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Gastric Sleeve Vitamins

Gastric Sleeve Vitamins

After you complete your gastric sleeve surgery, you will have to follow through with many permanent lifestyle changes necessary to maintain your health.  Nutrient deficiencies occur because of your smaller stomach size, limiting your food intake and decreasing your ability to digest.

One of the essential aspects of your life after your weight loss surgery is vitamins.  You will need to take vitamins every day for the rest of your life to maintain your health and prevent further complications.

Vitamins are vital for a successful life after surgery because of removing 60% of your stomach. If you decide not to take your vitamins daily, you risk developing serious illnesses due to not following the recommended post-surgery guidelines.  Some specific areas of your health that are directly affected by vitamins include:

  • Energy
  • Focus
  • Mood

All of these health elements suffer from a lack of daily vitamins after your bariatric surgery. After you have your gastric sleeve surgery, your bariatric health team may perform blood tests every three months during your first-year post-operation and annually afterward.  These tests are crucial to maintain and evaluate your health after surgery.

Your mental and physical health rely on daily vitamins to prevent pain and stress.

Vitamins after Gastric Sleeve

You are strongly recommended to take daily vitamins after surgery because of the permanent change in your body, affecting how you absorb food and nutrients.  Because of this change, your body processes water, food, and nutrients differently.

Your bariatric health care team focuses on daily vitamins because of the altered state of your digestive system.  When you have gastric sleeve surgery, your surgically altered stomach can no longer allow you to ingest enough food for you to receive enough nutrients.

Because of this increased risk of not receiving enough nutrients, your bariatric health care team focuses on preventing you from experiencing any nutritional deficiencies.

After bariatric surgery, you will have to take vitamins daily or weekly for the rest of your life.  The vitamins bariatric patients have to take include:

  • Vitamin B12 minimum of 500 mcg per day
  • Vitamin B1 or Thiamin
  • Vitamin D
  • Iron 18 mg per day or 45 to 60 mg per day if iron deficient
  • Calcium 1500 mg per day - 500 mg doses 3 times per day
  • Multivitamin
Be mindful of your daily vitamins by using an app or journal to track your schedule.

Gastric Sleeve Vitamins Explained

The primary vitamins gastric sleeve patients take daily and weekly are crucial for overall health and success after weight loss surgery.  Vitamin B1 or Thiamin is an essential daily vitamin that promotes healthy hair, skin, and liver.  You may be lacking vitamin B1 if you experience the various symptoms:

  • Fatigue
  • Restless sleep
  • Stomach pain
  • Irritability

Most of these symptoms are common for many bariatric patients and do not necessarily mean you are deficient, but you should always check with your bariatric health care team to be sure.  

Another vitamin to be aware of is Vitamin B12. Vitamin B12 helps your body create new red blood cells.  New red blood cells contribute to a thriving central nervous system.  When you are deficient in vitamin b12, you may never have any physical symptoms, but you can eventually experience many feelings of discomfort.

If you are deficient, you may experience after a length of time:

  • Muscle tingling
  • Feelings of overall weakness
  • Lightheadedness or vertigo

Your bariatric team will recommend taking a weekly supplement of B12 to prevent any unnecessary negative physical symptoms that may endanger your health.

Increasing your vegetable and fruit intakes can help offset any nutritional deficiencies. 

Best Gastric Sleeve Vitamins Explained

You will have to take other vitamins after your gastric sleeve is calcium and vitamin D supplements.   You usually receive your daily calcium from dairy and vitamin D from the sun, but many bariatric patients have trouble receiving enough to meet their nutritional needs.

If you are experiencing vitamin d or calcium deficiency, you can experience a variety of symptoms that include:

  • Memory loss or confusion
  • Muscle weakness
  • Bone fragility

All of these symptoms can be easily fixed or controlled through discussing with your bariatric care team and running tests to find where your health lines up.  Once you have your blood test results, you can go to your local CVS or Walgreens and find your necessary vitamins.

Remember that you have specific requirements for your vitamins that include:

  • No children’s vitamins
  • No gummy vitamins

It may seem easier and more preferred to use gummy vitamins, but gummy vitamins do not contain all of the required nutrients you need.  If swallowing pills is a challenge, you can consider taking a quality chewable vitamin.

These suggestions include: Sticking to your vitamin schedule prevents post-surgery complications. 

Gastric Sleeve Vitamin Schedule

It may seem daunting sticking to a rigid vitamin schedule, common for many bariatric patients because many struggle to follow their recommended vitamin schedule.  To help offset the challenges of meeting your daily vitamin goals, there are some helpful suggestions to consider.  

  • Use an alarm on your phone for daily reminders
  • Take chewable or liquid vitamins to offset any discomfort
  • Take a powdered vitamin or mineral supplement
  • Take vitamins after your meal to help with the absorption

Once you develop a reliable system that can regularly meet all of your nutritional needs, you will quickly develop daily habits that will soon be a natural aspect of your routine.

Alongside having a daily habit of taking your vitamins, it is also helpful to keep in perspective your health goals.

After surgery, your health is moving in a positive direction, and taking daily vitamins improves your overall health substantially.  By taking high-quality vitamins, you invest your time and funds into your health, which you have already worked so hard to improve.

Your success post-surgery depends entirely on your choices.  Because of this, you should figure out a schedule that works best with your lifestyle, stick to your goals and find vitamin combinations that meet your nutritional needs and helps you maintain your success with your health.

Your life after your gastric sleeve requires daily vitamins and minerals to maintain your health for the rest of your life.  Discuss all of your questions and concerns with your bariatric health care team to have the best results.

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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.