13 best iron supplements for gastric bypass in 2023

By Amber SmithAug 6, 2023 4:00 AM
elm and rye iron


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Did you know that iron deficiency is a common issue after gastric bypass surgery? Due to reduced absorption, your body may struggle to get enough iron from food alone. That's where iron supplementation comes in. It is crucial for preventing anemia and maintaining overall health post-surgery. By ensuring adequate iron levels, you support energy production and boost your immune function when you need it most. After all, who wants to feel tired and run down? So, don't underestimate the importance of iron intake after gastric bypass. Your body needs it for optimal recovery and well-being. Let's explore how iron absorption plays a vital role in this process.

Best iron supplements for gastric bypass

  1. Elm & Rye Iron Supplements

  2. Active Iron High Potency Iron Supplement

  3. NovaFerrum WOW - 125 High Potency Liquid Iron Supplement for Adults

  4. BariMelts Iron with Vitamin C

  5. Bariatric Fusion Iron Soft Chew with Vitamin C

  6. BariSlim Iron Plus Capsules

  7. Bariatric Advantage Iron 45 mg with Vitamin C, Thiamin, and Copper

  8. Fergon Iron Restore Chewable Tablets

  9. Vegepower Vegan Iron Gummies Supplement 

  10. Ferrostat 65mg Chewable Iron Supplement with Vitamin C for Bariatric Patients

  11. MegaFood Blood Builder - Iron Supplement 

  12. PatchMD – Iron Plus Topical Patches

  13. Garden of Life Vitamin Code Iron Supplement

Types of Iron Supplements for Bariatric Patients

There are several options available. Let's explore the different types of iron supplements commonly recommended for individuals who have undergone bariatric surgery.

Ferrous Sulfate, Ferrous Fumarate, and Ferrous Gluconate

Ferrous sulfate, ferrous fumarate, and ferrous gluconate are some of the most widely used iron supplements. These formulations contain elemental iron that is easily absorbed by the body. They come in tablet or capsule form and can be taken orally with water.

While these traditional oral iron supplements are effective in boosting iron levels, they may cause gastrointestinal side effects such as constipation or upset stomach. Some bariatric patients find it challenging to tolerate these side effects due to their altered digestive system post-surgery.

Chelated Iron Supplements

Chelated iron supplements offer a potential solution for bariatric patients seeking better absorption and reduced gastrointestinal side effects. In chelated forms, such as ferrous bisglycinate or ferric glycinate, the iron is bound to an amino acid or protein molecule. This binding enhances bioavailability and minimizes interactions with other substances in the digestive tract that might hinder absorption.

Chelated iron supplements are available in various forms including tablets, capsules, powders, and liquid formulas. The liquid form tends to be more easily absorbed by the body compared to solid forms. Chelated iron is generally better tolerated by individuals who experience difficulties absorbing dietary iron.

Liquid or Chewable Iron Supplements

For those with absorption issues or difficulty swallowing pills after gastric bypass surgery, liquid or chewable iron supplements may be more suitable options. These formulations provide an alternative delivery method that bypasses potential challenges associated with pill ingestion.

Liquid iron supplements typically come in a concentrated form that can be diluted with water or juice. They are convenient for individuals who struggle with large pill sizes or have restrictions on fluid intake. On the other hand, chewable iron supplements offer a palatable option that can be easily broken down and absorbed by the body.

Some popular brands of oral iron supplements specifically designed for bariatric patients include Bariatric Advantage Chewable Iron and prescribed iron supplements tailored to individual needs.

Best Iron Supplements for Gastric Bypass:

If you've undergone gastric bypass surgery or a similar procedure like sleeve gastrectomy or duodenal switch, you may be at risk of iron deficiency due to reduced absorption of nutrients. To combat this, it's important to find the best iron supplements that can effectively support your body's needs. Here are some options worth considering:

Elm & Rye Iron Supplements

  • Contains elemental iron in a highly absorbable form.

  • Designed specifically for individuals who have undergone weight loss surgery.

  • Provides the necessary iron to prevent deficiencies and promote healthy red blood cell production.

Active Iron High Potency Iron Supplement

  • Utilizes a unique protein formula that enhances absorption while minimizing side effects such as constipation.

  • Suitable for individuals with sensitive stomachs or those prone to digestive issues after gastric bypass surgery.

