In This Section      

Nutritional Deficiencies

Patients who have had bariatric surgery may have nutritional deficiencies. These include:

  • Vitamin deficiencies
  • Mineral deficiencies
  • Macro nutrient deficiencies including protein, fats or carbohydrates
  • Not eating enough or not absorbing enough of the right vitamins and minerals
  • Caloric deficiencies

What are vitamin and mineral deficiencies?

If you are not absorbing enough vitamins or minerals, you may be low on the following:

  • Fat soluble vitamins, including D, K, A and E
  • Water soluble ones, including C and B (1- thiamin, 12 and folate)
  • Minerals, including selenium, zinc, copper, and iron
Vitamin Deficiencies
Vitamin AVisual and skin changes
Vitamin B12Anemia
Vitamin DBone abnormalities
Vitamin ENeurological problems
Vitamin KBlood clotting problems

Source: Johns Hopkins Medicine

How will my doctor know if I have nutritional deficiencies?

Based on your symptoms, your doctor may suspect you have vitamin or mineral deficiencies. He or she will order a blood test to confirm.

Sometimes bariatric surgery is not the cause of the nutritional deficiencies. They can be caused by not taking your supplements, or other reasons. Our weight loss specialists will examine your diet carefully to try to determine why you are having vitamin and mineral deficiencies.

What is the treatment for nutritional deficiencies?

Your treatment will depend on how deficient you are in these vitamins and minerals. Supplements that can be taken by mouth are often prescribed, as are intramuscular injections or nasal inhalations of Vitamin B. Some patients cannot absorb oral vitamins, so they will receive an IV drip.