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How Much Iron Were You Told You Needed Daily?



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Greetings,

I live in Canada, so things may be different from US recommendations - but after having the sleeve, I was told that 2 Multivitamins a day with no less than 9mg of Iron was all I need.

I have a slight iron deficiency with blood work I had done and looking into it online - it seems some patients are required to take a separate iron supplement in addition to a Multivitamin. It just seems to be random depending on where you have your surgery.

My doctor isn't that concerned, but I have noticed some hair fall/thinning - so I am assuming it is the iron deficiency even if slight and so I am kind of freaking out about it. Going to a dermatologist to see what they have to say.

So I was just curious to get some feedback here. Are you just taking multivitamins or additional iron on top of that?

Thank you,

HM

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Surgery is a stress on your body that often causes hair to fall out. Suppliments won't change it.

My suppliments started with a basic multivitam, Iron (slow-FE), Calcium, and B-12. The basic Multivitamin is because the first few months we are often on a virtual starvation diet so it's to make up that deficiency. After the first few months we were expected to eat adequately to cover typical requirements. Iron, Calcium, and B-12 additionally because Bypass patients are known to malabsorb iron, calcium & B-12. Any and all other suppliments were/are in response to deficiencies in blood work.

Times have changed in the last 20 some-odd years. I haven't. ;)

Good luck,

Tek

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3 minutes ago, The Greater Fool said:

Surgery is a stress on your body that often causes hair to fall out. Suppliments won't change it.

My suppliments started with a basic multivitam, Iron (slow-FE), Calcium, and B-12. The basic Multivitamin is because the first few months we are often on a virtual starvation diet so it's to make up that deficiency. After the first few months we were expected to eat adequately to cover typical requirements. Iron, Calcium, and B-12 additionally because Bypass patients are known to malabsorb iron, calcium & B-12. Any and all other suppliments were/are in response to deficiencies in blood work.

Times have changed in the last 20 some-odd years. I haven't. ;)

Good luck,

Tek

Hey Tek,

Thanks for responding.

I should have mentioned though that I had my surgery in May 2023. So any effects from the stress of just having surgery are long gone. I have been fine blood work wise and hair wise all this time.

The Hair loss has been sudden now thus why I am assuming that the slight iron deficiency is the factor here.

As I said my family doctor isn't that concerned because it is a slight deficiency and a blood test a month later could be fine, so he isn't yet feeling the need to tell me to take more iron daily.

For me, I was told the mutlivitamin, B12, Vitamin D and calcium is for LIFE from the hospital/doctors where I had my surgery. Not a temporary thing. It seems random since that doesn't appear to be the case for you.

Thanks again.

HM

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There are so many opinions about what Vitamins people are told to take immediately post op any even more variations of what they stay on once people get labs back and realize that our bodies all respond differently to the same surgery. If your doctor isn’t concerned about your Iron I would keep an eye on it with your labs but I doubt it’s low enough to be responsible for Hair loss. A stab in the dark though, did you have COVID lately by any chance. A friend of a friend of mine got COVID and then started losing her hair several weeks afterwards. A quick google just revealed it’s referred to as hair shedding and it often follows a very high fever that comes with COVID and one site suggests Biotin. If this applies to you maybe do a little more research into it. Otherwise I think a trip to the dermatologist is a good next step if your doctor didn’t see any explanation in your labs.

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30 minutes ago, ShoppGirl said:

There are so many opinions about what Vitamins people are told to take immediately post op any even more variations of what they stay on once people get labs back and realize that our bodies all respond differently to the same surgery. If your doctor isn’t concerned about your Iron I would keep an eye on it with your labs but I doubt it’s low enough to be responsible for Hair loss. A stab in the dark though, did you have COVID lately by any chance. A friend of a friend of mine got COVID and then started losing her hair several weeks afterwards. A quick google just revealed it’s referred to as hair shedding and it often follows a very high fever that comes with COVID and one site suggests Biotin. If this applies to you maybe do a little more research into it. Otherwise I think a trip to the dermatologist is a good next step if your doctor didn’t see any explanation in your labs.

Hey ShoppGirl,

I haven't had Covid recently as far as I know, but I did have Covid in 2023 and there was no Hair loss issue then and I got over it quickly.

If it isn't the Iron, then I would be even more concerned, because it could be a 100 other things. Just seemed to make the most sense given that I haven't had any other recent changes.

I should say that I am low in Vitamin D, but I always am. No matter how much I take - other medication I take for epilepsy diminishes the Vitamin D in my system. I have been this way forever, but it hasn't caused hair issues as I know that vitamin D deficiency can be a factor with hair loss. So maybe the D in addition to the iron is a problem. Unless you are saying that you need to have extreme iron deficiency for it to impact hair and not just a slight deficiency.

Yes, I am being referred to a dermatologist. I hope whatever it is - will just be temporary.

Thanks for your response.

HM

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17 minutes ago, Hey Man said:

Hey ShoppGirl,

I haven't had Covid recently as far as I know, but I did have Covid in 2023 and there was no Hair loss issue then and I got over it quickly.

If it isn't the Iron, then I would be even more concerned, because it could be a 100 other things. Just seemed to make the most sense given that I haven't had any other recent changes.

I should say that I am low in Vitamin D, but I always am. No matter how much I take - other medication I take for epilepsy diminishes the Vitamin D in my system. I have been this way forever, but it hasn't caused hair issues as I know that Vitamin D deficiency can be a factor with Hair loss. So maybe the D in addition to the Iron is a problem. Unless you are saying that you need to have extreme iron deficiency for it to impact hair and not just a slight deficiency.

