Every bariatric procedure can put you at risk for vitamin and mineral deficiencies due to restriction, malabsorption, or a combination of both.
Obesity is considered a form of malnutrition. Many vitamin and mineral deficiencies are seen before bariatric surgery and may be exacerbated after surgery. It is important to adhere to a daily bariatric vitamin and mineral regimen or follow the recommendations made by your doctor.
Some deficiencies are more likely to occur based on the type of surgery performed, but can easily be prevented.
Learn more about vitamin D, deficiency, and supplementation after bariatric surgery in this blog.
What Does Vitamin D Do?
Vitamin D plays a role in supporting the health of bones, teeth and muscles.
The muscles use vitamin D to move and nerves utilize it to carry messages from your brain to the rest of the body.
Vitamin D also supports the proper function of your immune system. It can even have an affect on the regulation of other minerals, like calcium and phosphate.
Calcium and Vitamin D
Vitamin D helps absorb calcium into the small intestine, which further assists
in supporting bone health.
When you are lacking vitamin D, the body cannot form enough active vitamin D, or calcitriol. This will lead to decreased absorption of calcium from dietary sources. When this occurs, the body will take calcium from the bones to compensate. In turn, this can weaken your bones and diminish the formation of new bone.
How Do You Get Enough Vitamin D?
You can consume vitamin D through dietary sources, but this is limited.
Some foods would include, anything fortified with vitamin D, fatty fish (salmon and tuna), and egg yolks.
Your body can also produce vitamin D from direct UV light. However, this would not include light shining in through a window.
Dietary supplements are another option. Since vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin, it’s best absorbed with food containing healthy fat and is then stored in the fat cells of the body.
Why Are Bariatric Patients at Risk of Vitamin D Deficiency?
Up to 100% of bariatric patients are at risk of developing a vitamin D deficiency.
Many individuals with obesity already have a vitamin D deficiency or low levels
before a bariatric procedure. One study stated that almost 50% of obese individuals have a vitamin D deficiency due to insufficient sun exposure, reduced storage due to excessive fat tissue and inadequate food intake.
Any deficiencies or low levels should be treated before surgery. If they are misdiagnosed and not taken care of, this will promote further deficiency and adverse effects after surgery.
Another reason vitamin D deficiency is common after bariatric surgery is that malabsorption can occur due to intestinal alterations, decreased bile salts and pancreatic enzymes, and noncompliance to supplements.
Symptoms of Vitamin D DeficiencyCommon deficiency symptoms may include:
- Rickets, osteomalacia, and osteoporosis
- Burning sensations in the mouth
- Low phosphorus levels secondary to vitamin D deficiency
How Much Vitamin D is Recommended For Bariatric?
The recommendation for all bariatric procedures is 3000 IU daily or 75mcg of vitamin D3.
Typically, vitamin D3 is the form recommended for bariatric patients. It may also be seen under the name cholecalciferol.
Vitamin D3 is recommended because it is more potent than other forms of the vitamin.
Can You Have Too Much Vitamin D?
Yes, too much vitamin D can be harmful to the body.
With some vitamins and minerals there are tolerable upper limits determined. These are the highest levels of a nutrient that can be taken with no adverse health effects in a healthy individual.
The tolerable upper limit for vitamin D is 4000 IU (100mcg), after this limit, there is a risk of adverse side effects. Some bariatric patients may be recommended a dosage higher than 4000IU in order to correct deficiencies or low levels.
Over time, too much vitamin D can promote vomiting, muscle weakness, confusion, pain, and kidney stones. In more severe cases you can see kidney failure and irregular heartbeat.
Dietary supplements should only be taken as directed by your healthcare provider. Not only can you see harm from high dosage, vitamin D can interact with weight loss medications, cholesterol meds, steroids, and diuretics.
Consider Reading The Following Articles:
- Vitamin A Deficiency After Bariatric Surgery
- Importance of a Bariatric Specific Multivitamin For Life
- Vitamin Deficiency After Bariatric Surgery
- 10 Common Questions About Bariatric Surgery
- Bariatric Surgery Apps
**This blog is for information and education purposes only. This information is not intended to substitute professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Please consult with your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions in regards to a medical condition. A qualified healthcare professional can best assist you in deciding whether a dietary supplement is suitable based on your individual needs.