NovaFerrum WOW - 125 High Potency Liquid Iron Supplement for Adults

  • The liquid form allows for easy absorption and digestion.

  • Contains optimal levels of iron to support post-bariatric patients' needs.

BariMelts Iron with Vitamin C

  • Chewable iron supplement combined with vitamin C for enhanced absorption.

  • Dissolves quickly and has a pleasant taste, making it convenient for those who struggle with swallowing pills.

Bariatric Fusion Iron Soft Chew with Vitamin C

  • Soft chewable supplement that combines iron and vitamin C.

  • Offers an alternative option for individuals who prefer chewable forms over traditional tablets or capsules.

BariSlim Iron Plus Capsules

  • Provides 45 mg of ferrous sulfate along with essential vitamins and minerals.

  • Formulated specifically for bariatric patients to meet their nutritional requirements post-surgery.

Bariatric Advantage Iron 45 mg with Vitamin C, Thiamin, and Copper

  • Contains a comprehensive blend of iron, vitamin C, thiamin, and copper to support optimal iron absorption.

  • Developed with the needs of bariatric patients in mind.

Fergon Iron Restore Chewable Tablets

  • Chewable tablets offer a convenient way to supplement iron intake.

  • Suitable for individuals who prefer chewable options or have difficulty swallowing pills.

Vegepower Vegan Iron Gummies Supplement

  • Vegan-friendly gummy supplement that provides iron derived from plant-based sources.

  • Ideal for individuals following a vegetarian or vegan diet after gastric bypass surgery.

Ferrostat 65mg Chewable Iron Supplement with Vitamin C for Bariatric Patients

  • Chewable iron supplement combined with vitamin C for enhanced absorption.

  • Specifically formulated to meet the needs of bariatric patients.

MegaFood Blood Builder - Iron Supplement

  • Whole food-based iron supplement enriched with additional nutrients such as vitamin C, folate, and B12.

  • Made from organic ingredients and suitable for those seeking a natural approach to supplementation.

PatchMD – Iron Plus Topical Patches

  • Innovative patch delivery system that bypasses the digestive system.

  • Provides a steady release of iron through the skin, avoiding potential gastrointestinal side effects.

Garden of Life Vitamin Code Iron Supplement

  • The comprehensive formula contains iron along with various vitamins and minerals.

Treating and Preventing Iron Deficiency after Gastric Bypass Surgery

Regular monitoring of blood tests helps identify and manage iron deficiency effectively. Iron deficiency is a common issue postoperatively for patients who have undergone gastric bypass surgery. This procedure can affect the body's ability to absorb nutrients, leading to deficiencies in various essential vitamins and minerals, including iron. Therefore, it is crucial to monitor iron levels regularly through blood tests to catch any deficiencies early on.

Combining vitamin C with iron supplements enhances absorption in the body. Iron supplements are commonly prescribed to patients who have undergone gastric bypass surgery to prevent or treat iron deficiency anemia. However, simply taking iron supplements may not be enough as the body may struggle to absorb the mineral efficiently. By combining these supplements with vitamin C, which is known to enhance iron absorption, patients can maximize the benefits of their supplementation.

Spacing calcium-rich foods or dairy products away from iron supplementation aids in better absorption. Calcium-rich foods and dairy products can hinder the absorption of iron in the body when consumed together. It is advisable for individuals who have undergone gastric bypass surgery and are taking iron supplements to space out their consumption of calcium-rich foods or dairy products from their supplementation routine. This will help ensure that they get the most out of their iron intake.

Iron deficiency postoperatively can lead to various health complications if left untreated. Iron plays a critical role in transporting oxygen throughout the body, supporting energy production, and maintaining overall health. When deficient in this essential mineral, individuals may experience symptoms such as fatigue, weakness, pale skin, shortness of breath, and even heart problems if left untreated.

Treatment options for iron deficiency after gastric bypass surgery include oral supplementation and intravenous (IV) therapy. Oral supplementation involves taking over-the-counter or prescription iron supplements as directed by a healthcare professional. These supplements come in different forms such as ferrous sulfate or ferrous gluconate.

