Vitamins – what do I do?

Simple answer – TAKE YOUR VITAMINS!

In one of my recent blogs I needed to call attention to the importance of vitamins. The illiterate free press misinterpreted a study poo poo’ed taking vitamins as a waste of time and money.

Please click here to view the blog post

As I explained, this was incorrect. That study showed that taking vitamins, to try to prevent cancers or heart disease, does not work. Surprise! That is not what vitamins are for!

Taking vitamins is not a waste of time. For obesity surgery patients, it is an important action – just like brushing your teeth, combing your hair, and putting your clothes on before walking out the door. The average American AND obesity surgery patient do not eat enough amounts of different types of food to get all the vitamins and minerals they need. That is why vitamins exist.

Vitamins are important chemical elements that help our body do the important things it needs to do, like;

  1.  produce blood cells,
  2. help nerves conduct electrical impulses through our body,
  3. make sure our skin, hair and nails grow,
  4. help our immune sytem fight off bad magic.

You get the picture?

Not taking vitamins does nothing in the short term, but is disastrous in the long term.

Vitamin deficiencies can lead to;

  1. anemia,
  2. nerve deficiencies (like neuropathy),
  3. muscle weakness,
  4. bone loss,
  5. vision problems.

Once these conditions appear, the vitamin deficiency is severe and difficult to reverse, possibly needing hospitalization.

A recent article from Australia quoted a famous bariatric surgeon (http://www.smh.com.au/national/weightloss-surgery-guidelines-fall-short-says-obesity-expert-20140202-31vhf.html) saying that doctors were not doing enough to make sure that obesity surgery patients were taking their vitamins.

Seriously? After doing surgery Dr. Dirk needs to stand next to you, in your bathroom reminding you to take your vitamins? How about I remind you to floss your teeth, gargle and put on clean underwear?

You don’t want me in your bathroom!

If you are an obesity surgery patient, it is your responsibility to take your vitamins and nutritional supplements. The minimum is that you take them every day. If you miss a day, it is OK, but tomorrow get back on track. You spend a month not taking them, you are asking for trouble.

Here are nice reminders –

  1. Take them every day.
  2. All your vitamins and supplements must be in chewable, gummy, capsule or gel-cap form – NO HARD TABLETS!
  3. Multi-vitamin – 1 multivitamin – once a day
  4. B-complex (B25, B50, B100 does not matter) – once a day
  5. Iron – (preferably iron fumarate) – once a day – really important for women, not so much for guys, important if you are a women who has heavy monthly menstrual cycles or a history of anemia. Do not take Iron together with Vitamin C or Calcium.
  6. Calcium – (preferably calcium citrate) – once a day –  important for women, particularly over age 50, not so much for guys – find the chewable flavored ones that are like dessert.

Regardless of all the hoo ha you are hearing in the press, vitamins are important for you. You are the only person who can make sure you stay healthy. Your doctor or obesity surgeon is the one who can help you stay healthy. See your obesity surgeon for the best advice to avoid vitamin problems.