Copper Deficiency After Gastric Bypass

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Copper deficiency is rare in the US, we don’t need very much of it – less than 1mg per day – and it’s found in lots of the foods we normally eat, such as whole grains, beans, nuts, leafy greens and various meats. Copper absorption occurs primarily in the duodenum, the part ‘bypassed’ in the RYGP surgery. In 178 patients followed for up to 2 years after bypass surgery, researchers found 19% with copper deficiency.
Anemia and various neuropathies – muscle weakness, fatigue, numbness in extremities are seen in patients with copper deficiency. In general medicine, this is often attributed to iron or vitamin B12 deficiencies. For those having bypass surgery, the recommendation is to check copper status as well.

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