Duodenal Switch Vitamin Regimen

Duodenal Switch Vitamin Regimen

Weight loss surgery requires a consistent vitamin routine because of the significant health and body changes.  One of the most common changes is a nutritional deficiency from weight loss surgery.  Duodenal Switch weight loss surgery permanently removes over 70% of your stomach as well as rerouting your intestines.

Because you can no longer absorb and consume the necessary nutrition to maintain, your overall vitamins play an important role.  Duodenal Switch bariatric patients typically need to take more vitamins than other gastric sleeve or gastric bypass patients.

Vitamins are excellent sources of necessary and vital nutritional supplements that can maintain and improve your overall health.  With weight loss surgery, there is a risk for a decline in your health. Therefore, closely monitoring your health through regular blood tests is vital.

The Duodenal Switch surgery is a complex weight-loss surgery that restricts your ability to consume and process food.  Your body is at risk for having malabsorption issues. Because of this fact, vitamins play a considerable role in keeping your overall health in a good place after surgery.

If you are concerned about any physical side effects after surgery, you can reach out to your Bariatric health care team to see if your vitamins need to be adjusted or modified.

Because hormonal changes are common changes after surgery, your vitamin regimen might need to be changed.

Eating fresh fruits and vegetables are easy ways to include more vitamins in your diet.

Duodenal Switch Vitamin Regimen

The Duodenal Switch weight loss surgery is complex because of the removal of over 70% of your stomach and bypassing your duodenum with good portion of your small bowel.  The duodenum is the upper part of your small intestine, and because of it is bypassed, the risk of malabsorption is substantial.

Your restrictive diet will need to take daily vitamins and mineral supplements to counteract the surgery.  The most common vitamins recommended by bariatricians for DS include:

  • Daily Multivitamins with high ADEK
  • Calcium supplement
  • Iron supplement
  • Zinc and selenium
  • B complex

Along with taking daily vitamin supplements, you will need regular blood tests to check your levels.  These tests check to see if you are deficient in any vitamins or minerals and to make adjustments in your daily intake.

Because of this importance, having regularly scheduled tests is important throughout this entire weight loss surgery process.

Monitoring your portion sizes is an easy way to lessen your daily calorie intake.

DS Vitamins

Because of the Duodenal Switch weight loss surgery's complex nature, it is important to have a regular vitamin routine.  This routine is important because, with your smaller stomach, you eat less food, and the food is rearranged with your newly routed intestinal system.  This entire process causes mineral and vitamin deficiency.

Vitamins ADEK are mostly affected because they are lipid solubale vitamins. Fat absoption with DS  is severely diminished.

The preferred supplement of vitamin A is through using retinol.  The retinol recommended are either retinol acetate, or you can use retinol palmitate.  These supplements are excellent in protecting your body against infection and any immune-related illness. Vitamin A deficiency can cause inability to see in low light and it can lead to blindness.

Appropriate intake of vitamin E and vitamin K are essential in Duodenal Switch patients. Vitamin E deficiency can cause nerve and muscle damage leading to muscle weakness and weakened immune system. Vitamin K plays important role in blood clotting processes.

You should also invest in taking Vitamin D supplements as well.  Studies have shown that taking a regular form of either Vitamin D or Vitamin D3. Vitamin D is a great source of boosting your immune system and protecting and improving your bones, muscles, and heart.  Vitamin D3, alongside improving and maintaining a positive immune system, improves your mood, helps in weight loss, and improves your heart function.

The amount of vitamins you will need to take daily depends entirely on your physical needs and overall health status.  Your bariatric team will analyze your blood tests and decide based on the results.

Vitamins are a great immune system boost by improving your mental health with increased clarity.

Bariatric Vitamins and minerals for Duodenal Switch

Alongside a daily multivitamins that you should take, you need to make sure you are getting enough other minerals such as calcium, zinc, selenium, iron.  

Calcium is your daily source for maintaining healthy bone density.  Calcium also helps prevent the beginning stages of developing kidney stones. An important aspect of calcium supplements is they complete with the absorption of iron.  Because of this, you need to avoid taking calcium within two hours of your iron supplement. There are two most common forms of Calcium available - Calcium Carbonate and Calcium Citrate. Calcium Citrate is recommended for bariatric patients for better absoption and less risk of developing kidney stones.

Sunlight is a great natural source of Vitamin D, which helps improve your mood.

Duodenal Switch Vitamin Routine

Because of the significant health role vitamins have in your life, you should develop a consistent routine.

This routine should begin with a morning routine that includes breakfast alongside your vitamins.  Two hours later you should take your calcium supplements and the rest of the day will depend on your lab results and brand of vitamins you are taking. It is important to discuss your personal regimen adjustments with your health care provider. When you are consistent with your  routine, then your health will remain steady.

Weight loss surgery takes a drastic toll on your mental and physical health.  Because of the hormonal, mental, and physical changes you encounter after surgery, and you need to have an organized schedule when taking your vitamins.

A great way to start a vitamin routine is downloading an app on your phone that alerts you when you need to take your vitamins.  Not all of your vitamins can be taken at one time. Therefore, setting up alternating alarms for different vitamins is a great way to stay on track and meet your health goals.

You may find taking daily vitamins a nuisance at first, but each vitamin plays a pivotal role in your overall health.  

If you are ever concerned about your health status, discuss your concerns with your bariatric health care team.

Kelsey Renae Schulze


Kelsey is a post-op bariatric patient who had sleeve surgery in 2018. She is a writer, focusing on a variety of topics given her background in legal studies and criminal justice.