Alcohol Abuse after Weight Loss Surgery

Alcohol Abuse after Weight Loss SurgeryObesity is a serious health concern that can cause many health issues, such as diabetes and heart trouble. Bariatric or gastric bypass weight loss surgery is becoming more common for obese individuals who have not responded to any other form of intervention. Likewise, alcohol abuse is very unhealthy, especially if it is chronic. Regular alcohol abuse damages many bodily systems, not the least of which is the gastro-intestinal (GI) tract. Alcohol interacts directly with all the organs in the GI tract, and it can cause a wide range of problems in terms of digestion and absorption of nutrients.

An obese person who abuses alcohol regularly runs a high risk of developing a number of serious health problems. Undergoing weight loss surgery may be beneficial, but it does not give people a green light to drink heavily. In fact, abusing alcohol after weight loss surgery can compromise the patient’s health and may jeopardize surgery recovery.

Weight Loss Surgery Alters Metabolism

Bariatric or gastric bypass surgery significantly alters a person’s body mass. This can profoundly affect the way that she metabolizes food, drugs and alcohol. A person who regularly abuses alcohol, especially in large quantities, is likely to be much more affected by alcohol after the surgery, and probably will be unable to drink as much as she could before. If people continue to drink like they did prior to weight loss surgery, they may experience more profound effects, like becoming more inebriated, having more severe hangovers and causing more severe health effects, such as serious and chronic digestive problems.

Alcohol abuse may also negate the benefits of the surgery due to the fact that alcohol is very high in both calories and fat. Consuming large amounts of such a fattening substance after enduring the pain, expense and risk of major weight loss surgery does not make any sense.

Help Quitting Drinking

Despite the risks of drinking after weight loss surgery, quitting is much easier said than done. This is especially true for an alcoholic; in fact, for those who are physically dependent on alcohol, quitting cold-turkey without medical supervision can be quite dangerous. Even people who are not physically dependent on alcohol may have a very difficult time quitting, and they may continue to endanger their health through continued alcohol abuse. However, treatment can help formerly obese people stop drinking, which thereby avoids risking their health and undoing the benefits from the surgery.

Help Finding Treatment for Alcohol Abuse

If you would like help finding treatment for alcoholism, or if you simply have questions about alcohol abuse and its effects on health, call our toll-free helpline. Counselors are available 24 hours a day to answer any questions you may have and to help you find treatment.