WARNING: Weight loss surgery can STEAL your eyesight

Bariatric surgery promises to help you to lose weight fast. A few snips in the stomach, and the pounds will just melt away.

But you could lose a lot more than just body fat after that surgery.

When the stomach is cut off and part of the intestine is bypassed, you lose some of the ability to process food -- which means you lose the ability to use and absorb some of the nutrients your body needs most.

Now, researchers are warning that stomach surgery patients could fall short in critical vitamin A. You need this nutrient for a number of essential functions, but no part of your body needs it as much as your eyes.

As a result, patients who have stomach-shrinking surgery could face a higher risk of vision problems that run across the spectrum, from relatively minor (but definitely uncomfortable) conditions such as dry eyes all the way up to far more serious problems such as night blindness, scarring on the cornea, eye ulcers, paralysis of the eye muscles and involuntary eye movement.

The researchers are urging patients who have surgery to take vitamin A supplements along with supplements for other eye-friendly nutrients such as vitamins E and B1 as well as the mineral copper.

But even if you take those supplements, there's no guarantee those will be properly absorbed, either.

And if you miss out, your eyes might be the least of your worries.

Some patients who have surgery suffer from even more severe nutritional problems -- and in some cases, there have been tragic and even fatal consequences.

Surgery is a bad idea for most people anyway. Despite what you may have heard, it's neither a quick fix nor a magic cure. These procedures force serious, permanent and highly restrictive lifestyle changes on patients.

As long as you have to make changes anyway, skip the surgery and just make the changes. You'll still lose weight, but you'll have a little freedom to enjoy yourself and your food, and you won't have to suffer the risks of a life-threatening nutritional problem.