Vitamins! Vitamins! Vitamins! You hear it all the time after bariatric surgery and there is a reason for it. As bariatric patients, we are prone to vitamin deficiencies since we cannot take in as much nutrition as we could prior to surgery. It is critical that you start a vitamin regimen to ensure you are getting the proper nutrition. One of the vitamins that you need to ensure you are getting enough of is Vitamin B12. This is one of the vitamins that bariatric patients need to look out for, especially gastric bypass patients. There are so many benefits to taking B12 and it is important that you are aware of the effects it has on your body.
Vitamin B12 has many roles. It supports the function of your nerve cells and is needed for red blood cell formation and DNA development. It also plays a role in neurological function and supports mental clarity. B12 is key in reducing the risk of megaloblastic anemia, which is a condition marked by lack of blood and subsequent weakness and tiredness. If you are a coffee drinker and have had trouble tolerating it after surgery, you might want to replace it with B12. B12 is a great source of energy to start your day!
In addition to taking a B12 supplement, there are certain foods you can eat to make sure you are getting enough of it. B12 is naturally found in animal products, including fish, beef, poultry, eggs, milk, and milk products. Another way you can get B12 in your diet is through fortified cereals, such as Raisin Bran. If you do choose to get your B12 in through cereal, make sure you are paying attention to the sugar content as well. Research has shown that eating these foods will increase vitamin B12 in your body. Make sure you have a well-balanced diet to ensure you are not getting deficient in this vitamin.
It is important that you know the signs of a vitamin B12 deficiency so you can handle it right away. Some of the signs that you need to look out for include: weakness, tiredness, lightheadedness, heart palpitations, shortness of breath, pale skin, and a smooth tongue. Nerve problems such as numbness or tingling, muscle weakness, and problems walking can happen as well. You may also have mental changes as well, such as depression, memory loss, or behavioral changes.
Weight loss surgery brings many lifestyle changes. Keeping up with possible deficiencies is part of your new lifestyle. You must stay responsible for your health and keep track of your nutrition. It is very serious when you become deficient after bariatric surgery. If you get anemia, you might end up taking B12 shots every day. This is why adding a supplement into your life is an amazing way to ensure you are getting enough of the vitamin. This is your new life and you want to be as healthy as possible, so make sure you are following the supplement guidelines. If you are reading this right now, this is your friendly reminder to take your B12!