Gastric Bypass and Alcohol: What You Need to Know

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Gastric Bypass and Alcohol? People who have one addiction will be tempted to give in to another if they do not get professional help before going for surgery…that is why many accredited programs have a psych evaluation as part of them. Of course, we can all agree that no addiction that affects the body is easy to snap out of because it sometimes takes only months to get into and years to get out of…

Gastric Bypass and Alcohol: What You Need to Know article cover image with mixed drinks

With many of these addictions comes weight gain, and the ultimate solution for many is to do bariatric surgery. But, as the surgery is completed, one has to be mindful that the food and liquid consumption is much smaller in quantity as the body now calls for less.

The funny and interesting thing about many people is the simple fact that after they have had a successful surgery, they tend to redirect their addiction to food to something else like drugs and alcohol, unless coached with a great surgical team and psych evaluation prior to surgery.

Gastric Bypass and Alcohol: What You Need to Know

Sure enough, many people ask the important question of whether it will be safe to consume alcohol after their gastric bypass surgery. Well, to answer your question…yes – BUT – you have to do it with certain guidelines in mind. You might be wondering why there are so many drawbacks after your surgery, right? Well, read on to get a clearer understanding.

Drinking Alcohol After Gastric Bypass

Yes, you can drink alcohol after you have had your bariatric surgery. It must still be done in moderation and under supervision, especially if you had an addiction to it before your surgery.

It is highly recommended that you not indulge in any alcohol consumption within the first six months of your surgery (it could be longer for many people) as your new digestive system is in the healing process.

However, even if your doctor clears you to drink alcohol, you should still do so in moderation for some of the following reasons…

Metabolism is Altered

When a person does gastric bypass surgery, their metabolism is not the same. With a shorter digestive tract, alcohol goes into your bloodstream faster.

Seeing food is consumed in lower quantities after the surgery, indulging in alcoholic beverages will only leave the blood infiltrated and result in easier intoxication. You would not want to engage in this activity, especially if you have to drive. You have to bear this in mind if you wish to keep your health intact. Seriously, one to two sips of wine can put you over the legal limit for intoxication.

Too Many Calories in Alcohol

Alcohol has a lot of calories and no real nutrients to help your body. As such, seeing your body is not the same as before, taking in too much alcohol with the limited food intake will only leave you packed with excess calories your body could do without.

Too Many Calories in Alcohol for gastric bypass patients

The alcohol with no nutrients will hamper your weight loss journey and, if you are not careful, will pack the weight on faster than you could imagine. We are sure that is not what you want.

The Resurgence of an Addiction

Research had shown that people who had an addiction before they did the surgery have a high chance of developing the same or another addiction faster than they are used to adopting. It is simple transference.

Bear in mind, the amount of food you usually consume has been drastically reduced, so the craving you once had for food might turn to crave for something else. Interestingly, many people have resorted to cover the urge for food in shopping, sex, or even alcohol.

Lowered Blood Sugar From Alcohol

Your body will be taking in less food which means lower carbohydrates, leading to low blood sugar. The body will not have enough glycogen, and with excess alcohol, you could risk it being reduced by the contents of the alcoholic beverage.

Low blood sugar is nothing good as it can cause one to become unconscious and even lead to brain and nerve damage. If left untreated, it could result in a stroke, poor vision, or even death. If at any point you feel like your blood sugar is lowering or has dropped too low, it is best to have diluted juice or take some glucose accompanied by a snack high in carbohydrates. This will help the body to rebuild.

Do You Get Drunk Faster After a Gastric Bypass?

In a word: yes.

Life after gastric bypass surgery is not the easiest to live, especially in the early phases, as you can no longer do and eat the things you were once used to. It is a gradual process of learning what you can now tolerate.

Do You Get Drunk Faster After a Gastric Bypass? Man passed out at the bar

Your blood is now set up completely differently, and the least amount of alcohol could threaten everything and throw your life off-balance. The alcohol will be too strong for your body as no nutrients will be there to sap the alcohol.

How Many Gastric Bypass Patients Become Alcoholics?

Based on research released, there are reports that an average of 20.8 percent of people actually turn to alcohol as an addition within a five-year span after surgery. Seeing many people’s lives has been adjusted immediately because of the surgery, they search for a way to relieve the temporary stress that comes with the new lifestyle.

How Many Gastric Bypass Patients Become Alcoholics?

However, by the time the first few phases are over, and they can now partake moderately in intaking alcohol, it would have already become a dangerous addiction.  

The bottom line when looking at Gastric Bypass and Alcohol: Moderation is the key. If you decide the empty calories are worth it, start really small and be prepared to monitor the effects on your body. Seriously, I can’t even take a sip of a margarita without coping a huge buzz. It simply isn’t worth jeopardizing the almost 200 pounds I lost.

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