Vitamin B12 deficiency can be very sneaky, and can lead to various diseases and disorders. Know the signs and symptoms.
Drinking healthy shakes and smoothies is an excellent choice to help lose weight and maintain a healthy lifestyle after gastric bypass surgery. My wife had the surgery done and she explained her first months as difficult and challenging. She said it felt like she became a child all over again, learning how to eat.
In the beginning she could only eat applesauce. At the time she did not have a blender so it was hard for her to make shakes or smoothies. She had a wonderful doctor and he gave her excellent nutrition advice and explained to her that she would have to change her eating habits forever. In the beginning it was extremely frustrating for her but then she got the hang of it she would eat oatmeal and certain soups that she enjoyed. Her weight loss was dramatic. She lost over 100 pounds.
Last night while we were discussing the blog I asked her could I share her story. She said ‘Yes”. My wife was extremely diabetic from obesity and she was one step away from getting the direct insulin so she decided to get gastric bypass surgery. She loves the site but at the same time she wanted me to dedicate some time to creating some awareness about gastric bypass surgery and the health and dietary changes and potential complications.
Gastric Bypass Complications
Approximately four years after her surgery she began to get complications from the surgery and became extremely anemic. Due to the surgery her body lost the intrinsic factor that creates vitamin B-12 which is responsible for healthy levels of hemoglobin and iron production. She almost died.
Rushed to the emergency
Her ferritin levels were so low that she had to be hospitalized and had to receive blood infusions. According her hematologist and primary care physician it was a miracle that she survived. If I hadn’t made the hasty decision to take her to the emergency room she would’ve died that night.
On pills and needles
If it wasn’t for one iron supplement and a change in diet with iron rich foods we would not have the success that we have now with her iron level. Prior to us finding the right supplement her hematologist was giving her intravenous iron injections. He also gave her a vitamin B injection which gave her a tremendous amount of energy, strength and vitality. The vitamin B boosted her hemoglobin production but her ferritin was still very low.
But then she had an allergic reaction to the iron injections and they were scared that she would go into anaphylaxis shock so they decided to stop giving her the injections and she only had to come back for the vitamin B injections. The wife of her hematologist (the nurse) actually gave us an iron rich smoothie recipe that would help boost her iron levels. She recommended this smoothie because she said Indian women are usually anemic because of their vegetarian diet. We chose a different recipe instead because it was proven to have more iron.
One rule of thumb to increase iron absorption is you must pair together vitamin c rich foods with iron rich foods.
Example is in the iron rich smoothie recipe:
- 1 cup of parsley 3.7 milligrams of iron per cup (the king of all iron rich greens)
- 1cup of dandelion greens 1.7 milligrams of iron per cup
- 2 stalks of celery
- 1 cup of frozen pineapple (Vitamin c helps increase iron absorption)
- 1/2 of lemon squeezed (Vitamin c helps increase iron absorption)
- 2 frozen bananas (freeze with the skin off)
Note: If you don’t have frozen fruit use around 6 ice cubes to make smoothie cold