Using Nutritional Supplements after Surgery
Bariatric patients may sometimes have difficulty absorbing nutrients after surgery. Nutritional deficiencies could also result from limiting caloric intake or from poor eating habits. Nutritional supplements may be needed to rectify these problems, which is why board certified general surgeon Dr. Matthew St. Laurent makes them available for his Houston-area patients.
Why Are Nutritional Supplements Needed?
Nutritional supplements could be needed for a number of reasons, including the following:
- Poor absorption rate
- A diet that provides insufficient nutrients
- Presence of certain medical conditions such as anemia or osteoporosis
- To improve health conditions such as hypothyroidism (low thyroid)
Bariatric patients may also have very restricted diets just before or after having surgery. Many are limited to only liquids for a period of time, in which case nutritional supplements could be needed to provide the vitamins and minerals that would normally be obtained through solid foods.
How Are Nutritional Deficiencies Detected?
A few of the ways might be as follows:
- Blood or urine testing
- Reviewing food diets
- Undergoing a medical exam to determine underlying conditions
What Type of Nutritional Supplements Should I Take?
This can only be determined after a consultation with one of our registered dietitians, who will take into account your eating habits, weight loss goals, and overall health to make a determination.
Can I Buy Over-the-Counter Vitamins and Supplements?
The benefits you achieve from nutritional supplements will largely depend on the quality of products you choose. Many over-the-counter products contain harmful additives that may affect how well your body absorbs nutrients. Furthermore, over-the-counter supplements may contain inadequate quantities or concentrations of the appropriate nutrients necessary for the bariatric patient. Bariatric supplements are specifically formulated for the unique and specific needs of the bariatric patient losing weight after surgery. For this reason, we advise against taking supplements that are not recommended by one of our dietitians.
Nutritional supplements are sometimes needed to help you maintain good health while trying to achieve your weight loss goals. Houston patients can find out more by contacting Dr. Matthew St. Laurent at 281-301-1404.