Gastric bypass vitamins: all supplements you need!

Vitamins for gastric bypass patients are always part of the journey after the surgery has been performed. Their essentiality is certain based on the schedules when to have them on a daily routine. The reason is to maintain overall health stabilization and avoid any complications.

Mineral supplements come in different shapes and forms, and you are recommended to take easy-to-swallow and not tough on the stomach kind in the early stages. Also, it is important to take the essential vitamins separately from the meds with standard doses to avoid ineffective absorption.

This article will cover the types of gastric bypass vitamins you need and why. Scroll down for more details.

Why are vitamins essential to use after gastric bypass?

Post operation your body’s digesting and absorbing system changes so you need to have vitamins so your body will keep proper nutrition. You need nutritional supplements to help your body balance minerals to not face any sort of deficiencies. Your body challenges you to take in the minerals from the tiny portions you eat after the surgery.

With the supplements, you keep your immune system strong, good care for your skin, and regenerate energy in your body. Therefore your dietitian or bariatric team shall recommend a few options for you depending on your situation.

How does the surgery change vitamin absorption?

Gastric bypass surgery aims to reduce food intake like any other bariatric procedure. However, the reason for the low vitamin absorption is due to the anatomy of the procedure. The stomach is resized and directly connected to smaller intestines to help less calorie and nutrition absorption.

Smaller intestines are responsible for absorbing all the nutriment that comes from the food, but after the surgery, the food passes through that in a shorter amount of time which makes it hard to absorb enough elements from the food.

The digestive system manipulation and low absorption will leave your body in need of more vitamin intake, that’s why every gastric bypass patient is required to keep up with supplements and minerals.

Here are recommended gastric bypass vitamins

The vitamins needed after gastric bypass to maintain health are 4 and they are calcium, vitamin D, vitamin B12, and iron. There are also multivitamin packs that may be more than the gastric bypass vitamins list needed, but there is no harm in that. The pack may include zinc, Magnesium, etc. That will not cause any misusage or have side effects.

Here is why you need each micronutrient:

Calcium&vitamin D: You need calcium in your body running to maintain strong joints, and healthy bones, and also, to lower the risk of osteoporosis. This will help your mobility, especially your knees for walking because the legs are the most to be from one place to another.

Vitamin B12&Iron: B12 and iron are very important and responsible for the oxygen cycle in the blood cell formation, fight inflammation, and never system boost. This also prevents anemia which has many symptoms such as dizziness, pale skin, etc.

Your body doesn’t need only those four, you can also take additional supplements such as multivitamins to keep a good balance. Furthermore, you will pass your days disease-free and complication-free during your weight loss journey. However, do not take too much of something follow your doctor’s tables and schedules given for you and take those supplements at the right time and place.

How to take vitamins the right way

Doctors will give you a heads-up before the operation about the gastric bypass vitamin schedule and you will be noted when to take them post-op. Therefore keep a close eye on the schedules given, and recommendations. However, you need to separate the times when you have your meds and vitamins. For a heads up, have those supplements in liquid or chewable forms because the very first and second stage after bariatric surgery is full liquid and soft food.

Monitor your nutritional intake and check for any signs of fatigue, hair loss, mood swings, and physical weakness, which might be caused due to nutritional deficiency. If any of those are constant and chronic, it is best to visit your doctor for a blood test to check your overall health.

Take vitamins separately from other medications

The importance of taking meds and supplements separately is quite serious. Taking both of them together might cause a reaction and confection of absorbing the substances. Taking each one at a different time will not confuse the body’s digestion of what is being taken and proper absorption.

It is best to talk to your health care provider to know when to take each of them because the affection of either meds or vitamins will be less. Or even worse it might upset the stomach, therefore the safest option is to take them in different periods.

Consider chewable or liquid vitamins

Gastric bypass patients must take chewable and liquid vitamins in the early stages until solid food stages. However, the options for gummy vitamins vary on the shelves. You need sugar-free ones that are also rich in minerals.

You can move on to non-chewable vitamins when your healthcare provider recommends them. It is safe to take once you fully recover from the surgical stitches and are able to tolerate solid food. Consequently, you will be lowering the potential irritation of the weight loss surgery stitches or digestive system. 

Potential risks of vitamin deficiency after roux-en-y

The main four micronutrients are very essential after roux-en-y gastric bypass to maintain overall health. What are the consequences of not taking vitamins after gastric bypass? Facing anemia & bone loss due to vitamin deficiency alongside excess weight issues becomes challenging to maintain quality of life. That can be also mentally challenging because vitamin shortage in your body can lead to depression and anxiety.

Avoiding symptoms of mineral deficiency after gastric bypass with recommended diet and supplements will increase the motivation to lose weight. Speaking of motivation, combining physical activity and vitamins helps significantly from many angles such as muscle build, absorption, and bone strengthening.


Anemia is caused due to lack of B12 deficiency which is having a low stream of oxygen in the blood cells. Here are common symptoms of anemia after a gastric bypass procedure:

  • Fatigue
  • Weakness
  • Shortness of breath
  • Dizziness and pale skin
  • Cold hands and feet

That means you need to recalculate your food intake alongside your supplements, if the issue felt constant and unsolvable, then visit a doctor to examine you and fix the problem whether it’s habitual or a choice of supplements.

Bone loss

Bone loss is a weakness in bones and it is possible after gastric bypass due to many reasons such as nutritional malabsorption, rapid weight loss, hormonal changes, and lack of physical activity.

Calcium and vitamin D supplements are one of the sources to boost your bone health all around your health. For a more supplement-wise source for bone strength and density, protein shakes would be a great idea to add to your diet plans.

Our bodies have many kinds of hormones and estrogen hormone is responsible for bone health. That mostly affects women more than men in general. You can balance the hormone levels with vitamin D supplements. To fight the problem is keeping the workout routine and eventually by the time the hormones will balance and it won’t be a problem to even begin with.

Depression and anxiety

Having low levels of vitamin B1, B12, D, and Iron supplements, alongside complications, also could cause mental challenges. Here is how: 

Vitamin B1 deficiency: Having a deficiency in B1 aka Thiamine can lead to nerve-related functioning and face difficulties cooperating and impairing learning, making decisions, and focusing. This can be something not to worry about at first but it can also get severe.

Vitamin B12 deficiency: You should have B12 nutritional to strengthen the nervous system and brain. Being low on B12 can cause stress and the consistency of it could lead to anxiety or even depression.

Vitamin D deficiency: We all know vitamin D is good for the physical self like bones, and muscles but it is also linked to mental state since it also feeds the brain as well. Lacking Vitamin D will bring out signs of anxiety and depression.

You as a gastric bypass patient go through physical and mental challenges right after surgery and try to deal with them and cooperate with a whole new lifestyle. That alone can be overwhelming for someone and it needs balanced supplemental support. You can always have your vitamin levels checked by visiting your doctor to see if they are too low, too high, or the way they should be.

Gasmi A, Bjørklund G, Mujawdiya PK, Semenova Y, Peana M, Dosa A, Piscopo S, Gasmi Benahmed A, Costea DO. Micronutrients deficiences in patients after bariatric surgery. Eur J Nutr. 2022 Feb;61(1):55-67. doi: 10.1007/s00394-021-02619-8. Epub 2021 Jul 23. PMID: 34302218.

Paccou J, Caiazzo R, Lespessailles E, Cortet B. Bariatric Surgery and Osteoporosis. Calcif Tissue Int. 2022 May;110(5):576-591. doi: 10.1007/s00223-020-00798-w. Epub 2021 Jan 5. PMID: 33403429.

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