is B12 intake so important?
B12 is deficiency is rather common for patients post bariatric surgery. According to Laroscopic.md, patients who have gastric bypass surgery bypass the portion of the stomach that produces “intrinsic factor.” This also happens to a smaller extent with patients who have the gastric sleeve procedure. Intrinsic factor is a secretion from the stomach that binds with the B12 vitamin after it is absorbed through mucus membranes in the mouth while eating. Since the portion of your stomach that produces the secretion is no longer stimulated, you will absorb far less B12 and are at risk for deficiency.
What are the side effects of B12 Deficiency?
As mentioned, anemia, a blood disorder, is one of the common side effects associated with B12 deficiency. According to WebMD, signs of anemia include: easy fatigue and loss of energy, unusually rapid heart beat and shortness of breath and headache, both with exercise, difficulty concentrating, dizziness, pale skin, leg cramps and insomnia.
B12 deficiency can also lead to problems with the immune system. B12 is associated with white blood cell production and white blood cells are the body’s defense against infectious disease and foreign invaders. Following surgery, your body is especially susceptible to illness and infection and it’s important that your immune system is firing on all cylinders.
How can you manage proper B12 levels?
- Make sure you’re eating foods that are rich in B12. Certain seafood’s are rich in B12. These include: trout, tuna, sardines, salmon, scallops and clams. Beef and organ meat like liver and kidneys are also good sources of B12. Fortified yeast, milk and cereals are a great source as well.
- Make sure you’re taking a quality B12 vitamin supplement. Vita4Life Multivitamins and supplements include a full range of B vitamins including your daily needed dosages of B12. Make Vita4Life Multivitamins and supplements part of your daily health regimen today!