Nutrition and the Bariatric Patient

Nutrition and the Bariatric Patient

Treatment of the patient with morbid obesity is a multifaceted strategy. While surgery is our primary focus for long-term viable weight loss, nutrition plays an essential role in the pre and post operative periods. Surgical management with appropriate nutritional assessment and dietary management correlate well with improved success.

The disease of obesity presents with its own nutritional deficiencies, and post operative monitoring is essential.  The current theory is that obesity itself creates a low grade, chronic inflammatory state, which affects many systems in the body, including disturbing the absorption and metabolism of certain nutrients.  Post-operatively, the bariatric patient is at increased risk of developing nutrient deficiencies from many mechanisms, including decreased food intake, vomiting, food intolerance, reduction of stomach secretions, and decreased absorption/absorptive surface.

The management of post operative nutrition begins preoperatively, assessing nutritional status, education, and reinforcing principles for long term weight loss goal.  On top of the preoperative nutritional deficiencies, ones chosen procedure may have specific issues with malabsorption of vitamins, minerals, and medications.  Proper education, monitoring, and replacement are vital to maintaining a healthy path towards weight loss.

In the next series articles, I will focus on specific vitamins and minerals, their function and importance, and deficiencies in the post procedure patient. The Barix multidisciplinary team strives to keep you well educated, informed and on a smooth path towards a new you.


About Deb Hart

Deb Hart is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist. For the last 28 years, she has been helping bariatric surgery patients reach their health and weight goals. She teaches people how to set up a lifestyle that supports a healthy weight. Deb set up her own lifestyle to include lots of long walks with her furry family members, workout classes at her local wellness center, meal prepping, and finding new ways to enjoy foods without added sugar.
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