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Bariatic Vitamin Deficiency: B12 and Vitamin C Supplements in Weight Loss Patients

Gastric Bypass IV infusion bariatric surgery B12 deficency

Obesity is a growing problem in Western society. In recent times, bariatric surgery has become a more common treatment option for obesity. The benefits comprise weight loss, lower blood pressure, reduced risk of diabetes and more.  Although the benefits from the weight loss and associated comorbidities are significant, surgical weight loss carries with it long term responsibilities.  For those patients who have undergone bariatric surgery, maintaining adequate nutrition becomes an important part of maintaining a healthful lifestyle. Patient who are post-surgical may lose the ability to absorb and process vitamins that are essential for wound healing, blood cell production, and cellular metabolism. Bypass surgery itself removes areas that produce necessary co-factors for absorption, which is compounded by faster gut transit time, which lessens what can be extracted from the digestive process.

Gastric bypass patients are at risk for micronutrient deficiencies which lead to in the short term, leading to impaired healing from the surgery, and in the long term, major medical issues such as anemia, scurvy, beriberi,  osteoporosis and other conditions. 

Studies have shown that about 66% of patients demonstrate these micronutrient deficiencies after bariatric surgery, sleeve gastrectomy, and gastric bypass, which include vitamin B1 ( thiamin), vitamin B12, vitamin C, and zinc.

Patients are recommended to get their vitamin levels check twice annually. Beyond that, an excellent way to help maintain these levels might be monthly IV infusions of some of the micronutrients that cannot be absorbed with oral supplementation.

Vitamin B12 is especially of concern, as gastric surgery might impacts the part of the stomach that makes a special intrinsic factor needed to absorb vitamin B12 in the ileum or the last part of our small intestine. Over time, a condition called pernicious anemia, leading to unhealthy red blood cells, might develop. 

Vitamin B1(thiamin) is another concern. Typically patients diet immediately prior to surgery, which causes low intake of the vitamin and the water soluble nature of vitamin B1 which means it quickly leaves your tissues. Levels can quickly deplete in 10 to 20 days. Post surgery beriberi, a disease of vitamin B1 deficiency, commonly occur. 

Vitamin C deficiency can also occur due to low volume and low nutrient diets that bariatric patients may follow. Vitamin C is vital in wound healing and also in absorption of other micronutrients. It aids the body to metabolize amino acids tyrosine and phenylalanine which help build proteins. Vitamin C also converts folic acid into folinic acid, which is the bioactive form of Vitamin A that the body uses. Vitamin C also aids the body's use of calcium and acts as an antioxidant to protect other vitamins against attack by free radicals. Vitamin C deficiency can cause scurvy which can have a myriad of symptoms.

Zinc deficiency is another common issue that is found in bariatric patients. Because of the low protein intake, zinc deficiency occurs even before the bariatric surgery. The shorten gut transit time and lack of digestive fluids after surgery means it becomes harder to absorb zinc from dietary protein which further compounds zinc deficiency.

IV infusions of vitamins help by bypassing the absorption issues in the post bariatic surgical patient and are able to easily correct the common deficiencies. Essentially, 100% of the given vitamins are biologically available to be absorbed and can be used by your tissues immediately.

If you are about to get bariatric surgery or you have had bariatric surgery, consider using IV infusions as a supplement to replenish and maintain your vitamin levels. Our Boost Me and Super Boost Me both have B vitamin complex which includes B1 and B12 and Vitamin C. Fusion Signature infusions are great for boosting those vitamins as well as Zinc which is another micronutrient that is commonly deficient. 

At IVFusionMD, ALL of our high quality IV infusions are overseen by a board-certified M.D. physician, as we place quality and safety as our highest priorities. Our infusions are formulated by our physicians and based on real scientific research. 

We have three convenient locations in Auburn, Kirkland, and Bellevue near Redmond.  We serve patients from Seattle, Issaquah, Mercer Island, Sammamish, New Castle, Federal Way, Tacoma, Bothell, and Renton. 

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