How long does malabsorbtion last?

on 6/3/11 1:08 pm
If malabsorbtion only last for a year, then why do you have to take vitamin supplements for the rest of your life.  Just asking.
on 6/3/11 1:11 pm
 The cruel joke of the RNY.  The body is an efficient machine and figures out how to make up for the malabsorption of calories after about a year or so but it never figures out how to make up for the malabsorption of vitamins.  Has something to do with the part of the intestines that is bypassed.  I believe that is the part that absorbs many vitamins.  Hopefully someone else can explain it better.

WLS 10/28/2002 Revision 7/23/2010

High Weight  (2002) 240 Revision Weight (2010) 220 Current Weight 115.

on 6/3/11 1:53 pm - KY
i wonder that myself. it looks like the vites would be the same as food . idk . maybe some good answers will pop up....
on 6/3/11 8:45 pm
RNY on 12/22/08 with
There is a specific portion of your intestines that absorb the vitamins. It's been bypassed. You can't get it back.
Your body learns how to reasorb nutrients but it can't do it with vitamins. You signed up for lifetime replacement!
Deb T>


Cicerogirl, The PhD

on 6/3/11 9:04 pm - OH
Yep what Deb said.  The malabsorption eventually goes  away, but the problem with the vitamins isn;t really that they are malabsorbed (that's just a convenient short-cut term to use for it), it is that you had the only portion of the intestine that is capable of absorbing them bypassed.. so there is no place for them to BE absorbed.  So unless you have the intestinal btpass undone, you need to supplement for life.


10 years out; 190 pounds lost, 165 pound loss maintained

You don't drown by falling in the water. You drown by staying there.

Lady Lithia
on 6/4/11 3:38 am
NONE of your intestines were removed during RNY surgery, they were BYPASSED

The part of the intestines that ABSORBS the vitamins (including the stomach) is BYPASSED.... It's like having a mailbox that receives certain vitamins, but the mail route was changed and the postman doesn't go on the road where the mailbox you don't get the delivery of the vitamins that you expect because no mail (vitamins) pass through that route.... you have to get them from pills instead.

However, it turns out that the mailboxes on the road that isn't bypassed, they used to be small so you could only have a certain amount of FOOD (carbs, protein, fat)..... but because the mailman (food) keeps coming, the body builds larger mailboxes to accomodate your needs.

But there are no intestines REMOVED from the body.

~Lady Lithia~ 200 lbs lost! 
March 9, 2011 - Coccygectomy!
I chased my dreams, and my dreams, they caught me!
giraffesmiley.gif picture by hardyharhar_bucket

on 6/4/11 2:40 am - COLUMBIA CITY, IN
From reading some of your previous posts, I'm afraid you will learn all too soon, that your body will start absorbing some of the carbs you've been eating.

Pam T had a great graphic of what vitamins and minerals are absorbed (and where) in the GI tract.  Those that are absorbed in the lower stomach and first 1/3 of the small bowel will always (for life) have to be taken in  supplements.

The villa in the remaining small intestine grow and allow carbs, fats, proteins to be more easily absorbed over time - so more calories are absorbed.

This is why it is so important to make the lifestyle changes in the first 12-18 months (honeymoon period) when we lose weight no matter what and have less appetite.  Once the honeymoon period is over - it is over!!  Only get one chance to go through the honeymoon period.  Those that eat carbs, eat too large quantity food, junk food, fast foods will regret that the "carb monster" is alive and well.

Use this period to your advantage.  Eat protein first (even snacks) then veggies, fruit and 100% whole grains.  Omit white flour, white sugar, white rice, pasta, junk food and fast food.  When you omit the carbs for 3-4 weeks your body will "detox" and no longer crave them like before.

You can do this.  It is never too late to do the right thing.
Highest Weight 255  * Wt loss includes 19 lb lost before surgery

on 6/4/11 3:29 am - OH

There are these little tiny things in your small intestine called villi.  They are like fingers that grab up calories and absorb them.  When they bypass part of the small intestine, suddenly there are fewer villi in there to suck up the calories.

However, your body quickly figures that out and it is afraid it's gonna starve.  So your small intestine start to grow more villi in the part tht has not been bypassed.  After two or three years, you have about the same number you had before surgery so you absorb about the same amount of calories again.

It's pretty cool if you think  about it.

However.  We continue to malabsorb vitamins because only certain spots in the small intestine absorb each one of those.  That never goes away.

View more of my photos at          Kelly

Please note: I AM NOT A DOCTOR.  If you want medical advice, talk to your doctor.  Whatever I post, there is probably some surgeon or other health care provider somewhere that disagrees with me.  If you want to know what your surgeon thinks, then ask him or her.    Check out my blog.


on 6/5/11 3:42 am
RNY on 06/13/11 with
I wish they it was the other way around. calories will always be malabsobed...and vitamins you only have to take for a year..wouldnt that be sweeeeeet?!
 Those Villi things need to get plucked out or something. Lol.