Vitamin patches are becoming the current dietary trend attracting many bariatric surgery patients. They have caused quite a buzz with claims to deliver nutrients quickly through your skin, but they are not recommended for bariatric patients.
What are Vitamin Patches?
Originating in 1979, the FDA first approved patches to help deliver drugs for illnesses like motion sickness. In the past few years, vitamin and supplement companies began using this idea of patches to reach a new market of customers.
Some patches aim to provide patients with all their essential nutrients, while others may help with energy or sleeping. Although this seems promising, users should be cautious of these guarantees.
Unlike pharmaceutical drug companies, supplement companies have fewer FDA restrictions. This means vitamin patches are less regulated than medications. For this reason, it is important to do your research and follow all instructions on a nutrition label when beginning to take new supplements.
Should Patients Use Patches After Bariatric Surgery?
Vitamin patches are not recommended for bariatric patients.
Water soluble vitamins, like B vitamins, cannot pass through the skin easily, and patients should take oral supplements to avoid nutrient deficiencies. Common symptoms associated with Vitamin B deficiencies include fatigue, poor balance, memory loss, anemia, nausea, and shortness of breath.
The most common deficiencies seen in bariatric patients are Vitamin B12 and Vitamin D, which are more common when using vitamin patches.
Additionally, the research on patches has not shown how they affect bariatric patients long term. Without enough research, why put your health at risk?
What Vitamins Do I Need After Bariatric Surgery?
All patients should take bariatric-specific vitamins, which provide higher levels of nutrients, to avoid nutrient deficiencies. Long-term dietary deficiencies, if left untreated, can lead to nerve damage in weight loss surgery patients.
Taking bariatric multivitamins that meet ASMBS standards is a must for gastric sleeve and bypass patients post-operatively to avoid nutritional deficiencies. Patients should take a multivitamin, calcium citrate, iron + c, and vitamin B12 supplement to meet all their bariatric needs. Soft chew, chewable, capsules, or drinkable vitamins are recommended for the best absorption.
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