JulieW

Anyone not taking vitamins?

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I know this is controversial but I'd love to know if anyone has decided not to take vitamins/supplements? ( or pm me if you don't choose to state the fact in public) At my 6 month appointment all my test results were perfect and without revealing to my nut that I haven't taken a vitamin, calcium, etc since day one they sang praises in regards to my test results thinking that I have taken all the vitamins/supplements they've recommended. 

I have no problem taking anything they recommend IF I ever need it, but to take it just to take it...because they say so...no. 

Thanks for the feedback and personal experiences of those of you over a year or more out. 

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Supplements are not just to "fix" what is wrong in the now.  They are just as much to prevent things from happening in the future.   Some things are irreversible - like osteoporosis and you don't typically find out till it's too late.  It is those types of things that supplements are for as well. 

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I take my vitamins religiously.  Why not?  There's no down side.   No, you aren't going to develop deficiencies within the first 6 months, it can take years.  After all, they have bypassed a good portion of your small intestine where many vitamins and minerals get absorbed.  I have two married friends that had bypass 8 years ago.  They have never taken the recommended supplements.  They had no problems for the first 4 years, other than one of them tended to get dehydrated a couple times/year.  But they have both been hospitalized more than once in the last 3 years due to anemia (low iron) bleeding problems (low vitamin K), weakness and heart arrhythmia (low potassium) and other nutritional deficiencies.  The husband finally decided to get "with the program" and is doing well but she refuses to comply and continues to feel like *&^% and has numerous symptoms related to various deficiencies.

But it's your life and if you choose not to take vitamins at least make sure you are getting a well balanced diet including plenty of fruits, grains and veggies.  And definitely followup with at least annual bloodwork so you can catch any problems before they become serious and difficult to overcome.  Although like Jolls said, there are some deficiencies that can go undetected and ultimately cause irreversible damage.

Edited by ThinCVT

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If you don't want to do vitamins, I'd suggest you schedule yearly blood-tests and make sure your PCP (or whoever is reviewing the results) knows about your surgery and your decision to not take vitamins so that they know what to look for (there might be other tests they'd want to run too that might not be covered in a standard blood test package?). Otherwise you're asking for something nasty to sneak up on you in a few years and by then it might be too late.

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Thanks for The feedback! I would never jeopardize my health but I also am not one to follow the crowd and I think our nuts are just that...nuts. If a test ever came back even a little low, I'd do what it takes to remedy that but I think sometimes we need to find our own path. 

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You are actually jepordizing your health by not taking anything; especially as bypass where by design you have the surgery that doesn't absorb the vitamins/nutrients.  That is the entire purpose of that particular surgery.  Maybe someone has a more comprehensive list of things that are detrimental because "there are some deficiencies that can go undetected and ultimately cause irreversible damage".   I really have no idea why someone would want to wait until its too late.  A simple multivitamin at least will give SOMETHING which is certainly better then nothing at all.   I'm not saying you need to be stuffing down every vitamin you can find....but to reiterate, a good multi should at least get some stuff covered hopefully for you.  Most non-surgery people need/take a multi so for a bypass person with a re-routed digestive system not to seem quite crazy to me. 

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You are jeopardizing your health, it's just not measurable yet.  By the time it is measurable, you may have caused damage that cannot be fixed by suddenly starting to take supplements.  In this area, we use Registered Dieticians, who are master's level licensed professionals.  I would never refer to them as "nuts" and I value their opinion.  Why seek the services of a professional if you have no intention of following their advice?  Not sure why you're opposed to taking supplements, but I hope you'll reconsider.

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Thanks for The feedback! I would never jeopardize my health but I also am not one to follow the crowd and I think our nuts are just that...nuts. If a test ever came back even a little low, I'd do what it takes to remedy that but I think sometimes we need to find our own path. 

You need to make your own choice.  I hope this doesn't come across harsh but it sounds like you're not taking them just because you were told you should.  That isn't a reason.  What is the real reason you don't want to take them?  Do you believe the malabsorption issue which leads to the recommendation of taking vitamins is wrong, there is a lot of research that supports this?  

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I'm sitting here with my little baggie of gummy vitamins - I take 13 "pills" every day.  My blood work comes back "perfect" each testing (every 3 months).  I wouldn't even think of not taking them.  I'd rather take these than the bunch of meds I was taking before surgery.

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The thought of not taking vitamins is so foreign to me. When your intake of food can't possibly be enough to meet daily requirements,  it is putting your health in jeopardy to not supplement. Calcium and vitamin D plus a multi should be the absolute minimum.

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A friend had GBS about 20 years ago. Never took the vitamins. She developed, over time, a B-12 deficiency. Now she has neuropathy in her feet and can barely walk. It was preventable, but it is not reversible. 

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Julie, 

I wish you would at least do some research on this.  I can understand that with your good blood work at 6 months post-op, you may possibly be given a sense of security but you're potentially risking some serious and permanent issues down the road.

As BrigidD rightly points out, B12 deficiency - if not caught early can result in permanent and painful nerve damage.  Calcium deficiency can lead to osteoporosis and you're at the age where you need to be looking at that very seriously anyway.