Yes, I am being referred to a dermatologist. I hope whatever it is - will just be temporary.

Thanks for your response.

HM

I don’t know for certain how much of an iron deficiency you would need To cause hair loss but I assumed that your doctor does. I just figured If he said he wasn’t concerned and was referring you to a dermatologist then he had ruled out iron as the issue. I guess the easiest way to know for sure would be to increase your supplements though. Doctors aren’t always right after all. I really hope you figure it out soon. I can only imagine how scary it must be to not know the cause.

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If your ferritin level is OK, I wouldn't worry too much about the Iron, esp if your surgeon hasn't said anything. Ferritin is the iron stores in your body that your body taps into if it's too low on iron.

also, as far as people taking different amounts of supplements, it depends on the surgery (DS and RNY patients malabsorp Vitamins and minerals, so they're usually required to take more of them than sleeve patients are), and as someone else said, after the initial few months post-op, how much you take is going to depend on your labs. If you're too low on something, you'll be told to take more of it; too high on something else, you'll probably be told to cut back.

Hair loss this far after surgery could be due to a lot of things (although I just read that iron deficiencies CAN cause it). Are you meeting your Protein requirements? That can cause it, too.

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8 hours ago, ShoppGirl said:

I don’t know for certain how much of an Iron deficiency you would need To cause Hair loss but I assumed that your doctor does. I just figured If he said he wasn’t concerned and was referring you to a dermatologist then he had ruled out iron as the issue. I guess the easiest way to know for sure would be to increase your supplements though. Doctors aren’t always right after all. I really hope you figure it out soon. I can only imagine how scary it must be to not know the cause.

8 hours ago, ShoppGirl said:

I don’t know for certain how much of an iron deficiency you would need To cause hair loss but I assumed that your doctor does. I just figured If he said he wasn’t concerned and was referring you to a dermatologist then he had ruled out iron as the issue. I guess the easiest way to know for sure would be to increase your supplements though. Doctors aren’t always right after all. I really hope you figure it out soon. I can only imagine how scary it must be to not know the cause.

He wasn't concerned in that it was just slightly low - so he didn't feel a need to pump me full of more iron with a new level of pills to take. He didn't specifically say that doesn't think the iron is the reason for the hair loss. That is still up in the air and up to the dermatologist.

I think when a man tells a doctor they are losing their hair - it is often an assumption of age (I am 53) or male pattern baldness or some more common issue. My blood work has been good overall, so I guess nothing is jumping out at him.

I will let you know what happens.

Thanks!

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4 hours ago, catwoman7 said:

If your ferritin level is OK, I wouldn't worry too much about the Iron, esp if your surgeon hasn't said anything. Ferritin is the Iron stores in your body that your body taps into if it's too low on iron.

also, as far as people taking different amounts of supplements, it depends on the surgery (DS and RNY patients malabsorp Vitamins and minerals, so they're usually required to take more of them than sleeve patients are), and as someone else said, after the initial few months post-op, how much you take is going to depend on your labs. If you're too low on something, you'll be told to take more of it; too high on something else, you'll probably be told to cut back.

Hair loss this far after surgery could be due to a lot of things (although I just read that iron deficiencies CAN cause it). Are you meeting your Protein requirements? That can cause it, too.

I assume my ferritin level is OK. It has been tested as part of the bariatric blood work required repeatedly over time. So I imagine he would tell me if it was low, but the next time I talk to him, I will specifically ask.

My Protein should be fine, but I am going to go back to ensuring it is daily. I haven't fallen off the wagon, but a year out now - I am not as focused on counting every little thing. I just eat well and proper portions and much of the food I enjoy in general is protein rich.

Thanks!

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Besides our usual daily Hair loss, we also experiences more major hair loss cycle about every 7 years. (I just had one which was a bit scary). We also tend to shed more in summer than winter. I’m more conscious of my regular hair loss since my surgery & because I have a Protein malabsorption issue. Maybe you’re more conscious of it too. Don’t forget stress & anxiety can increase hair loss too.

As to Vitamins, we get told so many different things & then we all have our own individual needs. For example with my sleeve I was only advised to take a Multivitamin & Vitamin D in the beginning. After a couple of months I was told to drop the Vitamin D. At about 8 months, my surgeon okayed me dropping the Multi Vitamins too. But my blood work continues to come back fine (except for the protein 😩). I do take D3 in winter as my levels drop a little then. It’s a mouth spray which you may absorb better than capsules - worth a try.

If you’re concerned about your Iron levels, there’s nothing stopping you taking a supplement even if your doctor says not to worry. May be take them every second day to reduce the possible nausea & Constipation side effects associated with iron supplements. There are studies saying taking iron on alternate days is actually better so …. Something to consider anyway.

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Also in Canada! My program recommended the same multiV with the same minimum Iron. 2 months after surgery, my PCP ran my bloodwork and I was incredibly iron deficient -- worse than I've ever been in the past (lifelong in-and-out of anemia, lol) so I'm on an iron supplement every 2 days (same day as B12 for better absorbtion).

My own research showed that some of my non-surgery meds (SSRIs, etc) interfere with iron absorption. I started taking my Multi Vitamins with a 2 hour window between them and my other meds. It's a bit of an extra hassle (I feel like my life revolves around my meds schedule) but my 3 month program-request bloodwork already shows an improvement.

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