Wednesday, April 5, 2017

How to avoid malnutrition – Tips and myths after bariatric surgery

Once you start to get informed about bariatric procedures, you might have some doubts related with the follow-up care after surgery. As a big recommendation, no matter which doctor or surgeon you choose, its crucial to follow his/her guidelines as prescribed; there’s a reason why they are providing you a special diet and instructions to follow, so every time you think about changing an element of your post-op care, please get in contact with you main physician or surgeon.

To talk about malnutrition, we need to establish what this is all about… This condition occurs due the lack of macronutrients (Calorie intake from protein, carbs or fat) and/or micronutrients (Vitamins and minerals). The effects of malnutrition range from unnoticeable to severe, affecting your weight loss goals and mostly important, your health.

Saying this, we share you the most common signs to identify malnutrition; fatigue, apathy, weakness, dry skin, losing hair, changes on your fingernails, dry eyes, bleeding gums or poor wound healing. (This may vary by the type of malnutrition)

Prevention – Malnutrition after weight loss surgery

Prevention is the key! You don’t have to wait for signs to start doing something about it; in fact you should take very serious your daily food and vitamin intake, especially during a major weight loss phase... First, stick to a diet rich in high nutrient foods, this means eating from 5-6 times a day, fruits, vegetables and ample lean protein, avoiding empty calories from processed food, sugar and beverages. (That you don’t feel hunger doesn’t mean that you don’t have to eat, your body needs enough energy to keep functioning properly).

Second, add supplements to your daily diet! These may be prescribed by your doctor, if not, get some extra help and visit a local pharmacy or shop where vitamins are sold, and choose a presentation that works better for you personal needs and lifestyle.

According to the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery, supplements during the next month’s post-surgery should include:

  • Vitamin B12
  • 45-60 mg of Iron supplement
  • 1-2 adult multivitamins with minerals containing iron, folic acid, and thiamine. 
  • 1200 to 1500 mg of elemental calcium from the diet and supplements.  
  • At least 3000 international units of vitamin D 
And third, but not least important; blood work! It’s very important to monitor your health and realize a blood/lab test every 6 months after bariatric surgery. This is in order to check your health and take better decisions to continue with a healthy weight loss and lifestyle.

In conclusion, having weight loss surgery is not going to cause a malnutrition problem to the patient… skipping meals, eating the wrong food and not taking vitamins its what can lead you to this health condition, even though you have or haven’t went trough bariatric surgery. Understanding the risk of malnutrition, taking steps to prevent and acting quickly when signs of malnutrition appears, can mean a substantial improvement on healthy and long-term weight loss.

If you have any more questions or doubts, please contact us at 1 888 349 4769
Long Term WLS – Weight loss surgery in Tijuana Mexico