The Fine Art of Post-Op Supplements

I have come to the conclusion that finding the right balance of all the appropriate supplements for a WLS post-op is a true art form and could quite possibly be near a full-time job, with needing to take supplements about every hour or two throughout the day – it certainly requires as much time as a full-time job!! Finding the “sweet spot” of just the right supplemental balance takes work and diligence and I’m very concerned that many post-ops are falling down in this very critical area.

I’m just over 3 years post-op, and it’s my finding that I’m right at the time when many post-ops begin to notice some problems with their labs, if they haven’t already. Yet, I wonder how many post-ops are still going for their labs and taking their supplements. I frequent quite a few online message forums, where I mostly read and “lurk”, and I’m shocked to see how many are taking very little in the way of supplements and quite a few are still taking are children’s chewables and that’s pretty much it! :O

If you are a WLS post-op and had a surgery type where you malabsorb nutrients, then you need to supplement daily and more than just a couple multi-vitamins. You also need to get your labs checked every 6 months to make sure everything is staying on track and you need to do this for the rest of your life to stay healthy.

I found a sample supplement schedule on a couple WLS email groups that I’m on. It was a good place to start. I discussed it with my physician, did some research on the recommendation and we (my physician and I) both agreed in the logic found in this schedule, and need for these nutrients for me, based on the malabsorption of my surgery and my labs. So I’ve kept the core supplements, adding my own, as needed, and adjusting the dosage amounts for my needs. The end result is my own customized supplement schedule, including times and everything based on my daily life (and yes, I really do get up at 4:30 am!! LOL)

So, if you’re interested in what I’m taking, and care to use it as a starting point for yourself – here it is. This is the supplementing schedule of what I am currently taking. I just ordered the Coromega and will start taking that when it arrives, so that’s a brand new addition to the schedule for me. I will adjust what I take, based on my own personal lab results. So use this as a guide to know what a post-op should consider taking, not as medical advice. Consult with your physician, referencing your own lab work, to know what you need to be taking.

Time

What to Take

What to Eat or Drink

4:30 am

prescription Prilosec

coffee

6:00 am

calcium citrate

Vitamin D

Magnesium citrate

whey protein shake (breakfast)

8:00 am

Iron supplement(s)

Vitamin C

Coromega

Glass of water

10:00 am

Calcium citrate

Vitamin D

Magnesium citrate

Glass of water

11:00 am

n/a

Lunch

12:00 pm

Multi-vitamin

B-100 tablet

Coromega

Glass of water

2:00 pm

Calcium citrate

Vitamin D

Magnesium citrate

Whey protein shake

3:00 pm

Multi-vitamin

B-100 tablet

Glass of water

4:00 pm

Iron supplement(s)

Vitamin C

Coromega

Glass of water

5:00 pm

n/a

Supper

6:00 pm

Vitamins A&D capsule

Vitamin E capsule

zinc tablet

Glass of water

8:00 pm

Calcium citrate

Vitamin D

Magnesium citrate

whey protein shake

**Note: The quantity of each of the above may vary for you, based on your labs, so I have not listed the quantities I take.

  • I give myself B12 injections monthly, thus are not noted in the above schedule.
  • I have my labs checked every 6 months to ensure levels remain in safe and normal range.

So, as you can see, post-op supplementing a lot more involved than knocking back a couple children’s chewable vitamins a day! And by the way, you should not be taking children’s chewables, or any multi-vitamin that contains calcium and iron all in the same pill, as calcium and iron do not work well together, as far as absorption goes. And usually, the calcium found in children’s vitamins, and often in cheaper adult multi-vitamins, is the poorer quality calcium carbonate, and we need calcium citrate.

Whey protein shakes should be considered a nutritional supplement, not just something to drink with your supplements!! We don’t break down and digest protein from food the same as before our surgery; just the same as we malabsorb other nutrients – and we need to supplement vitamins, this is why we must also supplement with whey protein shakes. Read my article on this very important topic.

You can be healthy and maintain your weight loss as a post-op, but it requires diligence on your part, not just in your good eating habits and exercise, but in staying on track with the right supplements. Keep yourself educated – and stay healthy!

Be Sociable, Share!

One thought on “The Fine Art of Post-Op Supplements

  1. Pingback: Life After Gastric Bypass Surgery | WLS4Health.com

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>