In more severe cases, where oral supplementation is insufficient or not tolerated well, intravenous (IV) therapy may be recommended. IV iron therapy delivers iron directly into the bloodstream, bypassing the digestive system and ensuring optimal absorption. This method can rapidly replenish iron stores and correct deficiencies more effectively.

Folate deficiency is another common concern after gastric bypass surgery that can exacerbate iron deficiency anemia. Folate, also known as vitamin B9, is essential for red blood cell production and plays a crucial role in preventing anemia. Individuals who have undergone gastric bypass surgery should ensure they are getting adequate folate through diet or supplements to support overall health and prevent complications associated with folate deficiency.

Biomarkers of Iron Status in Postoperative Bariatric Patients

After undergoing gastric bypass surgery, bariatric surgery patients often experience changes in their iron status. Monitoring these changes is crucial to ensure optimal health and prevent complications.

Serum Ferritin Levels

One of the primary indicators of iron status in the body is serum ferritin levels. Ferritin is a protein that stores iron, and its concentration reflects the amount of stored iron available for use. In post-bariatric surgery patients, monitoring ferritin levels becomes essential due to potential alterations in iron metabolism caused by significant weight loss.

Low serum ferritin levels can indicate depleted iron stores, which may lead to iron deficiency anemia if left untreated. On the other hand, excessively high ferritin levels can suggest iron overload or inflammation. Regular monitoring of ferritin levels allows healthcare providers to detect any imbalances and intervene promptly.

Transferrin Saturation

Transferrin saturation is another important biomarker used to evaluate iron status in bariatric surgery patients. Transferrin is a protein responsible for transporting iron throughout the body. Transferrin saturation measures the percentage of transferrin molecules bound to available iron.

In individuals with low iron stores or anemia, transferrin saturation tends to be low as there is less available iron for binding. Conversely, high transferrin saturation may indicate excessive absorption or increased dietary intake of heme iron sources like red meat. Regular monitoring of transferrin saturation helps healthcare professionals assess whether adequate amounts of iron are being absorbed and utilized by the body.

Hemoglobin Levels

Hemoglobin plays a vital role in carrying oxygen from the lungs to various tissues and organs throughout the body. Iron deficiency can significantly impact hemoglobin levels, leading to a condition known as iron-deficiency anemia. Post-bariatric surgery patients are at a higher risk of developing anemia due to altered iron metabolism and reduced iron absorption.

Monitoring hemoglobin levels provides valuable insights into the oxygen-carrying capacity of red blood cells. Low hemoglobin levels indicate anemia, which can cause fatigue, weakness, and shortness of breath. Regular assessment of hemoglobin levels allows healthcare providers to detect and address iron deficiency promptly.

Conclusion: Choosing the Best Iron Supplements for Gastric Bypass

In conclusion, selecting the best iron supplements for gastric bypass is crucial to ensure optimal health and prevent iron deficiency. 

To make an informed decision about which iron supplement is best for you after gastric bypass surgery, it's crucial to consult with healthcare professionals who specialize in bariatric care. They will provide personalized guidance based on your unique circumstances.

Remember that maintaining adequate iron levels is essential for overall well-being and long-term health post-gastric bypass surgery. Don't hesitate to seek professional advice if you have any concerns or questions regarding iron supplementation.


How long do I need to take iron supplements after gastric bypass surgery?

The duration of iron supplementation varies for each individual. Your healthcare provider will guide you on the appropriate timeframe based on your specific needs and postoperative progress.

Can I rely solely on dietary sources of iron after gastric bypass surgery?

While a well-balanced diet is important, it may not provide sufficient amounts of iron due to altered digestion. Iron supplements are often necessary to meet your body's requirements.

Are there any side effects associated with iron supplements for gastric bypass patients?

Some individuals may experience side effects such as constipation, nausea, or stomach discomfort when taking iron supplements. It is essential to discuss any concerns with your healthcare provider.

Can I switch between different types of iron supplements?

Switching between different forms of iron supplements should be done under the guidance of a healthcare professional. They can advise on the most suitable options and monitor your response accordingly.

What if I forget to take my iron supplement one day?

Consistency is key to maintaining adequate iron levels. If you accidentally miss a dose, try to resume your regular schedule as soon as possible but avoid doubling up on doses unless advised by your healthcare provider.

These answers are intended as general information and should not replace personalized advice from medical professionals familiar with your specific circumstances.

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