Supplementation to Prevent Addiction after Gastric Bypass Surgery

I was inspired to write today’s blog, as I was corresponding back and forth via email with someone explaining to them how I thought taking my supplement regime could potentially have prevented problems with anxiety, nutrient defiency, and addiction after Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass Surgery.

What I’m afraid may be happening in more cases than they know is that sometime around 18-24 months, the body’s stores of reserve nutrients have been depleted and the body begins to experience malnutrition for one or more nutrients due to the malabsorption factor. I think this, in turn, may cause neurological problems and health problems that result in behavioral changes that can include anxiety, rapid heartbeat, aggression, insomnia, confusion, etc. Whether this would be caused from deficiencies in calcium, Vitamin D, magnesium, niacin, B-12, iron, whatever, or a combination, who knows?

This surmising is not unlike iron deficiency causing Pica which causes people to crave eating strange things such as ice or clay, or pellagra (the B3 deficiency) which can cause mental confusion, insomnia, and aggression, or beriberi (now they have a version called bariatric beriberi). In trying to self-medicate those symptoms, and with the double-whammy of the the way Roux-en-Y affects the way alcohol is metabolized (you are intoxicated faster and take longer to get sober), I think alcohol could be even more addictive than it would have otherwise been with a pre-surgery stomach. I’ve been told by others as well, in their words, “It feels different – I feel different”.

That’s why I would have taken the supplements from Day 1, if I had known then what I know now – To have prevented that early onset of nutrient deficiency. It is the potential for neurological problems associated with nutrient deficiency that I believe puts people at risk, and also impairs their judgment, combined with the increased effect alcohol has on WLS patients, that I believe is the root cause in the huge increase in the number of people developing addiction after WLS.

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One response to “Supplementation to Prevent Addiction after Gastric Bypass Surgery

  1. Rebecca

    Thank you so much for this information. I had gastric bypass in December of 2009. My weight has dropped from 285 to 140. However, my quality of life has been greatly effected. I have had to have three revision surgeries after struggling to quit smoking. My pouch has now been reduced to 6cm. I have become addicted to Vicodin after having it during all of these operations. The only time I ever felt good was when opiates were in my system. Now I need to go to drug treatment. It has destroyed my life.

    I too was told that a multi-vitamin was enough, but recently I have discovered that I am extremely anemic (my hemoglobin was a 6) and deficient in almost every major nutrient. Primary care doctors need to become more educated and patients need to educate themselves.

    Thank you for your postings, I plan on taking what I learned here to my doctor and getting myself on a good regimen of vitamins.

    Thank you.

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