VSG Post Op 5 weeks - Frustrated with Vitamins

on 2/3/18 5:17 pm
VSG on 12/28/17

I really need advice on vitamins. I'm so frustrated and don't know what to do. During my first week post-op I ordered a multi-vitamin from Bariatric Advantage, along with the Calcium-Citrate Caramel Chews. After the first week of taking the vitamins, I started throwing up right after I took the multi-vitamin. So after some research I found that people liked the vitamin patches. I ordered the multi-vitamin patch and have taken it for a week and I figured they were working for me. Before surgery my labs were good, although I have had a history of B-12 deficiencies.....bad enough where I had two blood clots in my right retina and almost went blind. I recovered by taking a B-Complex vitamin. About six months ago, I started experiencing some tingling in my fingers when I was sleeping, even though I wasn't laying on my arms. Didn't think much about it. Well since I've had surgery I have not taken the B Vitamins since my labs were good. Then this happened.....last night when I was sleeping on my left side, my hip started having a burning sensation. I thought maybe it was because I had walked a lot yesterday. Well today I tried taking a nap, and my hip started going numb and burning again. I decided to research this and the numbness in different parts of the body can be related to B-12 deficiencies. So I freaked out, ran down to Walgreens and got a B-12 sublingual and took it. Then I had done some more research and found some information on B-12 where they said there were three kinds of B-12,

  • Hydroxycobalamin B12
  • Cyanocobalamin B12
  • Methylcobalamin B12

They said you should NOT take the Cyanocobalamin, which is what all the stores sell. They said you definitely want the Methylcobalamin B12. I checked what I bought at Wal-greens and sure enough it was the Cyanocobalamin. I checked on Patch MD, and their B-12 Patches have the Methylcobalamin, which made me feel so much better......for a bit. That was until I was reading on OH that the patches were not working for most of the members on this site. I don't know what to do from here!

I don't know if the numbness is really from a deficiency. I guess I should go have my labs done again, but should I do it through my family physician or my surgeon? Has anyone returned their patches through their money back guarantee? Has anyone had success with the patches and have lab work done to prove it?

I appreciate any advice. Thanks everyone!


Sparklekitty, Science-Loving Derby Hag
on 2/3/18 7:17 pm
VSG on 12/10/13

Based on the stories I hear here, the patches seem to be about a 50/50 success rate. Some people have good luck and their labs come back fine, other people have their values completely tank.

I would suggest talking to a doctor before you panic. Get an expert opinion and have some blood work done. If you're seriously B-12 deficient, your doctor can either recommend or prescribe an appropriate B-12 supplement.

That said, skipping vitamins "because your labs are good" is NOT a smart move. In order to KEEP your numbers good, you need to continue to supplement.

If the chewables don't work, there's no reason why you can't take regular vitamin pills. You may need to split them in half if you're newly post-op, and swallow each piece with a sip of water. Many people here take the generic version of a multi like Centrum (in addition to separate iron, calcium, and maybe B-12) and have good lab work to show for it.

Nerdy Little Secret (#42) - Derby Strong!

HW 300 / LW 150 / Post-regain goal: 170

on 2/4/18 3:46 pm
VSG on 12/28/17

Thank you for your reply. I'm going to go on Monday and see my PCP and ask to have my labs done. I should receive my patches for B-12 on Wednesday and will try them for a few weeks and then have my labs done again. My PCP is so supportive of my journey, and he will be willing to do whatever it takes to make sure my B-12 is back under control. I have been taking regular pills already for blood pressure, so I won't hesitate to go back to taking regular vitamins if I have to. Thanks again. I feel better hearing from other members and their experiences.

on 2/4/18 8:58 am
RNY on 06/03/15

I'm not sure if the other forms of B-12 are necessarily bad or don't work, but Methylcobalamin is a superior form. Since you have a history of deficiencies, that would probably be your best choice. I take that. I get my (sublingual) tablets from Vitamin Shoppe, but I've seen this brand at some of our local health food stores, too (this isn't the only brand of that form of B-12, of course - but i've been using this one from the beginning). It comes in different dosages. I started taking a lower dose every day, but now I take a mega dose every couple of weeks.


RNY 06/03/15 by Michael Garren (Madison, WI)

Plastic Surgery 08/10/18 by Lawrence Zachary (Chicago, IL)

HW: 373 SW: 316 GW: 145 LW: 138 CW: 150

on 2/4/18 3:50 pm
VSG on 12/28/17

Thank you so much for the information about the Vitaminshoppe. I will definitely check these out, and most likely go with the Methylcobalamin. The good thing about the patches is that the B-12 does have the Methlcobalamin. So if these don't work, I will get my vitamins from the Vitaminshoppe. Thank you again for replying. I feel better after hearing from other members.

CerealKiller Kat71
on 2/4/18 9:55 am
RNY on 12/31/13

Methylcobalamin is the preferred form -- but I have had great success with sublingual cyan version, too. I keep my B12 between 1000 and 1500 optimally.

You can get any form of B12 from Vitamin Shoppe or GNC locally. Additionally, you can order ANY THING from Amazon.com

It's not a big deal.

"What you eat in private, you wear in public." --- Kat

on 2/4/18 3:51 pm
VSG on 12/28/17

Thank you so much for the information about the Vitaminshoppe. I will definitely check these out, and most likely go with the Methylcobalamin. The good thing about the patches is that the B-12 does have the Methlcobalamin. So if these don't work, I will get my vitamins from the Vitaminshoppe. Thank you again for replying. I feel better after hearing from other members.

on 2/5/18 7:15 pm
RNY on 07/23/14

I do take the patches and they work well for me. Been taking them over 2 years. That being said I still take extra vit B-12. I use the Trader Joe's sublingual. When my B-12 was at 500 which was considered 'normal' I was having symptoms of deficiency including numbness in my fingers and toes.

The calcium has worked really well for me, and my T-score on my bone scans has gone up the last 2 times.

The jury is out on iron. My iron might be worse with out it, I don't know.

I wear them overnight on my chest... I got into the habit because in the summer I swim, and you can't go swimming with them, and with them being on my chest I don't forget to take them off in the morning.

Needing to take additional specific vitamins based on your bloodwork can happen with any multivitamin. That is why it is so important to get blood work regularly, especially in the beginning.

Cynthia 5'11" RNY 7/23/2014

Maintaining a 220lb Weight Loss
Plastic Surgery Dr. Joseph Michaels - LBL and Hernia Repair 2/29/16, Arm Lift, BL, 5/2/16, Leg Lift 7/25/16

Need to get back to Basics? The Five Day Meat Test



on 2/5/18 8:17 pm
VSG on 12/28/17

Thank you so much for your reply. I just went to my PCP today and he did a whole work up of blood work so I should know something in a few days. I tried taking a normal multi-vitamin today but once again, I got nauseous and threw it up. So that's both the bariatric multi-vitamin and a normal vitamin that I can't keep down so I really need for the patches to work. I have used the patches for two weeks now so I'm sure the blood work from today would show if they are working or not. If not, I'm not sure where to turn. I will definitely be using an extra B-12 supplement. Can I ask how regular/often you have blood work done? I want to make sure I stay on top of this since two years ago I almost lost the site in my right eye due to blood clots in my retina because of a B-12 deficiency. Also, thank you for not making me feel like I was overreacting. lol

Valerie G.
on 2/9/18 12:40 pm - Northwest Mountains, GA

Sadly, I didn't get the results I'd hoped for from PatchMd. I was in good shape when I started, but 9 months later I was deficient in iron, D and A.

11 years post op DS 
There is room on this earth for all of God's creatures..next to the mashed potatoes