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Weight-Loss Surgery Causes Woman to Lose Eyesight

First Posted: Apr 08, 2016 06:34 AM EDT
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The author stressed that Vitamin A plays a major part in eye health, and a deficiency can cause severe dryness of the eye, night blindness, and lesions called "Bitot's spots" that form on the eye's surface.
(Photo : Ian Waldie/Getty Images)

Women are very conscious of the way they look. Most of them would squint at the sight of an excess belly fat and will most of the time go on crazy diets just to get rid of it. Some even go to extreme measures, like going under the knife just to have the body they desire. A number of surgeries have had good success rates, but some resulted to patients developing complications that may affect them for the rest of their lives.

In recent reports, a woman in her early 40s visited an ophthalmology clinic in Texas because she was having problems with her eye sight, eye pain, and had noticed that she had developed a lesion on her eyes. These resulted to vision loss and doctors also said that the development of lesions was caused by the insufficient levels of vitamins in her body, livescience.com reported.

The report which was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), the woman exhibited symptoms of a severe vitamin A deficiency, said a medical student at the Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine and the lead author of the report, Kyle Kirkland. The author stressed that Vitamin A plays a major part in eye health, and a deficiency can cause severe dryness of the eye, night blindness, and lesions called "Bitot's spots" that form on the eye's surface.

Kirkland also said that the lesions which form on the white part of the eye (sclera) do not affect the person's vision, however the process that caused the lesions to form causes severe dryness of the eyes that can impair the vision.

CBS reported that it is not common for people in the United States to go through vitamin A deficiency severe enough to cause eye problems, because Americans can get enough of it in their diets. Experts believe that the woman's insufficient Vitamin A stemmed from the weight-loss surgery she had a year before.

Kirkland explained that during the surgery, doctors performed a "duodenal switch" which not only makes the stomach smaller, but also creates a bypass around a section of the small intestine. This process is done by taking out the duodenum and connecting it to the lower-down part of the small intestine. He added saying, "The small intestine is where the nutrients in food are absorbed into the body, so by shortening the length of small intestine that the food travels through, the surgery lowers the amount of calories and nutrients the body can absorb from food."

Although the surgery helped the woman lose weight, it also significantly lowered her level of specific vitamins, including vitamin A. it was also reported that the woman was informed before her surgery that vitamin deficiencies were some of the most common side effects of the surgery, thus she should take vitamins to prevent this from happening. However the multivitamins were simply not enough to keep her from suffering from having severe vitamin A deficiency.

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