Shedding Pounds Safely: Avoiding the Unseen Dangers of Popular Weight Loss Surgery

More than 200,000 Americans a year successfully lose weight through bariatric surgery, a procedure that restricts the amount of food that enters the digestive tract. However, without proper precautions and dietary changes, you may be at risk for blindness. It is crucial to understand the procedure, the potential risks, and how to maintain a balanced diet after surgery to ensure you don’t encounter such complications.

Types of Bariatric Surgery

Bariatric surgery comes in three different forms. One uses stomach bands or sleeves to reduce the size of the stomach. Another bypasses part of the digestive system so fewer calories are absorbed. A third method combines aspects of the other two procedures.

While these surgeries are effective in promoting weight loss, they can also result in significant nutrient deficiencies.

Nutrient Deficiencies and Their Effects

After surgery, individuals may vomit frequently, eat much less food, or have food intolerances. This can lead to an unbalanced diet and deficiencies in certain vitamins and other micronutrients.

If you don’t take the proper dietary supplements following bariatric surgery, you may run seriously short of vitamin A and the B vitamins. In turn, this can lead to dry eyes, night blindness, corneal ulcers, and even total blindness in very serious cases, according to research conducted at the Centro Hospitalar de Lisboa Central in Portugal.

The Importance of Proper Nutrition

As a bariatric surgery patient, it is crucial to take the prescribed vitamin and mineral supplements. Not doing so could result in eye-related complications due to nutrient deficiencies.

Though these complications are not frequent, when they do occur, they can have devastating consequences. Unfortunately, only a few studies have explored the nutrient problems experienced by people who have had bariatric surgery. This lack of research has led to concerns that doctors may not be sufficiently aware of these issues.

Following a Balanced Diet After Surgery

Maintaining a balanced diet is essential after bariatric surgery. Here are some guidelines to help you achieve the proper balance of nutrients:

  1. Consume nutrient-dense foods: Choose foods that are high in vitamins and minerals rather than empty calories. Examples include lean proteins, fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.

  2. Stay hydrated: Drink plenty of water throughout the day. Dehydration can lead to several health issues and can even affect nutrient absorption.

  3. Take vitamin and mineral supplements: Follow your doctor’s recommendations for vitamin and mineral supplementation to avoid any deficiencies. This may include vitamin A, B vitamins, vitamin D, iron, calcium, and other essential nutrients.

  4. Monitor your nutrient levels: Regular blood tests can help you and your doctor keep track of your nutrient levels and make any necessary adjustments to your supplementation.

  5. Stay educated: Keep yourself informed about the latest research and best practices for maintaining proper nutrition after bariatric surgery. Knowledge is one of the best tools for maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

By following these guidelines and working closely with your healthcare team, you can enjoy the benefits of weight loss from bariatric surgery without putting your vision at risk.

In conclusion, while bariatric surgery has proven to be an effective weight loss solution for many people, it is crucial to remain vigilant about your nutritional intake following the procedure. By adhering to a well-balanced diet, taking the appropriate supplements, and regularly monitoring your nutrient levels, you can avoid the devastating consequences of nutrient deficiencies, including the serious risk of blindness.