Tag: <span>Supplements</span>

It’s six weeks since my gastric bypass surgery, and I was back in hospital today as an out-patient to have a follow-up consultation with my surgeon.

I was delighted to report that I had lost nearly 14 kg since surgery – just over 2 stones. The surgeon said that at the 6-week mark they would ideally be looking for about an 8% loss in weight, and I was more or less bang on target.

We talked about the medications and supplements I was on, and about the fact that my bloods would be checked in a few weeks before my next hospital appointment with the dietician in December. And we also talked about the vitamin B12 injection that I have to get soon.

I asked about my low levels of energy, and also about feeling cold, and she said that both of these were perfectly normal side effects of losing weight, and would rectify themselves over time.

Generally she seemed delighted by my progress, and that I could start to progress onto a more normal diet. I don’t need to restrict myself to soft foods any more, and can start to introduce new things into my diet and see how I can tollerate them.

My Story Surgery

The bariatric team sent me a prescription for all the medications I’ll need after surgery, so that I can have everything ready for when I come home.

I thought I’d share with you what’s on the prescription. But of course your medication needs may be very different:

Drug NameDoseFrequency
Clexane 40 mgTwice daily for 21 days
Lansoprazole30 mgOnce daily for 3 months
Ursofalk500 mgOnce daily
Solpadeine Max soluable2 tabsAs required over 2 weeks (one box)
Senna Liquid15 mlAs required over 2 weeks (one bottle)
Multivitamin1 tabTwice daily
Calcichew D3 Forte1 tabOnce daily
Ferrograd C1 tabOnce daily
Neo-Cytamen1000 mcgInject once every 3 months

I didn’t know what some of these medications were, so I looked them up:

  • Clexane is a drug to stop blood clots, and is provided in pre-filled syringes to self inject. I’ve used this before after surgery.
  • Lansoprazole helps reduce the amount of acid my stomach produces, and to guard against acid reflux. I’m already on Esomeprazole (Nexium) for acid reflux.
  • Ursofalk helps guard against cirrhosis of the liver and also helps dissolve gallstones.
  • Solpadeine Max is a brand name for a combination pain killer of paracetamol and codeine.
  • Senna Liquid helps with bowel movements.
  • Multivitamins are just a standard over-the-counter supplement.
  • Calcichew D3 Forte is a combination high-strength calcium and vitamin D3 supplement.
  • Ferrograd C is an iron supplement.
  • Neo-Cytamen is a vitamin B12 supplement.

I suppose the standard over-the-counter multivitamin combined with the additional iron and B12 supplements mean that I don’t need to take special bariatric multivitamins.

Medication Surgery

I’m a few days into my pre-operation diet, and I’m finding it really tough going. I seem to feel hungry quite a lot of the time, even after just eating a meal.

I guess it was never going to be easy moving from eating 3,000 calories (or more) a day to just 800 calories, and I’m finding out just how hard it is. But I’m determined to stick to it, and I have my surgery date of 27th August fully in my sights.

The pre-op diet that my bariatric team put me on allows me to eat real food and/or meal replacements shakes. So I’ve decided to go with a mixture of the two.

Originally I bought myself a huge tub of Optimum Nutrition Opti-Lean meal replacement shake, but I find it disgusting. I don’t know if it’s the artificial sweetener or the strong vanilla flavour, but I just can’t drink it!

So instead I tried out a Tesco branded meal replacement shake instead, and that’s much nicer. When make up with skimmed milk and some blended ice it tastes just like a milkshake.

My diet so far has consisted of:

  • Breakfast – Egg and mushroom omelet made with 2 large eggs – 200 calories
  • Lunch – Meal replacement shake – 200 calories
  • Dinner – Turkey steak / chicken breast / white fish and vegetables – 400 calories

And of course, I make sure that I also have my vitamin and calcium supplements as well, spaced out through the day.

However, eating this little is a real challenge. I find that I constantly crave other things – whether it’s potatoes and pasta (I’m a real carb fan) or sweets such as chocolate or jellies. So in a way I’ve become quite obsessed about the stuff I know I cannot eat!

I’m trying to distract myself with work and other activities, but I’ve also found it hard to concentrate, and I definitely have less energy than before. I still have enough energy to walk the dogs every day for about 40 minutes, but after that I’m drained.

I just need to keep this up for another 9 days, and then hopefully the surgery will help me manage my hunger and cravings.

Diet Surgery

As I prepare for my bariatric surgery, one of the things I’ve had to get my head around are vitamins and minerals.

I’ve learnt that in both the pre-surgery and post-surgery diets it’s important to have vitamins and minerals supplements, because I’m not going to get enough of them from food in the restricted diets.

Getting the right supplements

So here’s the basics of what I’ll need to start taking every day:

  • 1 or 2 Multivitamins (with a minimum of 14g of Iron)
  • 3 doses of Calcium Citrate, combined with Vitamin D

Some dietitians recommend special bariatric multivitamins, as they contain a balance of vitamins specially formulated for bariatric patients. However it also seems you can get away with standard multivitamins, if you can also add in an additional dose of vitamin B12 and vitamin D.

I bought a whole load of standard multivitamins before I even realised there are special bariatric ones available. I also bought calcium carbonate supplements instead of calcium citrate.

Apparently the calcium citrate is better absorbed by bariatric patients, as it doesn’t need stomach acid to breakdown, and it also helps avoid getting gallstones. So I might need to get new calcium tablets.

Pre-surgery

Pre-surgery diets seem to vary, but all of them seem to recommend starting on the multivitamin and calcium citrate supplements when the diet starts.

For two weeks before surgery I’m going to be limiting myself to just 800 calories a day. This restrictive diet helps shrink the liver and make the surgery easier and safer. But the diet also means that I’ll not be getting all the vitamins I need from food, so I need help from the supplements.

Post-surgery

For the post-surgery diet, I learned that it’s important to have chewable or liquid supplements. For the first few weeks after surgery I’m going to be on a liquid-only, and then a pureed-food diet. And during that time I’m not going to be able to swallow any pills or capsules.

I’ll need all my medication and supplements to either be crushed into powder. And some medications that are not intended to be chewed can taste really bad, so I might need to mix them with something else to disguise the taste. Or, just get them in a chewable form.

Some multivitamins are available as gummies, but I’ve heard they can cause problems unless they are chewed really well before swallowing.

For the first 2 months I’ll need to take three calcium supplements and two multivitamins – all spaced out by at least two hours.

Time / MealSupplement
8.00am BreakfastCalcium Citrate (500-600 mg)
11.00am SnackMultivitamin with Iron
1.00pm LunchCalcium Citrate (500-600 mg)
4.00pm SnackCalcium Citrate (500-600 mg)
7.00pm DinnerMultivitamin with Iron
Example pre-surgery supplement plan

After 2 months

When I’m back on real food, a couple of months after surgery, I believe I’ll be able to tolerate tablets again, so I won’t need chewable supplements. But I will need to continue taking the calcium citrate and multivitamin supplements for the rest of my life.

I’ll also need to get regular blood tests to make sure I have enough vitamins and minerals in my blood, as a gastric bypass permanently limits the absorption of iron, vitamin B12, calcium and vitamin D.

Medication Surgery