Gastric bypass surgery lets obese people lose weight and avoid the risk of obesity related diseases. The diet, post-surgery, is therefore planned to realize that goal. Patients are educated to change their dietary habits for sustained weight loss over a period of time. Counseling, monitoring, and gastric bypass supplements are necessary to prevent nutritional and metabolic complications after bariatric surgery. Regular and simple exercising and psychological support help create a better self-image and an attitudinal change for food.
Postoperative diet for the patients has to be planned keeping in mind the new physiological conditions, either related to the amount of consumption or the characteristics of macro and micronutrients to be administered. Generally speaking, those who have undergone gastric bypass surgery are given food rich in protein and low in fat, fiber, calories and sugar. Important vitamins and minerals are provided as supplements.
Morbidly obese patients are prone to risks of severe nutritional deficiencies after surgery as their body could already be lacking in fat-soluble vitamins, folic acid and zinc. This happens due to reduced food intake, resulting in lesser nutritional supply and also its malabsorption.
Anemia can be secondary to iron deficiency, folic acid deficiency and even to vitamin B12 deficiency. Neurological disorders such as encephalopathy and peripheral neuropathies due to thiamine deficiency may also be detected. Other deficiency symptoms include demineralization of bones due to vitamin D deficiency, hair loss secondary to zinc deficiency and ocular symptoms from vitamin A deficiency. Protein deficit related with a lessening in the fat-free mass can require parenteral nutritional support in extreme cases.
Hence, gastric bypass supplements play an important role in maintaining the health of those people who have undergone gastric bypass surgeries.
The most important among the supplements is iron. Men should take a daily dose of 100 to 200 milligrams of ferrous sulfate or ferrous gluconate, whereas menstruating women require up to 300 to 350 milligrams per day. The absorption of iron is augmented by the presence of vitamin C, so a daily dose of 60 milligrams of vitamin C is strongly advised. The curative daily dosage of Vitamin C in patients of anemia is 500 milligrams.
Vitamins from the B group are also very important, especially vitamin B12. This vitamin is necessary to avoid pernicious anemia and to avoid the aftereffects of high levels of homocysteine, a naturally occurring amino acid, which include diminished memory power and thinking ability. A weekly dose of 1000 micrograms of vitamin B12, a daily dose of 300 milligrams of vitamin B6, and 5 milligrams of folic acid are recommended for two months in the immediate postoperative period.
Calcium, Vitamin D and K are necessary for the upkeep of bone health and to avoid osteoporosis. Vitamin D regulates the level of calcium in the body and ensures that the calcium is used to make the bones strong. The recommended daily dose of calcium is 600 milligrams. Vitamin D is easily available from some food items, and is also produced in the skin, as a result of sun exposure. There is no supplement for vitamin K, as it is produced in the body itself, but its production can be set off by some food items. An alkali diet often assists in vitamin D and K function.
Other important considerations when planning the nutritional intake of the patient are the postoperative nausea and vomiting, dehydration, dumping syndrome, food intolerance, stomach pain, ulcers, and gastritis.
Gastric bypass supplements should contain most of the vitamins and minerals essential for good health but should not exceed the U.S. Recommended daily allowance by more than 150 percent, in order to avoid toxicity.
Chewable tablets leave a bad taste in the mouth, especially for a patient already confronted with postoperative nausea. Capsules and gel formulations are a good choice because they are more likely to be absorbed quickly. Sustained-release tablets should be avoided; they dissolve slowly, and can pass through the shortened intestine without being absorbed.
It is sensible to choose a gender and age specific formula: geriatric formulations often include chelated minerals for better absorption in addition to glucosamine to help with bones and joints and herbs to enhance memory and overall health.
It is, therefore, crucial that the dietary intake of the patient be closely supervised by a qualified nutritionist in consultation with the surgeon. This includes a regular monitoring of the blood levels of essential nutrients and changing the diet accordingly. Also, gastric bypass supplements can be individualized to best fit the nutritional needs on a case to case basis. The first sign of deficiency would require intensive supplementation and close monitoring in order to avoid complications.