Some of the most important vitamins (A, D, E & K as well as calcium) become harder to absorb due to the new way food is absorbed in patients. The malabsorptive technique used in surgery can create these ailments. While this may promote fast weight loss, it can lead to many issues too. If these deficiencies go untreated, they can affect the entire nervous system. This is why regular blood work and labs is imperative in order to maintain optimal health following duodenal switch surgery. Some patients may experience some hair loss associated with these deficiencies.
According to John Hopkins Hospital, protein deficiency (anemia) occurs in about 18% of patients too. If the condition becomes severe (kwashiorkor), it can be life threatening. Also, a thiamine deficiency (beriberi) is common and can damage the nervous system if not treated.