Are you getting enough B-12?
GUEST POST: B-12 deficiency has been called sneaky and harmful with serious health consequences. One reason is that B-12 levels are not typically checked in a routine blood screening and the symptoms can be missed because they mimic a number of other diseases. As a WLS patient ensure you are tested and request if not on your list of things to screen post-op. Some patients will be advised to have a regular injection …
Certain groups of people may be at risk for developing a B-12 deficiency. Among them are strict vegetarians or vegans who eat no animal foods whatsoever, people over 50, people taking diabetic or acid suppressing drugs, and those who have had their digestive systems altered. People who undergo weight loss surgical procedures such as gastric bypass and sleeve gastrectomy face a significantly increased risk of B-12 and other nutrient deficiencies.
Signs of B-12 deficiency include fatigue, lethargy, incontinence, tingling of fingers and toes, shortness of breath, forgetfulness, confusion, and depression, to name a few.
Fortunately, there are many ways to ensure that you are getting enough B-12. It is an essential water-soluble vitamin that is found in animal foods such as shell fish, eggs and meat. Additionally, B-12 can be made in a laboratory and taken as a supplement. The daily recommended amount of vitamin B-12 is 2.4 micrograms (mcg) per day to maintain good B-12 stores, although people over 50 may require more.
Cooked clams and beef liver are particularly rich sources of vitamin B-12. Other good sources include fish, meat, poultry, eggs, milk and milk products such as yogurt and cheese. For vegetarians, many breakfast cereals are fortified with vitamin B12 that can be readily absorbed and utilised.
Aim to use food first, but if you have experienced bariatric surgery, discuss the use of a dietary supplement as part of your post-surgical follow-up routine. Here at bariatric cookery we thankfully do screen for B12 and to date have been fine … we think it’s because we take a Vit B12 Boost oral spray daily to ensure we’re getting adequate levels, but we also have a very good and varied diet with many B-12 rich foods within it. For details on the supplement we take see below.
Feature courtesy of ultimateweightlosssurgerysuccess.com