Life after surgery - blood tests to check deficiencies

I have a feeling that a reduced stomach and long term use of PPI's makes one at risk of some essential vitamins/minerals .

Iron ? Vit D ? Calcium ?

Can anyone advise on this ?

I would be happier if there were regular blood tests scheduled ,I feel as though I have to wait until I feel particularly bad before asking for one .

At the moment I'm incredibly stiff and having trouble with muscle spasms .

Not to mention the long term sciatica which I'm guessing is the result of having to sleep propped up on pillows and never lying flat .

7 Replies

  • Recently I have started to take iron, zinc and Vitamin B12 tablets daily. They make me rattle but my partner thinks they've reduced my fatigue.

  • Good question Violetqueen I never thought of linking these issues

  • There is definitely talk about Vit D deficiency if on these long term but my doctor told me to take Vit C supplements so I take both.

  • You are correct I understand in assuming absorbing minerals etc with altered GI system is trickier.. Also I think we need to take the initiative in getting our mineral and vitamin levels checked . I didn't and found I was vit B12 déficient to the extent I needed a series of injections.

    I think a potential problem is that routine care falls in between the GP and specialist nurse so neither are quite clear about what they should be doing. I intend to clear this up you may feel it's worth it too.

    One point on ppi - I was on them and took myself off handling reflux less by drugs and more by timing/ quantity of meals , propping up as you do, and gaviscon and ranitidine when needed. Of course this is very personal but it may work for you ?



  • When you lose part of your stomach and/or stomach acid there are some side effects. The stomach acid normally helps the body to absorb calcium; hence the issue about whether PPI medication like Omeprazole might make the prospect of osteoporosis an issue. Vitamin D and iron might also get absorbed less easily, so this can lead to loss of energy and/or anaemia. And when you do take medication o supplements, these might travel through your digestive system more rapidly and not get absorbed at the normal rate. Sometimes the loss can be severe and needs special infusions to compensate.

    So I think regular checks on mineral / vitamin levels are a good idea, or at least until you know you are settled down at a stable level. You should not have to get bad before asking for a check, particularly if you describe symptoms like lethargy. I think there comes a time when you recover your instinct and awareness of your own body and its new arrangements.

    A physiotherapist might be able to help a bit?

  • Hi,

    10 years out and taking 30mg of PPI daily, bloods checked annual by GP and only started taking Iron and Vitamin D supplement after 7 years out, also just advised to take an over the counter Calcium supplement after blood test last week, might be down to age rather anything else?

    Everyone is different and only way to be sure supplement wise is to have a regular check.

  • Hi Violetqueen, long term use of PPI's can inhibit Magnesium absorption. Symptoms of Mag deficiency include muscle spasms. I take Mag, iron & vit d supplements. Also have vit B12 injection every 3 months. I suffer constant lumbar/coccyx pain from sleeping position, no joke but it's a right "bummer". I've had physio & chiropractic but not much relief.

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