Dementia:  Metabolic causes can include vitamin B1 deficiency, vitamin B12 deficiency, pellagra, or protein-calorie malnutrition.

I could go on but won't.  

Please reconsider - you put yourself through WLS to lose your excess weight and live a healthy life but now you're playing Russian roulette with your health. 

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We all have to make our own choices whether it's vitamins, food, etc.  You will do what you want but this seems really odd to me.  I'm curious to know why you don't want to take vitamins. Is there some type of issue you have with the vitamins themselves? Did you decide preop that you weren't going to comply with this requirement? Are you doing something to yourself purposely to be unhealthy? Is there some deep seeded reason? Do you dispute the large amount of science that says you need vitamins??  Are you being rebellious? Is it that you can forgo taking the vitamins and no one can see that but if you over eat people can see that? A hidden way to self harm?  Seems like you're just intentionally sabotaging yourself.  

Edited by Raeme

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I have no problem taking anything they recommend IF I ever need it, but to take it just to take it...because they say so...no. 

You've gotten some interesting replies, which seem to lead back to taking a second look at this statement. There is a large body of evidence demonstrating that the malabsorption of bypass makes lifelong  vitamin supplementation essential.

Malnutrition is insidious. It takes a while to manifest, and then all of a sudden you have odd neurological symptoms that can then be permenant. I'm sleeve, and at my 2-month check-up I was told to begin B12 supplementation. When I pushed back, I was told that they don't have patients start right away, because it takes time for a deficiency to develop, and they gave me an explanation of the mechanics of why it matters for my procedure too. I believe them, I trust them, and I do what they say.

I work with a non-WLS person who has IBD. She became B12 deficient and said it was a frightening experience. She had to be driven to the hospital and spent several days to a week there. Then it took months to recover. Last time we spoke about it, she was still experiencing some neuropathy. Once you get deficient, it takes a long time for your levels to recover and even longer for your symptoms to go away (if ever).

Consider revisiting the portion of your post that I quoted. Vitamin supplementation isn't a "just because I said so" recommendation. There's a huge body of evidence backing it up, and in the grand scheme of things, it's pretty cheap.

Do you carry life insurance and pay your premiums? Think of vitamins as health insurance and take them.

 

Edited by WendyH
The editor arbitrarily removed an entire phrase, which needed to be put back.

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Let me set the record straight. I haven't any crazy wishes to self-harm or any deep seeded reasons to sabatoge my health. Asking why I'm hesitant about taking vitamins is perfectly fine but drawing your own conclusions are not. 

I am currently looking into organic vitamins and maybe they will work, maybe not. I'm also looking into pure forms of each individual vitamin/mineral needed. This could be a better route for me. There are a lot of other "stuff" in vitamins and I don't like the idea of taking all that unessessary stuff. Plus, maybe 6 months back or so I posted a tread, " do vitamins make you head hum" because that is what happens to me. I've been told it's a allergic reaction to either the casing/coating or the fillers that are added.  

My post was not to impose controversy but to find out if any long-timers were not taking vitamins and how they were doing. Thanks for the supportive replies, I appreciate it. 

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Julie,

I don't know that there are any controversial replies to your original post.  Responses are genuine concern - nothing more.

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Let me set the record straight. I haven't any crazy wishes to self-harm or any deep seeded reasons to sabatoge my health. Asking why I'm hesitant about taking vitamins is perfectly fine but drawing your own conclusions are not. 

I am currently looking into organic vitamins and maybe they will work, maybe not. I'm also looking into pure forms of each individual vitamin/mineral needed. This could be a better route for me. There are a lot of other "stuff" in vitamins and I don't like the idea of taking all that unessessary stuff. Plus, maybe 6 months back or so I posted a tread, " do vitamins make you head hum" because that is what happens to me. I've been told it's a allergic reaction to either the casing/coating or the fillers that are added.  

My post was not to impose controversy but to find out if any long-timers were not taking vitamins and how they were doing. Thanks for the supportive replies, I appreciate it. 

I get where you are coming from.  I'm not a fan of chemically synthesized vitamins either.  Long before I ever had WLS I had been taking Source of Life Gold chewables at my mom's suggestion.  She has a huge variety of GI and systemic ailments and all other vitamins upset her stomach and gave her weird symptom.  She had no problem with these.

postop I switched to Garden of Life Vitamin Code for Women because they came in capsules. Whole food based with probiotics and digestive enzymes.  They also have a line of individual vitamins/minerals with complementary nutrients to aid absorption so you could customize your supplement regimen.  I've used their Raw Protein and Raw Fit products as well.

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Had to reply. From years of my mom starving herself to stay thin. She developed dementia by the time she was in her mid 60s. She never had any health issuse during those years really. When i finally got her to see a nurologist he told to was caused from vitamin defenency. But later in life it catches up with u. Thank god the alzhimers meds r working for her now and slowing its progress down. I have not had my surgery yet but have taken my multi vitamins ever since she was diagnosed. So please please be careful (please forgive my spelling i can not sleep due to surgery nerves i guess)

 

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I usually forget, and I've always hated taking pills.

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