Saturday, March 22, 2008

Supplementation, Labs, and Bone Density


Vitalady, Diana, or Carolyn are probably more suited to write this then me....but I saw this on another post and was a bit freaked out that a newbie would take it as their "DS Bible".

If you are a newbie, please understand that the DS is by far the BEST WLS currently available, but it does have a condtion: MANDATORY FOLLOW CARE. It's not optional. Not having follow up care is like playing Russian Roulette (sp?) with your body. Unlike stubbing your toe, or getting into a car accident, malnutrition sneaks up on you very slowly, and pounces on you like a cougar. Once it "attacks" you, your pretty much on the verge of permanent damage to your body, and possibly death. .

Taking a couple of multis in the morning isn't going to cut it. I dont' know any DSer (and i've been on this forum and several other DS forums for the last 3 years) that would be able to survive on that....heck I don't know any RNYer who could survive on that. Multis are like the saftey net of your suppliment regime, it kind of picks up anything you might have forgotten or dont' need much of like copper. More then likely as a DSer you will be adding in extra dry A, D, E, and possibly K and Zinc. This of course is in addition to Calcium citrate, and possibly Iron. Yes supplimentation is not just popping a few vits in the morning, it is a carefully orchestrated regime that you get into after months of testing and retesting to find out what works for you....some find their doctor's original suppliment plan perfect....others take 2 years to find their perfect regime. FYI it can change too..what worked for you last year, may be failing you this year...this is the reason for REGULAR BLOOD WORK.

On that subject, having the DS means you need to have REGULAR BLOOD WORK. Now regular to me means at least every 6 months, some surgeons say 1 time a year if everything is going ok...but seeing how things can change quickly, I doubt that I would ever be happy with 1 time a year. Having blood work also means that you will at some point pick up some skill in reading, tracking, and understanding your own labs. Yes you have a surgeon, but most surgeons are far too busy to track your labs for you, they won't see that your RBC went from 4.9 to 4.2 from one set of labs to another, they won't see that your D went from 48 to 30 from one lab to another, and since both these numers fall into "normal" they will say your bloods are normal or even great....but if you know anything about your own will say, "HEY MY D FELL 18 POINTS, I BETTER CALL VITALADY AND GET SOME MORE D". Or, hey my RBC is falling, I should keep an eye on this.......what is my iron level at? Am I getting in enough B vits? what about zinc? etc etc etc.

Every year or every other year (depending on your insurance) you should have a bone density scan. Just because your "levels" seem good, doesn't mean it's translating to bone density. If you lose bone mass, you can find out right away instead of waiting until your bones turn to mush. It might mean adding more calcium, D, or weight lifting to your exercise regime, but you dont' have to lose all your bone mass before you take action.

FINALLY......(or at least the last thing I want to say).....Just because someone has a few years on you in DS wonderland, it does not mean they are well researched, understand the surgery they have, are a DS example, or are able to give good advice to you. Remember, it just means they (or their insurance) was smart enough to fork over money for the best WLS available. What they did with that sugery is totally up to them. I really feel and FEAR for DSers who do not stay connected to a live or an online support group. WHY? Because information is always changing, nutritonal information is being updated, knew understand of what our surgery does to our bodies is coming out regularly...and if you are not connected, you are not aware of what you should be looking for...or should tell your surgeon you need. I remember when I first came to one was talking about copper and one (or hardly anyone) was talking about mega doses of D.....we were happy with D levels in the 20s...and such. THINGS CHANGE......STAY CONNECTED.

Scott (Used with permission by author)

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