Gastric Bypass Fatigue: Iron Deficiency May Be The Problem
By Kaye Bailey
Female gastric bypass patients are at risk of iron deficiency because iron found in meat, poultry and fish is normally absorbed by the duodenum and small intestines. The nature of the bypassed system prevents adequate iron from foods from being absorbed. In addition, patients cannot physically eat enough food to meet the Daily Reference Intake (DRI).
If a person is short on iron they suffer a loss of energy, low-level fatigue – the blahs! To avoid iron deficiency and the resulting loss of energy weight loss surgery patients must take an iron supplement daily. Brain activity, breathing, cellular respiration and every activity of the body depend on iron in the blood. Rosy cheeks and a glowing complexion indicate iron needs are met. Energy levels are up and an overall sense of wellness pervades.
Iron supplements: ferrous fumarate, ferrous gluconate or ferrous sulfate are recommended for all weight loss surgery patients. The body more readily absorbs iron when it is taken with vitamin C or a glass of orange juice. Your bariatric center may recommend a specific iron supplement for you. I take Puritan’s Pride® Easy Iron; a capsule that contains 28 milligrams of iron glycinate, a gentle form of iron that is highly absorbable and well tolerated. It also contains Vitamin C, Folic Acid and Vitamin B-12 to further aid iron absorption by the body. It should be taken by itself between meals with water. Iron can interfere with zinc and calcium so it is recommended other supplements should be taken at a different time during the day.
Iron is a key element in the body’s energy-producing system. As you lose weight and become more active you will thrive with bounding energy. Be sure to maintain it by supplying your body with the iron it needs. In your annual blood test your serum ferritin level will measure your iron level and the nutritionist at your bariatric center will make the appropriate recommendations for supplementation.
It should be noted that iron RDI’s are different for men and pre-menopausal women. Men over 19 years old should intake 8 milligrams of iron a day, preferably from food sources; women aged 19 to 51 should intake 18 milligrams, supplementation is suggested. After menopause women need intake only 8 milligrams to meet iron needs.
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