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This post brought to you by the letter V...

…for Vitamins!

You know, I’ve never minded taking vitamins.  My stepmother used to set out a Vitamin C tablet for me every morning with my Flintstones when I was little.  In a household with two working parents, they couldn’t afford for my brother or me to be sick.

When I was on one of the Big-Name Diet Plans, I was taking a small handful of vitamins with every meal.  Calcium, Essential Fatty Acids, a Proprietary Mineral blend, and a daily Vitamin supplement, all two or three times daily.  The reasoning was that if one is consuming fewer than 1000 calories a day, then one needs to supplement vitamins, as one is not getting adequate vitamins from one’s food.  Good to know, huh?

I had heard from various sources that I’d be taking small mountains of vitamins after my Duodenal Switch in order to maintain my health.  I figured if I got to trade in prescriptions for vitamins, I’d come out ahead of the game.  You know what?  I totally did.

Here’s what that small mountain of vitamins looks like when I break it down into one week’s worth of doses:

Melting Mama 5 002

I’ve got Calcium Citrate (6 tablets daily), a multivitamin (one daily), Zinc (3 capsules daily), Vitamin A (one capsule 3-4 times a week), a Probiotic (3 capsules daily), Vitamin D (one capsule daily), and Vitamin K (one capsule daily).

I take the vitamins in the pink container at breakfast.  I toss the purple container in my lunchbag and take them at lunch.  The green container holds my bedtime vitamins.

All that’s left is to now wonder “is that it?!”  I mean, I was totally prepared to be making meals out of vitamins and all I’ve got is a few capsules to swallow before my meal?  That’s not even an hors d’œuvre for crying out loud!  But really, it’s not the number of pills that you take that you should look at – it’s the dosages.

I take some fairly high dosages of the fat-soluble vitamins, as those are the ones that DSers malabsorb the most: Vitamins A, D, E, and K.  Currently, I take 50,000 ius of Vitamin D; 10,000 ius of Vitamin A, and 1000 mg of Vitamin K.  I take more Zinc than the average DSer, too, because apparently, my body doesn’t care for Zinc and eliminates it quite quickly.  Sure, there are some DSers that are taking higher doses of these vitamins than I do.  There are also some DSers that require less than I do.  Really, with any surgery, your level of supplementation is going to vary with your individual body chemistry.  I have a very good friend who has an RNY and is very malabsorptive.  Had she had the DS, she may well have been consuming those small mountains of vitamins.  We’ll never know, happily.

However, with any malabsorptive surgery, be it the Duodenal Switch or the RNY, vitamin and mineral supplementation should be a top priority.  Tums and Flintstones are NOT adequate supplementation, and any bariatric practice that does not require further vitamin supplementation is ignorant at best and criminally negligent at worst.  Whew!  Glad I got that off my chest.  Who knew vitamins came with a soapbox?

As you can see, I’m passionate about those vitamins.  Did you take yours today?

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