Bariatric surgery, also known as weight loss surgery, can have an impact on the body's ability to absorb certain nutrients, including vitamin B12. This is because the surgery alters the digestive system, reducing the size of the stomach and/or rerouting the small intestine.
After bariatric surgery, the body may have a decreased ability to absorb vitamin B12 from food sources. This can lead to a deficiency in vitamin B12, which can cause anemia, neurological problems, and other health issues.
To prevent vitamin B12 deficiency after bariatric surgery, patients are often advised to take vitamin B12 supplements in higher doses than the recommended daily intake. The form of supplement recommended may vary based on the type of bariatric surgery performed, but common options include sublingual tablets or injections.
It is important for bariatric surgery patients to have regular blood tests to monitor their vitamin B12 levels and adjust their supplementation as needed. It is also recommended to work closely with a healthcare provider and registered dietitian to ensure adequate nutrient intake and prevent deficiencies.