What happens in the body?
Weight loss surgery means changes inside-out. The external changes are often easier to notice than what happens on the inside. For example, the body’s capacity to absorb vitamins and minerals decreases after the operation. This is important to know so that you can help give the body what it needs!
Why do you vitamin and mineral needs change after WLS?
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How is vitamin and mineral absorption affected after WLS?
When undergoing a VSG, the outer curve of the stomach is removed (approximately 85%), making the space for food much smaller. The feelings of hunger then sharply decrease because the hunger hormone (ghrelin) is largely housed in the part of the stomach that is removed. The main reason why you need to take supplements of vitamins and minerals after your operation is that in addition to eating less, you now have a very limited amount of hydrochloric acid in your stomach which is needed for the activation and absorption of various vitamins and minerals.
During a gastric bypass, the majority of your stomach is disconnected from the part of your stomach near the oesophagus, leaving you with a new pouch of about 15-20ml. The intestine is then connected to this pouch – bypassing the stomach. Due to less space and changes to hunger and satiety hormones within the gastrointestinal tract, feelings of hunger are reduced. After a gastric bypass, there is also very little hydrochloric acid produced in the stomach which is needed to activate and absorb certain nutrients. In addition, absorption is reduced due to bypassing the first part of the intestine.
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